Archive for the ‘Admin Tools and Tips’ Category

Best Alternatives to Dropbox in 2021

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization. 

Dropbox is one such top contender and one of the biggest solutions on the market. However, there are certain issues with Box that make it a less-than-desirable option for certain enterprises. As such, we’ve put together a list of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, as well as their pros and cons, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range. 

Dropbox

Dropbox -

  Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month  | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month

✓  Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB

✓  Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues

✓  Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively

With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why. 

Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.

And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.

Pros

  • Offers file-versioning: Once a file has changed, Drive keeps an older version of the file as backup in case of malicious activity or negligence
  • Fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
  • Plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
  • Provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space

Cons

  • Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives, which usually include not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
  •  You cannot edit files without downloading them
  • The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link
  • Mobile versions face challenges when dealing with big files, rendering the solution less flexible

FileCloud

 

  Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote

✓  Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user  (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise)  || FileCloud Server: Unlimited

✓  Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.

✓  Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.

Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.

Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.

Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.

Pros

  • Beautiful, simple, intuitive and responsive user interface that can be accessed via local client or browser.
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts and quick actions to cut down on time
  • No file limit — massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world at enterprise level speeds.
  • Ultimate data governance compliance and security, with DLP functionalities, an extensive admin panel, audit trails, encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaborative tools and integration with tons of common office software
  • Enterprise-level content management capabilities: file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
  • Unlimited free external accounts for clients, vendors, etc.

Cons

  • Setup process can be intimidating without proper training, although there is documentation to mitigate that.
  • Unable to use a protocol different than HTTPs for downloads; this can be problematic for companies that restrict it.
  • The solution does not offer a free plan, although there is a two week free trial and a 10$/year Community Edition Plan.

Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month

✓  Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited

✓  Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.

✓  Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation

While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.

Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.

Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of its finer points, for ease of comparison:

Pros:

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box “Notes” functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom Branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are some huge deal-breakers that come with the solution.

Cons:

  • No indication when a file is open by another user, leading to over-saving of each other’s work during collaboration.
  • Box is relatively pricey compared to its competitors
  • Not much documentation and an unfriendly user interface make it hard to get into
  • Box Sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  • Transfers can be slow due to heavy local encryption

Now that we’ve gone over Box in-depth, let’s go over some alternatives, in case those aforementioned issues are in fact a deal-breaker for your company.


 Google Drive

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month

✓  Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users

✓  Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.

✓  Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively. 

The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Sites, as well as enterprise-grade access controls, e-discovery for emails, chats and files.

However, reportedly, users have encountered frequent connectivity and syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers

Pros

  • Lovely mobile application and collaborative tools for anywhere, anytime access
  • Has a great free option, making it useful for any small businesses that do not have a lot of funds
  • Readily compatible with many apps.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it as an end-user.
  • Gmail integration

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  • Interface can quickly become cluttered when large amounts of files are uploaded and edited
  • No virtual drives or mounting to computers as hard drives
  • Security issues galore in the past; they’ve been fixed today, but it’s still certainly concerning.

OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month

✓  Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month

✓  Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication

✓  Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.

Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.

Pros

  • Great integration with other Microsoft Office Tools
  • Device synchronization ensures access of files from any device.
  • Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously

Cons

  • Data privacy issues and lack of multi-factor / other authentication options
  • Has less base storage and quickly gets pricey past the 1TB storage option
  • User interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Syncing of shared files can produce issues and even get slow

Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month

✓  Storage: Unlimited storage space

✓  Security: Standard encryption and SSL/TLS. Recovery sites in both the US and EU.

✓  Features: Collaborative and productivity-enhancing tools, custom electronic signature tool. File-versioning features.

Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.

Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.

Pros

  • Great plugin support. For instance: the Outlook plug-in makes it easy to share files securely with customers via email.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing process
  • Easily share large files with clients, vendors and external personnel
  • Allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface is less intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  • Sorting out your preferences is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from lack of integration with Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Confusing and varied pricing with many features locked behind paywalls

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all EFSS option, but we hope that this helps your enterprise, company or organization make a better and informed decision about which EFSS solution is best for you. If you have any questions about our FileCloud solution, we are always happy to answer them — just pop over to our main site and strike up a conversation with any of our live chat specialists!

Best Alternatives to Box in 2021

In our age of information, most modern enterprises have started to move towards the digitization of data. Never have there been quite so many enterprise file-synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solutions available on the market — and while a wide range of choice is always good, it also makes it much more difficult to choose the perfect solution for your organization. 

Box is one such top contender and one of the biggest solutions on the market. However, there are certain issues with Box that make it a less-than-desirable option for certain enterprises. As such, we’ve put together a list of great EFSS solutions for your consideration, as well as their pros and cons, so that you can pick the one that offers all the features your enterprise might need, while remaining affordable and within your price range. 

