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Several years ago, we hated OneDrive and had massive problems with efforts to implement it with our clients. We’re happy to say now that it works, and works well.  Microsoft has made great strides in improving the product and it is now a valid replacement for third party solutions like Box, Dropbox, FileCloud, and for many small businesses, even an on-premise file server. 

Recently, we’ve been working with clients to remove other collaboration solutions and get them onto SharePoint/OneDrive, and they’ve been happy with the results.  SharePoint allows you to setup shares for teams of people and integrates well with the windows 10 file explorer and OneDrive.  It even allows multi-user editing of documents at the same time with others, much like google docs has for years.  You can tell it to backup your personal documents folder and make it available on all your devices.  

“Syncing” of all the data is not required – you can have access to far more data that is available on your local hard drive – but you can tell it to keep certain files available locally if you want, for offline use and editing.   Read more...

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SpireTech is continually seeking innovative solutions to keep our clients up to date with current options. One of the products we’ve been offering is called FileCloud, which can serve as a file server replacement (when only cloud is needed), or as a hybrid that combines both cloud and on-premises file access that is compatible with Windows servers, workstations, and also Macs. It enables employees to work anywhere, anytime, without the need for VPN software that can sometimes be slow and/or clunky.

Why Might You Choose to Use FileCloud?

FileCloud brings Enterprise level features and capabilities without complex or costly software licensing requirements. The FileCloud price is competitive with other major file sharing platforms, and at the same time allows you to meet data security or compliance requirements in a variety of ways.

FileCloud Sync

The FileCloud Sync app provides the same features you see in some of the major file sharing applications that you may have used in the past, without the worry of not knowing where your data is actually stored and who it is that can access it.  Read more...

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A few months ago, we reviewed the open-source package OwnCloud.  Since then, we’ve been through a few version updates and bugfixes, and are unhappy to report that Owncloud is not ready for prime-time yet.  Our main beef at this point involves file duplication, which is a known bug which has yet to be fixed.  The good news is that several other issues have been addressed by the development team, so perhaps the problem will be rectified soon. 

So, we decided to review the commercial package Egnyte, which is a “Hybrid Cloud” (we know, this is an overused/abused term) software.  It is available in both on-premise and cloud-hosted versions.  It allows dropbox-like functionality, with enterprise-class security and administrative features, and the usual array of mobile and desktop sync clients.  The free iPad client has a nice user interface and viewers for common file types.

It is configurable for both bandwidth use and hours of day, so that you can schedule synchronization to occur when it is best for you, eg.  Read more...

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OwnCloud is an open-source software package that allows companies to setup a dropbox-like environment for employee use.   It comes with clients for windows, mac, linux, android, and very soon, iOS – as well as a server component that works on either Linux or Windows.  It sounded extremely useful to our clients, so we immediately began our evaluation process.  We began by installing OwnCloud on a Linux VPS (Virtual Private Server) in our datacenter, and evaluating the windows and android clients.

The file sharing is the best feature.  OwnCloud allows you to replicate folders from your local hard drive (or perhaps a server drive) to cloud storage hosted at SpireTech (or another hosting provider).  You can share individual files or folders with coworkers, and create groups with permissions similar to what you would do in a conventional file server type environment.   It supports LDAP, so we think we’ll be able to integrate it with local user databases on linux or windows-based file servers, although we haven’t tested that out yet.   Read more...