updated 01:35 pm EST, Tue February 17, 2009
Egnyte intros Local Cloud
Egnyte claims it has solved one of the biggest problems with cloud-based computing- relying on a third party to store data. The on-demand file server company says its new Local Cloud service allows users to store their data on-premises using an inexpensive disk drive, while server functions are performed off-site.
On-demand file server providers allow businesses to outsource server and storage needs, usually for a monthly fee, but some companies worry that internet outages and latency issues could delay or restrict access to critical data. Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain tells MacNN that Local Cloud is a hybrid system providing the security of an in-house server at about one-eigth the cost.
Local Cloud works with a wide variety of off-the-shelf drives, from simple USB models to larger RAID systems. Data and applications can be stored on a drive, which is automatically synced with Egnyte's servers. In the event of an ISP outage, users can still access local applications and documents via the local drive.
On-site storage has another advantage, the company says. Cloud-based systems can be slow to download giant Photoshop files, CAD drawings or other large items. Local Cloud is claimed to reduce latency by allowing users to access large files directly from their own drive.
Timing is everything in business, and Egnyte believes that its products may benefit from the recession. Egnyte sees opportunity in the downturn, as companies look to cut costs by outsourcing to cloud-based systems. The Local Cloud option will add about $10-15 to a company's monthly subscription fees, depending upon the number of users.