WhitepaperSafe, User-Centric and VersatileFile Sharing and CollaborationSTORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • N...
STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMER...
STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMER...
STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMER...
STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERI...
STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERI...
STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERI...
STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERI...
STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERI...
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Storgrid Whitepaper

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Storgrid Whitepaper

  1. 1. WhitepaperSafe, User-Centric and VersatileFile Sharing and CollaborationSTORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAIntroductionStorgrid is an innovative file management platform that permits corporate users to effortlessly access and manage theirnetwork files, as they simultaneously collaborate with colleagues, clients and partners, irrespective of geographicallocation or choice of computing device. Using the most modern and secure connectivity protocols Storgrid provides theideal solution for corporate clients who demand flexibility without compromises to data security.Conventional File Management Is ObsoleteOld-style file service consists of fileservers (NAS) mapped as ‘network drives’ in a local LAN environment. CIFS protocolgenerally helps connect PCs to these internal ‘shares’. Access is often clumsy and is controlled centrally by IT. Within theorganizational firewall shares are easily accessible, but once a device has left the premise, share drives are no longeravailable. Attempts to access CIFS shares from outside firewalls using VPNs and other techniques have met limitedsuccess. Moreover CIFS is unsuited for mobile device access especially over low bandwidth connections. Remote teammembers can’t easily create new shares for team projects, making information exchange cumbersome. Sharing large filesand folders with external partners becomes almost impossible. Only individual files can be attached in an email; attach-ing complete folders is not feasible. Most IT organizations limit email attachments at an insufficient 20MB limit, definitelyinadequate for multimedia and other heavy files. Users find themselves in a vicious circle as they scramble for back-doorways to transfer large files, often resorting to unsafe methods from a security standpoint, well outside the purview of IT.Imperfect Work-Arounds and Security RisksThe most common work-arounds take one of two forms. Either a very complex workaround is provided for mobile working, inthe form of centralized workflow management systems, or users individually find their own solutions, bypassing internal IT with‘unsupported’ and generally insecure ‘free’ public cloud solutions on the internet or other physical options such as USB sticks,DVDs, external HDs etc. Although this method solves an individual’s issue at hand, the organization not only surrenders over-sight and compliance but ‘data leakage’ becomes a potential risk, especially when confidential information is at stake.
  2. 2. STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAThe World is User-CentricIgnoring the danger of data leakage and continuing to let users use external and unsupported data storage solutions remainsone option. Providing users with tools that render their data safe yet portable and always accessible on devices of theirchoice is the superior alternative. Users will continue to demand and use solutions that let them work productively, easily andremotely. The ‘Consumerization of ITʼ is already here, and IT must embrace technologies that abet users, not hinder them.Storgrid: Embracing SimplicityThe best solutions are often the simplest. Users routinely reject complexity. They just want to easily access, use, modify,and share their data. Anytime, with anyone, from anywhere. Storgrid is aware of these market demands and is the answerto the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) challenge. Storgrid grants corporate and public sector clients the same ease ofuse of modern-day consumer-centric file storage and sharing solutions, but without risking data leakage. This singlesolution perfectly incorporates an organization’s non-negotiable demand for data security while satisfying internal usersand IT departments.Bring Home the “Home Directory”Storgrid essentially makes a user’s traditional ‘home directory‘ available on the user’s primary computer, be it a Windows orMAC platform. Now the user can work on the data locally, and always access it from any mobile device. Data is automaticallysynchronized back to Storgrid’s central fileserver, or internally, depending on the functionality the corporate client selects.Versatile Access - Web, Local or MobileWeb Browser:After obtaining network connectivity, accessing data via Storgrid from Windows PCs or MACs occurs via a secure webinterface, whereby the browser transforms into a ‘local folder’. Folders and files are clearly visible, users can ‘drag&drop’files into the browser, directly linked to the Storgrid server, external or internal. Data imported into the browser immediate-ly synchronizes the files to any or all other devices the user is operating.Local Storgrid Client:As previously mentioned, Storgrid also features “offline working”, a local client interface which not only synchronizes datalocally, but also guarantees 100% data access, for example on an aircraft, or from any location where internet connectivityis poor or unavailable. The Storgrid local client automatically synchronizes data modifications with the centralized datasetwhen the network is again available. The local client supports Windows and MAC operating systems.Mobile Devices:Mobile devices like iPhones, iPADs and Android machines are universal in the business world, and Storgrid allows fullbrowsing of synchronized data, including sharing and sending folders and files from mobile devices. Before sending files,the mobile device relays a command to the server to make certain that data is not sent via the subscription plan of themobile device, thereby eliminating unnecessary expenses.