Box

Cloud Storage Services for Business Use - armix.one

  Pricing: Box Starter: $5/user/month | Box Business: $20/user/month | Box Business Plus: $33/user/month | Box Enterprise: $47/user/month

✓  Storage: Box Starter: 100GB | Box Business: Unlimited | Box Business Plus: Unlimited | Box Enterprise: Unlimited

✓  Security: A regulatory-compliant Zero-Knowledge Provider. Tools to manage user perms and customer-managed encryption keys.

✓  Features: Secure collaborative and project-management tools, as well as rule sets for work-flow automation

While perhaps less of a household name than Dropbox, Box, founded in 2005 and based in California, is also an incredibly strong contender on the EFSS market. With tools that integrate with other services, like Google Docs, Box also goes above and beyond in offering custom branding capabilities and letting users create a professional appearance for their organization.

Plus, Box’s security is nothing to scoff about, being a uniquely zero-knowledge provider and offering tons of options for encryption and user management.

Unfortunately, with their heavy local encryption, Box transfers tend to get slow — something that could impede or even cripple the seamless remote workflows that have become the norm today. Box also does not offer any options for on-premise or self-hosting, nor local storage, and does not perform end-point backups. Plus, while it certainly provides tons of enterprise-level features, it’s also significantly pricier than almost any solution on the market.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of its finer points, for ease of comparison:

Pros:

  • Mobile access
  • Integration with other applications  such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
  • Ability to add/edit multiple users
  • Editing documents
  • Workflow automation
  • Box “Notes” functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
  • Custom Branding
  • Global compliance standards, such as ITAR, HIPAA, PCI DSS 3.1, FINRA/SEC 17a-4, FISMA, ISO27001:2013, and ISO 27018

Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are some huge deal-breakers that come with the solution.

Cons:

  • No indication when a file is open by another user, leading to over-saving of each other’s work during collaboration.
  • Box is relatively pricey compared to its competitors
  • Not much documentation and an unfriendly user interface make it hard to get into
  • Box Sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
  • Transfers can be slow due to heavy local encryption

Now that we’ve gone over Box in-depth, let’s go over some alternatives, in case those aforementioned issues are in fact a deal-breaker for your company.


FileCloud

 

  Pricing: FileCloud Online: $10/user/month (Standard), $15/user/month (Enterprise) || FileCloud Server: $4.20/user/month | FileCloud Server: Contact for Quote

✓  Storage: FileCloud Online: 1TB out-of-the-box, +100GB/user  (Standard), +200GB/user (Enterprise)  || FileCloud Server: Unlimited

✓  Security: FileCloud is compliant with all the most stringent data governance policies, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Encryption at rest and in transit, 256-bit AES encryption, granular file-sharing, password-protected, public and private shares.

✓  Features: From deployment models to unlimited client accounts, branding capabilities and more, FileCloud is filled with incredible enterprise-level features.

Naturally, we’re proud of our own product and firmly believe FileCloud to be one of the most powerful and affordable EFSS solutions on the market. FileCloud offers on-premise, public and a unique hybrid cloud deployment model. This deployment flexibility separates FileCloud from its competitors, and ensures that your team can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud storage systems — read more on our hybrid infrastructure here.

Our pricing is also one of the most affordable on the market, while offering larger storage plans, better enterprise-level features, and unlimited FREE external client accounts — all great for your wallet and your ROI. Feature-wise, we consider seamless, remote access to your data as the bare minimum that a good file-solution should offer. Collaborative and content management tools, a comprehensive admin panel, plus infinite customization options are all features that ensure not just your team, but also your clients and sysadmins get in on the enhanced EFSS experience.

Last but certainly not least, FileCloud is compliant with most data security governance policies, meaning that you’ll never see your organization’s good name tainted in headlines labelled with “Security Breach” or “Data Leaks”. Plus. it’ll save you tons on the fines and fees that’ll rack up if you go with a less-secure option.

Pros

  • Beautiful, simple, intuitive and responsive user interface that can be accessed via local client or browser.
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts and quick actions to cut down on time
  • No file limit — massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world at enterprise level speeds.
  • Ultimate data governance compliance and security, with DLP functionalities, an extensive admin panel, audit trails, encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaborative tools and integration with tons of common office software
  • Enterprise-level content management capabilities: file-versioning, metadata classification, user policy management and light workflows for the easier management and organization of your team’s hard work.
  • Unlimited free external accounts for clients, vendors, etc.

Cons

  • Setup process can be intimidating without proper training, although there is documentation to mitigate that.
  • Unable to use a protocol different than HTTPs for downloads; this can be problematic for companies that restrict it.
  • The solution does not offer a free plan, although there is a two week free trial and a 10$/year Community Edition Plan.

Dropbox

Dropbox -

  Pricing: Basic Plan: Free | Plus Plan: $11.99/user/month  | Professional Plan: $19.99/user/month

✓  Storage: Basic Plan: 2GB | Plus Plan: 2TB | Professional Plan: 3TB

✓  Security: AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit; however, known past security issues

✓  Features: Unique “Paper” and “Showcase” features: basic “Notes” and “Portfolio” app respectively

Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention Dropbox in a file-sharing solution comparison post. With its clean, intuitive UI and easy-to-use features, Dropbox has become a well-known, household name in terms of file storage. Dropbox also offers password-protected links, integration for Office 365 and Google Drive, and strong administrative tools. However, while it certainly has its pros, we feel strongly that there are better enterprise-level file-sharing solutions — and here’s why. 

Due to the system’s popularity, it’s always been a popular target for hackers. Even now, it doesn’t offer local encryption. Their customer service certainly leaves more to be desired, as seen from their lack of 24/7 customer support.

And above all that, despite having fewer features than many enterprise-level solutions out there, Dropbox is far from the most affordable on the market, especially with their 5-user minimum. Plus, with their measly 2GB- free storage and paywalls for unlimited storage, it certainly feels like the solution is out to milk their users dry.

Pros

Google Drive

How to Find Anything in Google Apps - The Ultimate Guide to G ...

  Pricing: Free Plan: Free | Basic Plan: $6/user/month | Business Plan: $12/user/month | Enterprise Plan: $25/user/month

✓  Storage: Free Plan: 15GB | Basic Plan: 30GB | Business & Enterprise Plan: Unlimited, or 1TB / user if less than 5 users

✓  Security: Encryption in transit; no option to encrypt individual documents. Multi-factor authentication.

✓  Features: Google Drive comes with powerful, recognized collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Having quickly risen in popularity over the past couple of years, Google Drive is now a powerful file-sharing solution on the market. A file storage and synchronization program created by Google, it’s best known for its collaborative capabilities via Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which offer real-time collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets and slides respectively. 

The solution’s enterprise plan, GSuite, comes with a similarly clean and intuitive UI, as well as integration with popular enterprise softwares such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and more. Apart from this, Google Drive for Business offers unlimited cloud storage, access from any device, offline file access, includes apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Sites, as well as enterprise-grade access controls, e-discovery for emails, chats and files.

However, reportedly, users have encountered frequent connectivity and syncing issues while using Google Drive. Plus, while Google Drive has fairly beefy data security with encryption in-transit and at-rest, human error on part of the developers has led to security issues, such as when Google Photos started sending private videos to strangers

Pros

  • Lovely mobile application and collaborative tools for anywhere, anytime access
  • Has a great free option, making it useful any small businesses that do not have a lot of funds
  • Readily compatible with many apps.
  • Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need the knowledge to use it as an end-user.
  • Gmail integration (of course)

Cons

  • The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
  • Interface becomes quickly cluttered when large amounts of files are uploaded and edited
  • No virtual drives or mounting to computers as hard drives
  • Security issues galore in the past; they’ve been fixed today, but it’s still certainly concerning.

OneDrive

Microsoft updating OneDrive with better web UI and sharing options ...

  Pricing: Business Plan 1: $5/user/month | Business Plan 1: $10/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/user/month | Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month

✓  Storage: All Plans: 1TB – extra storage space can be purchased separately for up to 1TB/$9.99/month

✓  Security: Standard encryption, file-locking, paywalls for SSO/SAML Authentication

✓  Features: Advanced sharing, mobility and security. Heavy integration with Office software.

Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. Naturally, this Microsoft-based solution heavily integrates with Office 365 programs that most teams use, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as Outlook, which is a huge plus. Certain plans even grant access to said software. It also provides encryption at rest and in transit. Overall, it has robust features that make it a strong solution, as expected from Microsoft.

Unfortunately, data privacy issues have surfaced time and time again with large corporations, and OneDrive is no exception. When using this solution, Microsoft can scan your files for “objectionable content”, stating that file security cannot be guaranteed for said content.

Pros

  • Great integration with other Microsoft Office Tools
  • Device synchronization ensures access of files from any device.
  • Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
  • Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously

Cons

  • Data privacy issues and lack of multi-factor / other authentication options
  • Has less base storage and quickly gets pricey past the 1TB storage option
  • User interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
  • Syncing of shared files can produce issues and even get slow

Citrix ShareFile

Localized ShareFile WebUI available | Citrix Blogs

  Pricing: Standard Plan: $55/5 users/month | Advanced Plan: $85/5 users/month | Premium Plan: $135/5 users/month | Virtual Data Room Plan: $375/5 users/month

✓  Storage: Unlimited storage space

✓  Security: Standard encryption and SSL/TLS. Recovery sites in both the US and EU.

✓  Features: Collaborative and productivity-enhancing tools, custom electronic signature tool. File-versioning features.

Sharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication. This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud.

Unfortunately, despite their generous offer of unlimited storage, they do have a file size limit. The solution itself doesn’t support Linux. Plus, with a standard plan starting at $55, paywalls for features and their enforced 5-user pricing plan, it’s safe to say that Sharefile isn’t the most affordable solution for smaller organizations. Reportedly, Sharefile’s licensing plans are also misleading.

Pros

  • Great plugin support. For instance: the Outlook plug-in makes it easy to share files securely with customers via email.
  • Flexible folder creation and sharing process
  • Easily share large files with clients, vendors and external personnel
  • Allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.