  3. 3. STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USASharing and Sending Folders and Large FilesVia Storgrid users can easily send folder structures and large files to external partners or customers. Any folder structure(including subdirectories) and files, size notwithstanding, can be transferred by an emailed link which when clicked, opensa browser on the recipient’s device from which one can view or download the data. The email link is the chosen option forsecurity reasons. The landing page of the link could be leverage for internal and external messaging, if appropriate. In theabsence of size limits the Storgrid solution effectively does away with archaic methods such as FTPs and zipped files.Data Management and Protection – Powered by Storgrid and NetAppBy moving a user’s filing data to the local desktop, primary data, albeit at one’s fingertips, is nevertheless subject to harddrive or device failure. Storgrid preempts this risk by automatically saving a copy on the cloud. The Cloud copy is theultimate central Data Store to protect and share. The Data synced to the “On-Premise” and/or Storgrid cloud is alwaysstored on an enterprise class storage platform (NetApp) optionally over multiple datacentres which adhere to the most upto date corporate data protection standards.File Versioning is supported by the Storgrid applicationFor any existing file, Storgrid offers a simple restore of multiple versions of a given file. This functionality is not timebased, so for example, 5 versions of a file created in the previous 5 minutes will be available for restore by the end user.NetApp SnapShot Integration is a key benefit for usersStorgrid has created a ‘SnapShot button’ in the browser interface which gives the individual user a view of historical hour-ly, daily and weekly SnapShots, and allows users to make simple selections of data for immediate restore to their remotefolder. Data is then immediately synchronized back to all local laptops and mobile devices. This means that even if theuser were to delete all data, it would be easily restorable due to integrated NetApp read-only SnapShots, which can neverbe deleted or altered by end users. SnapShot schedules are created by the corporate IT administrators.Disaster Recovery and Business ContinuityThis is integrated automatically in the Storgrid Solution. All data is replicated offsite using NetApp SnapMirror to alternatelocations. Should a data centre fail, or connectivity rupture, all users will be automatically redirected to the alternate loca-tion, where the Storgrid sensitive server infrastructure will continue to service synchronization and users requests.Quick and Easy Implementation - Very Limited Data MigrationAn organization can adopt this novel system of file-serving and collaboration either instantaneously or within a definedtime-frame, depending on the selected deployment model. The installation and implementation, using VMware is alwaysswift and straightforward.Storgrid will mainly be implemented in an existing environment using Active Directory (AD) for single authentication and usermanagement. Most organizations already use NetApp technology for large-scale file-serving. Storgrid can integrate the existinghome-shares through AD without physically migrating the data so that users are assured full and uninterrupted data access.Since migration doesn’t require dual storage capacity, an organization also reaps an advantage from a cost perspective.Simplify CollaborationOnce data is in Storgrid on the local device, any folder or file can be shared in real-time when connected. Newly created ormodified data is synced to the central server, and then pushed out to participating team members automatically, with no addi-tional action required from the main user. Users can share data easily using any device. Storgrid delivers data produced on anyoperating system. Collaboration is limited to an authorized user base, typically defined as members of specific Active Directories.