Cons

  •  Interface is less intuitive compared to other solutions.
  • Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
  • Sorting out your preferences is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from lack of integration with Google and/or Microsoft products.
  • Confusing and varied pricing with many features locked behind paywalls

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all EFSS option, but we hope that this helps your enterprise, company or organization make a better and informed decision about which EFSS solution is best for you. If you have any questions about our FileCloud solution, we are always happy to answer them — just pop over to our main site and strike up a conversation with any of our live chat specialists!

FileCloud Aurora – All About DRM Capabilities

Introduction

In November 2020, FileCloud released update 20.2 – a complete rehaul of our Sync, Mobile and browser UI and functionalities. We at FileCloud have been working on this for a very, very long time, and so we’re incredibly proud to present to you: FileCloud Aurora.

Today, we’re going to be covering one of the most important security functions that Aurora introduces: DRM Capabilities.

For a comprehensive overview of all of FileCloud Aurora’s new features, please visit our previous blog post Introducing FileCloud Aurora!.

Secure Document Viewer

If the new UI was the biggest change in terms of appearance, FileCloud Aurora’s new Digital Rights Management (DRM) capabilities are unquestionably the most significant change in terms of functionality. 

Your data security has always been FileCloud’s number one priority. We’ve got all the files you’re storing with us safe and sound, but what happens when you need to send out or distribute important documents, such as external contracts, reports, or training materials? Our new DRM solution ensures that nothing you send out gets used in a malicious or abusive manner, even after it’s left your system and entered others. 

Our secure document viewer helps you protect confidential files from unsolicited viewing with FileCloud’s restricted viewing mode. Show only selected parts of the document and hide the rest of it — or choose to reveal sections only as the user scrolls, minimizing the risk of over-the-shoulder compromisation.

For more details, read more about the FileCloud DRM solution here

Screenshot Protection

Utilize the Screenshot Protection feature to prevent recipients from taking screenshots of secure information and documents.

This is an option that can be selected when you create your DRM Document or Document Container, and prevents any recipients from taking screenshots of the document. Not only that, the recipient won’t be able to share screens or screen-record to share the documents either, nullifying any chance of your documents being distributed without your permission or consent.

Document Container 

Easily and securely export multiple documents in an encrypted document container (AES 256 encryption), and share it via FileCloud or third party emails. 

DRM Protection

Support for Multiple File Formats

Protect your Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), PDF, and image (jpeg, png) files, and include multiple types of files in a single encrypted document container! FileCloud’s DRM solution doesn’t discriminate, ensuring all your most regularly used file, folder and document formats can all be easily handled by our containers and viewer. 

Anytime Restriction of Access to Your Files

Remove the risk of accidentally transmitting confidential files and enforce your policy controls even after distribution. You can revoke file access or change view options (screenshot protection, secure view and max account) anytime, via the FileCloud portal.

Thanks for Reading!

We at FileCloud thank you for being a part of our journey to creating the most revolutionary user interface and experience on the market. We’d love to know what you think about these changes. For full information about all these changes, release notes can be found on our website here

We hope that you’re as excited about these new changes as we are. Stay safe, and happy sharing, everyone!

FileCloud Aurora – All About Single-Click Actions

Introduction

In November 2020, FileCloud released update 20.2 – a complete rehaul of our Sync, Mobile and browser UI and functionalities. We at FileCloud have been working on this for a very, very long time, and so we’re incredibly proud to present to you: FileCloud Aurora.

Today, we’re going to be covering one of the most important functionality additions to our new UI: Single-Click Actions.

For a comprehensive overview of all of FileCloud Aurora’s new features, please visit our previous blog post Introducing FileCloud Aurora! Brand New UI and DRM Capabilities!.

What Are Single-Click Actions?

We’re all about helping you and your team save time. FileCloud Aurora brings workflow efficiency to the next level with tons of quality of life updates that help you work fast. One of these is the introduction of single-click, or quick, actions.

What does this mean? Well, you might have noticed that when you hover over any file or folder in your library, a toolbar appears on the item. It might look something like this:

These icons represent all of the most commonly-used actions that you could ever need to take with your files. Hover over each icon to see what they do, or read on for a more in-depth explanation for each one. 

List of  Single-Click Actions

Preview

The first icon, which looks like an eye, is the Preview action. It lets you preview your files, folders and documents. As FileCloud Aurora integrates fully with Microsoft Office and many other file extensions, you’ll be able to open and preview all of your files without actually needing to download them.

Download

The second icon, which looks like a downwards-pointing arrow is the Download action. It lets you download whichever file, folder or document you’re hovering over in one simple, quick click.

Edit

The third icon, which looks like a pencil, is the Edit action. Depending on your file type, you may be able to edit it directly in the browser or open the file in Office Online. Some files, of course, cannot be edited, such as video or audio files.

You may have noticed that at the end of each hover description, there are different keys in square brackets – for instance, [Enter] for the Preview icon. These are keyboard shortcuts, and are covered in our All About Keyboard Shortcuts blog post!

Share

The fourth icon, which looks like three dots connected to each other, is the Share action. Clicking it will open the following window:

You’ll be able to copy the share link of your file, change sharing options, and remove the share from there on.

Direct Link

Next up is Direct Link, which looks like a hyperlink icon. This opens up the following window:

-Where you can copy a direct link to your file, maximizing efficiency when sharing files with your team.

Copy

This is the Copy quick-action, which looks like two squares overlapped over each other. Clicking this will open a window where you can select where to make a copy of the file.

Move

This is the Move quick-action, which looks like an arrow. Clicking this will open a window where you can select where to move the file to.

Delete

Next up is the Delete quick action, which looks like a trash can. This is pretty self-explanatory — clicking this will delete the file in question.

Lock

Last but certainly not least is the Lock option, which looks like a, well, lock icon. This opens up the following window:

That lets you lock a file to indicate that you’re working on it. That way, your team won’t be able to modify the file and override your changes, or vice versa.

Conclusion

Gone are the days of tedious right-clicking and dragging stuff around. Need to copy or download something? Just hit the corresponding button! Need to move something to another folder? Before you start dragging it all over your screen, just hit the single-click action for it and a window will open for you to choose your destination folder. 

It might seem like a subtle change, but when your team is shaving seconds off every file action, it all adds up to save you and your team tons of time. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope that you’re enjoying our FileCloud 20.2 Update: FileCloud Aurora! 

System Admin Tools For 2020

System Admin

 

The world as we see it today is a connected one, and it’s heavily dependent on systems for all everyday functions. The huge dependency on computer systems also brought about the need to ensure that these systems keep running smoothly, and efficiently. Maintenance of these systems for ensuring their health, performance, optimization and better resource utilization, etc. lies on the shoulders of system administrators. Since this would typically mean a 24*7 job wherein multiple parameters of the system would have to be monitored, system administrators turn to tools that aid them in this. That brought about the emergence of system admin tools.

Since the system admin job involves a lot of activities, there are many tools that help them with this. Typically, these tools are used for monitoring, backups, resource allocation, user and account management, ensuring security, software installation and updates, performance tuning, and so on. At times, the system admin role may also overlap with that of a DevOps role in certain organizations. Hence, the various system admin tools available, that span across all the categories mentioned above. Here is a list of a few tools that are part of a system admin’s kitty.

Pulseway

A remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool that helps automate most of the repetitive tasks, Pulseway enables system admins to manage all their IT systems from anywhere. The interface is simple to use and also integrates many business needs into it like Cloud backup, business management, monitoring, endpoint protection, and more. Incredibly, it comes with a mobile app that can be used from any time, anywhere, making the job easier for system admins.

Pulseway allows system admins to do more work, by automating tasks like deployment, backups, reports, patching, and so on. With more than 6000 happy customers across 80 countries, Pulseway is best suited for businesses that want to do more for their customers, using efficient tools.

JumpCloud

JumpCloud securely manages and connects your users to their systems, applications, files, and networks. These systems could be Windows, Mac, or Linux, and with a diverse array of supported protocols, any app or resource can be integrated and centrally controlled, irrespective of its location. It is a cloud-based service that makes it easier to adapt and enables users to become more productive, by better leveraging cloud resources. It helps with user, system, and server and access management through a single sign-on with multi-factor authentication. Its tagline happens to be ‘Directory-as-a-Service® is Active Directory® and LDAP reimagined’.

Wireshark

Almost on every system admin’s list for quite some time, Wireshark is a multi-platform network protocol analyzer that provides a microscopic level of inputs. It allows live capture as well as offline analysis, and the captured data can be browsed via a GUI, or via the TTY-mode TShark utility. It can capture many file formats and provides decryption support for many protocols as well. What makes it more interesting is that it is open-source (released under the terms of the GNU General Public License), with a huge community and a lot of documentation and training support for its users.

Ansible

It is a simple, yet powerful automation solution, that helps many organizations to improve productivity by reducing complexity, reducing errors, and improved collaboration. Ansible increases accountability and compliance at the organization level and frees up more resources for innovation. System admins are free of repetitive tasks by automating them and can focus more on improving the health, efficiency, and performance of the systems.

It is also easy to learn and use, and helps with tasks like app deployment, configuration management, workflow orchestration, and more. It is also open-source and reliable and secure, with more than a quarter-million downloads per month. It comes with powerful modules like the visual dashboard, audit trails, centralized automation execution, role-based access control, and a lot more features that can improve speed, scale, and stability across the enterprise IT environment.

Puppet

The solutions from Puppet help automate, how you continuously deliver, make compliant, remediate, and manage your multi-cloud environment. It is open-source and its IT management solution makes managing a global infrastructure safe and simple. It provides a single platform for all your cloud automation use cases, with a single audit trail. Puppet solutions power automation of some of the biggest brands in the world, and have a great community, knowledge-base, and support documentation.