  4. 4. STORGRID R&D • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAFlexible Deployment ModelsStorgrid realises that to gain acceptance within enterprise class IT organizations, deployment models must respectofficial policies. The external server model sometimes provokes resistance. In response to such concerns Storgridhas a ‘Hybrid’ deployment strategy, which converts Storgrid into a flexible tool that can adhere to any corporatedeployment model. Flexibility is specifically offered on three points:Management – Storgrid can be managed by the customer or by Storgrid.Ownership – Storgrid infrastructure can be owned by the customer or by Storgrid.Location – Storgrid can be located at the customer site, or at Storgrid data centers.Customer SilosStorgrid deploys a separate Storgrid instance and VM(s) for each customer, therefore there is no cross- accessor single user database. Each Storgrid deployment is constructed as per the standard blueprint architecture andcustomized to meet each customer’s specific requirements.Level 1 Security• Hosted by Storgrid, but customer retains legal data ownership• IPSEC with SSL3 line encryption (256bit) for all datatransfers, upload/downloads.• Username/Password for remote access.• ISO Certified Data Center Locations.• Professional Certified in-house administrators.• Entire architecture including storage hosted by Storgridas a single provider.• Dedicated VM, Storgrid Instance and isolated storagevolume per customer.• Locked Data Center cages with high physical securityaccess levels.• Real-time virus scanning on central data store.• At-rest cloud side encryption (option requires dedicateddisk pool).Level 2 Security (includes Level 1)• Active Directory Integration (customer’s AD) on-premiseor VPN enabled authentication.Level 3 Security (includes Level 2)• Additional security customized to the customer’s existingenvironment.Level 4 On-Premise Security (independent option)• Closed LAN environment.• VPNEnterprise InfrastructureStorgrid – Secure, Compliant and ControlledAlthough safety is paramount for all, security demandsacross corporations are not equal. In recognition of varyingrequirements, Storgrid can be adopted at various pricepoints adjusted to each client’s security requirements.On-Access Virus ScanningEven though corporate and government organizations usually require virus scanning on all devices, Storgrid adds an ex-tra layer of security. Using On-Access virus scanning on the NetApp FAS, Storgrid ensures that no known virus will affecta particular user, or related users, since data is scanned for viruses in real-time. If a virus is found, the file will be isolatedand appropriate action will be taken including notifying the impacted user and/or administrative team of the incident.
  5. 5. STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAStorgrid Operational ModelsFile StorageThe simplest and most obvious use of Storgrid is simply a new way to use home directory data. Currently users typicallystore some files (not backed up in real-time) on their desktops, and others stored on file servers or NAS drives (not alwaysaccessible). Both ways create ease of use and data protection issues. As Storgrid is designed to be the default local homedirectory, it removes the risk of data loss and inaccessability. Storgrid provides a state of the art solution to long-standingfile storage issues regardless of whether the client chooses internal fileservers or NAS devices. With Storgrid’s offlineworking and SnapShot features, users have 24/7 data access with the peace of mind that it is always recoverable afterloss, theft or even total corruptions caused by application or system meltdowns.Multiple Device SyncTraditionally, users had only one computing device, and data access was always simple and straightforward, and usuallyonly available at the office. Today, there is an abundance of computing devices. It is not atypical for a user to have aWindows based laptop and a MAC device, and perhaps one or more other full size, portable or tablet computers at homeor even in the workplace. Storgrid can become a unifying factor, at least in data management, as the Storgrid client canbe installed on any number of devices using the same user account. This implies that as users upload files onto oneof their computing devices, Storgrid will automatically sync the data to the other devices in real-time when the user isconnected, and if not, the sync starts as soon as the user reconnects.Virtual and Physical DesktopWith modern VDI (virtual desktop) technology, a user might have a physical PC/Laptop, from which a virtual desktop isaccessed. A problem arises when a user needs to transfer data between the virtual desktop and the physical desktop.Even though the virtual and the physical desktops are running on the same hardware, there is no connection betweenthem that allows for simple file and data transfer/sync. In these cases, the Storgrid client can easily be installed on thevirtual as well as the physical OS of the user’s computer and any data activity will automatically be synced between thedevices, ensuring uninterrupted data access. Should a network outage render the virtual desktop unusable, the data upuntil that point will already be synced and available from the physical desktop. When the network recovers, updates madeto the data on the physical machine are automatically available again on the virtual machine.Collaborative TeamworkAnother obvious case is ‘team sharing’ - when an organization has project data which must be accessed by multiple teammembers, perhaps located at different geographical locations, connected only via the internet. In this case, every teammember will have access to a shared folder in Storgrid which will constantly update all data additions and modifications tothe Storgrid server and the various users’ desktops. The real-time aspect is critical here, in order to avoid working on ob-solete data. In the past users attached emails or used FTP or other inconvenient tools to transfer and share data in asyn-chronous ways. This often led to frustration, lost productivity and unnecessary complexity in project management. Storgrideffortlessly resolves these challenges and positions itself as the ideal tool for large and medium-sized global corporationswhere hundreds of projects are running with various internal and external users participating from all over the world.Functional Overview Local Client• PC/MAC Client creates a Storgrid Drive, which syncs all data to the Storgrid cloud.• Selected data can be kept on the local drive for best local performance.• Browser based access over the Internet, for data access from any OS PC/Server platform.• Mobile device accessibility for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.• User enabled data sharing and ‘team’ collaboration from all devices and interfaces.• Sending folders and files via email link.• Data always automatically synced between local client and cloud and vice versa.• SnapShot guarantees file recovery, if necessary.