DataDog

A modern monitoring tool that helps a system admins see it all in one place – servers, clouds, metrics, apps, and the team. It seamlessly integrates SaaS and Cloud providers, automation tools, monitoring and instrumentation, source control and bug tracking, databases and server components, and more. It provides full visibility to monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize application performances. It also helps you to proactively monitor user experience, analyze and explore data logs, and build interactive, real-time dashboards for a better and easier understanding of the environment.

KeePass

An open-source, password manager tool meant primarily for Windows, though it supports Mac and Linux through Mono. It helps manage multiple passwords in one database, locked securely using a master key. It supports the highest level of encryptions like AES and Twofish and is easily portable and the password list can be exported to or imported from multiple file formats. It provides multi-language support and can even generate random passwords, besides allowing for search and sort operations.

Notepad++

A free and powerful, source code editor, Notepad++, meant specifically for windows OS. It can edit multiple files using the tab feature, with syntax highlighting for over 70 languages. And it has a fast response time, despite working with large files, making it extremely useful for system admins working on large logs to look for something. It also supports macros and bookmarks, as well as advanced search and replaces. Drag and drop, zoom in and out, auto-completion, brace and indent guideline highlighting, and line operations are some of the other features that make it a powerful source code editor.

Clonezilla

A partition and disk imaging tool that also allows for backup, recovery, and deployment, Clonezilla, supports multiple file systems. An image can be encrypted (AES-256) and also restored to multiple devices. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 2 and has versions for a single server as well as large server deployments. It is fast and allows OS installation as well as taking snapshots and then deploying the same over a network.

FileCloud

FileCloud provides features for easy business file sharing with complete control over business data. Whether you are sharing sensitive documents, large files, legal or medical data, FileCloud gives you a secure document sharing solution. FileCloud offers efficient and reliable data backup. FileCloud provides you with appropriate tools to protect data across all devices. Get auto Desktop and mobile backup, Unlimited File Versioning, and deleted files recovery. Secure backup and restore across all platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and devices (desktops, laptops, and smartphones) Granular permissions should allow you to give each user the access rights you want them to have — Write, read-only, restricted access, etc FileCloud also gives you the option to password protect your files, set an expiry date and has File change notification options.

FileCloud 20.1 Updates & End-Point Backup

FileCloud 20.1 Updates, End-point Backup and More!

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FileCloud 20.1 Update

With Microsoft Office tag support, expanded notification configuration and much more, our 20.1 update is brimming with quality of life features! Read on for a little more detail about what we’ve done to take your file-sharing experience to the next level.

  • More Ways to Control and Configure Notifications – Notifications — can’t live without them, but they sure can get annoying when they’re pinging you about stuff that doesn’t matter. So we made configuring everything about them including the type of notifications per user and per folder possible. Gone are the days of email clutter!
  • Built-In Microsoft Office Tag Support – FileCloud now allows users to import Office tags into FileCloud as well as to seamlessly search by them. With most organizations using Microsoft Office for daily professional and personal needs, FileCloud has always heavily prioritized Office integrations — and this update is no exception. Users can now even set up Content Classification Engine (CCE) and Data Leak Protection (DLP) rules based on Office tags. Check out our support documentation here.
  • Automatic Team Folder Permission Updates – New team folder permission updates are now applied during folder-syncing operations, ensuring that no one is able to access secure data at any point of the syncing process. Read up on how to enable this here.
  • SMS Integration & Gateways – FileCloud now seamlessly integrates with custom SMS gateways to enhance your security and convenience. Receive verifications and authentication from your custom SMS gateways to your personal mobile devices!
  • Integration with Multiple Identity Providers (IdP – )FileCloud now integrates with multiple identity providers to support large enterprises who authenticate and authorize multiple IdPs.
    Learn More →

AirSend

The Importance Of FileCloud Endpoint Backup

Seeing a system error and wondering if your data got lost or compromised, is terrifying. Realizing that your data is gone, irretrievable and you just lost hours and hours of tedious work is devastating. We know the feeling all too well and that is why we made sure you will never go through that rollercoaster of emotions!

You can configure endpoint backup settings for all users or specific users, and view all users’ backed up files from your FileCloud account. You can enable this from the server-side to allow “end” users to “backup” all their important files from different devices using FileCloud Sync (Windows/macOS) and mobile applications. All files automatically go to “My Files/Backups,” creating a new folder for each device.

Learn More →

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FileCloud Tips: Microsoft Office365 Preview

FileCloud now supports Microsoft Office365 Preview and you can easily enable this from your FileCloud Admin Portal settings to allow users to see MS Office documents the way they are intended to be seen.
ServerSync

Learn More →


AirSend

AirSend’s Email to Channel

Send messages via email directly to Airsend channels without having to switch windows! You can now choose to message your client directly via our desktop apps, reply from your email with your unique channel email address, or respond via email to a channel notification. Whether you’re using Airsend to communicate with your team, clients or acquaintances, your convenience is always our priority.

 

The System Admin Guide to Continuous Integration

 

Continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment (CI/CD) are terms that have existed in the developer community for decades. Some organizations have involved their operations counterparts, but many haven’t. For most organizations, it’s imperative for their operations teams to become just as familiar with CI/CD tools and practices.

Continuous Integration is a coding practice that essentially enables the development team to make and implement small changes in the code and version control methods quite frequently.

CI allows developers to continuously update changes to a single repository, from where automated builds and tests are made.

Usually, traditional system admins roles do not involve developing continuous integration pipelines, but if you are looking to dive into DevOps, getting hands-on experience with continuous integration tools is a must. Because most modern applications require developing code in different platforms and tools, the team needs a mechanism to integrate and validate its changes. The technical goal of CI is to establish a consistent and automated way to build, package, and test applications. With consistency in the integration process in place, teams are more likely to commit code changes more frequently, which leads to better collaboration and software quality.

Why use Continuous Integration?

  • Reduction of integration links: All projects employ more than one person to develop and it greatly increases the risk of errors during integration. Depending on the complexity of the code, it is possible that a lot of changes would have to be made. Here comes CI to the rescue and helps alleviate the issues as it allows for regular integration.
  • Higher quality of code: As the risks drastically reduce, a lot of the time and manpower can be diverted to creating a much more functionality-oriented code.
  • Code in version control works: Committing something that breaks the build immediately triggers a notification thereby preventing anyone from pulling a broken code.
  • Ease of testers: Retaining the different versions and builds of the code eases the work of QAs to understand, locate, and trace bugs efficiently.
  • Decreased deployment time: Automating the process of deployment eases and frees up a lot of time and manpower.
  • Increased confidence: The absence of a possible failure or breakdown gives developers peace of mind and thereby helps in delivering greater productivity and higher quality products.

As you learn more about these tools and start bringing these practices into your company or your operations division, you’ll quickly understand the need and importance of CI tools. You will increase your own productivity as well as that of others. With the growing number of available CI / CD tools on the market, teams may find it difficult to make decisions to select the right tools. Let’s get into the tools a bit more. We’ll briefly cover some highly-rated tools and share links to more information.

Jenkins

Jenkins is an automation tool written in Java with built-in plugins for continuous integration tasks. It is used to continuously build and test projects making it easier to integrate the changing codes to it.

Jenkins allows for faster delivery of software by working with a large number of deployment and testing technologies. It also accelerates the development phase via the automation of tasks. It is primarily a server-based app and requires a web server like Tomcat.

It allows a lot of flexibility and additional plugins that provide extra features, quite often not possible to find elsewhere unless you want to spend time on providing that by yourself. One of key features is pipelines that allow you to easily chain different jobs even across different repositories/projects.

Circle CI

CircleCI is a strong SaaS-based CI product that enables testing in the cloud. The YAML-based configuration system allows individual developers to test CI/CD changes and push changes effectively and quickly. The variety of different platforms that are supported allows multiple people to centralize on a single solution to avoid spread to other products. CircleCI is the worlds largest shared continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, and the central hub where code moves from idea to delivery. As one of the most-used DevOps tools that processes more than 1 million builds a day, CircleCI has unique access to data on how engineering teams work, and how their code runs. Companies like Spotify, Coinbase, Stitch Fix, and BuzzFeed use us to improve engineering team productivity, release better products, and get to market faster.

Automated builds! This is really why you get CircleCI, to automate the build process. This makes building your application far more reliable and repeatable. It can also run tests and verify your application is working as expected.

Straightforward CI tooling. No need to spin up a CI server like Jenkins/ TeamCity to get things moving.

Bamboo

Bamboo provides the facility of automatic build generation. Using Bamboo a lot of time and manual efforts can be saved. Bamboo is very easy to use and has a simple user interface. Bamboo provides the facility of continuous integration and continuous deployment. So whenever any change is there in the bitbucket it automatically gets integrated with the previous code and generates the build. Bamboo provides the feature of running the automation test case on the build which saves a lot of time. Bamboo provides various options for configuration management. One can easily configure multiple branches, write a script, and can execute it. Bamboo provides various agents for building the build. Bamboo support community is always ready to help.

  • Versatility. I can use bamboo to manage my Java, node, or .NET build plans. I can use it to spin up Windows or Linux build agents, or install it on a Mac to build there as well.
  • Bamboo integrates with other Atlassian products like Bitbucket, Stash, JIRA, etc. If a company commits to the entire Atlassian stack then work can be tracked through the whole development lifecycle which is really useful.
  • Continuous Integration – Bamboo kicks off builds with each check in to our source control system, enabling faster consumption of changes, and quicker turnaround times when we encounter a problem.
  • Extensibility – Bamboo is capable of triggering multiple additional processes on completion of a build, including integration tests, deployment tests, and the like. This extensibility took us from a scheduled based system to a trigger-based system with little time waste.
  • Suite Integration – Bamboo’s easy integration with the rest of the Atlassian suite makes for huge efficiency gains. Being able to see which check-in triggered the build, as well as seeing what JIRA issues went into that check-in makes for complete traceability.