  6. 6. STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAThe Storgrid Local ClientThe Storgrid Client is installed on any Windows or MACcomputer. Simply copy any desired folders and/or filesinto the Storgrid client drive or folder. This data willautomatically start ‘syncing’ data to the Storgrid platform.When complete, all data will be available on the user’slocal PC, and on the server. Every file that is created ormodified will be immediately updated to the sever, for afully protected copy, and accessible from any browseror mobile device. This client can be installed on multiplecomputers under the same user account.Once data is moved into the Storgrid disk, synchronizationstarts automatically. When data sync is complete, variousfolders can be ‘unchecked’ to remove data from the localcomputer, while the data is still stored in the cloud, and isaccessible via any web-browser and mobile client.If the user wishes to ‘resync’ data with the local computer,clicking on the ‘check box’ of the desired folder, will makethe data automatically reappear. The user has total controlover local and remote storage.Offline Sync
  7. 7. STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USASynchronization OverviewAll folders or files placed in the Storgrid Disk will automatical-ly be synchronized to the Storgrid server, unless previouslyde-selected in the ‘offline folders’ menu. ‘Shared’ data fromcollaborating members will also be synchronized.‘Changes Pending‘ indicates how many files are beingsynchronized in real-time to the server. Typically, perfor-mance is based on the user’s Internet bandwidth.Files and folders are first selected in the Storgrid folder andthen “sent” via a hyperlink to designated recipients’ emailaccounts. To limit accessability, a user selects a time periodfor which the data is available and can even request areceipt notification. The recipients click the hyperlink toview or download the data. There is no size limit for filetransfers, and no files are actually transmitted via email.Data is simply served from the Storgrid cloud.Sending Folders and Files
  8. 8. STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USACollaborative Team SharingBy (right) clicking on any folder or file in Storgrid, a dropdown menu is presented giving the user the option to‘share’. This will allow the local user to select collaboratingteam members. These team members will see a local folderappear under the lead user’s name in their ‘shared’ folder atthe top level of the Storgrid Disk.Versions of all files are kept in Storgrid. By (right) clickingon any file, a drop down menu for ‘previous versions‘ ispresented with the option to ‘restore’ or ‘delete’. This isuseful in case older versions need to be restored.File Versioning
  9. 9. STORGRID RD • SCIENCE PARK 5630 • 5692 EN SON • NLSTORGRID EMEA • JADELAAN 99 • 2132 XZ HOOFDDORP • NLSTORGRID NORTH AMERICA • 505 North Brand Boulevard • 16th Floor • Glendale, CA 91203 • USAWeb Browser AccessUsing the FireFox or Chrome browser, access the followingURL: https://connect.storgrid.com login with user credentials.Files can be ‘dragdropped’ into the browser, or files can beimported by selecting the ‘Browse’ button. By (right) clickingon files or folders, various ‘sharing’, ‘sending’ and ‘previousversion’ options are offered. There’s a status bar at thebottom of the browser to indicate upload progress. Thisbrowser access is available from any internet connectedWindows, MAC or Linux OS, from anywhere in the world.For technical questions, support or comments pleaseemail: info@storgrid.com

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