TeamCity

TeamCity is the go-to tool for getting the Builds and Deployments packages for a variety of platforms like .NET, Java and JS, etc. It unifies the build and deployments needs of all the diverse projects to a single platform and solves the build and release issues previously we faced and reduces the time to go to Prod. TeamCity will make sure your software gets built, tested, and deployed, and you get notified about that appropriately, in any way you choose. It’s a continuous integration and deployment server from JetBrains which takes moments to set up, shows your build results on-the-fly, and works out of the box. And best of all – it’s free by default.

Once set up and configured, it’s incredibly easy to test and release a piece of code, and diagnose problems across multiple teams using the online platform. Highly customizable, such as which outputs to test, what to save, and on which machines the tests should be run. Non-regression tests can also be run locally when developing them, to ensure they meet your requirements for robustness, before executing them remotely.

GitLab

Gitlab is well suited for any project that requires revision tracking along with collaboration with other contributors. It supports the standard features of Git and adds its own recipe to the features that other Git SaaS providers offer as well. This includes issue tracking, pull request management, and recent artifact and package management. Gitlab has also been a leader in bringing CI to the repo ahead of its competitors. Of course, not all of these features need to be used. If all a dev needs are to track code, Gitlab can handle that just as well as any other cloud or self-hosted repo.

  • Pipelines: Gitlab Pipelines is an excellent way to get started with pipelines easily and without much overhead. And with it being all encapsulated within Gitlab itself, it makes integrating your code into that pipeline even easier. Just a little bit of code and VOILA. You have at least a minimum viable pipeline.
  • VCS: Gitlab is, of course, a great version control system.
  • Usability: Gitlab has really put a significant amount of focus on usability. They’ve drilled down and ensured that the way companies and individuals need to use the tool, they can.
  • Groups: Gitlab makes setting permissions on projects extremely easy. Other version control systems make it more difficult to set things granular enough, but GitLab allows you to group things in a granular enough way for your projects.

Travis CI

Travis works great for CI/CD pipelines. It’s easy to configure and has great integrations with tools you are probably already using like Github. It’s also compatible with many popular languages. It automates the build process and handles test cases. You can run test cases on mac and Linux both at the same time. Configuring Travis is easy using a lightweight YAML file. We don’t need to set up our own server to run it. It also provides free support for public repositories. Ready and easy to use, you don’t need any extra configuration like other CI toolss like Jenkins. simply integrate GitHub or version control system, whenever you push the code it’s tested and integrated. Multiple jobs allow you to run and test simultaneously on different environments and OS. Free for your public projects, you don’t have to pay for your test and open source projects. You don’t have to maintain hosting server, Travis CI handle, and maintain updates and hosting server. Plugin and integration with third-party tools are available but it’s limited.

Buddy

The best thing about Buddy is its intuitive UI where you can set up deployment pipelines easily. The UI really helps when we want to introduce CI/CD culture to the whole engineering team since they can try to set up themselves using a few button clicks, rather than learning about some YAML configuration (it’s still available for some advanced users though).

It also has a plethora of built-in actions that connect with so many services that cover almost all of our use cases. Even if when we can’t find what we need, its integration with Docker Hub is really helpful so we can set up our own custom Docker image.

Buddy’s GUI is really awesome and to create pipeline’s using Buddy is really really simple. For a beginner who doesn’t understand CICD much, start using Buddy and you will get to know everything related to CICD in a day. Buddy is also constantly improving and new features every day.

Best Practices for Secure File Transfer with FileCloud

 

It’s a new decade, and many businesses are handling an influx of customers from all over the world. Being aware of the options and using secure file transfer methods is vital for any business to stay on top of its game. One way to be sure you are safeguarding customer data is to look for security features that protect from and avoid man-in-the-middle attacks. This type of attack is similar to eavesdropping on a conversation. There is a possibility your data could be intercepted by someone “listening in” during the transfer between your computer and a server or other device. Secure file transfer methods make sure eavesdropping, as well as other breaches or privacy violations, do not happen.

Today, secure file transfer methods are designed to keep your company from experiencing a breach of data during transfer. There are a few additional things that can reduce security issues.

Sharing Permissions 

Utilize permissions for your file-sharing account. When setting up new users take advantage of granular permissions. Don’t get caught wishing you could find out who accessed your files or how a file got deleted. Granular permissions should allow you to give each user the access rights you want them to have — Write,  read-only,  restricted access, etc FileCloud also gives you the option to password protect your files, set expiry date, and has File change notification options.

 

 

Activity Logs & Notifications

Email can get messy and is not a recommended method to securely send information. Use activity logs and notifications to track your secure file transfers. The activity log on your file-sharing account will show all user activity and can be filtered by day or username. Notifications alert you when specific files have been uploaded or downloaded. Notifications help you keep track of the who, what, and when for your file shares.

With FileCloud you can receive notifications about files or folders stored in all types of folders. Your administrator sets your default notification settings which determine whether notifications are sent to you when:

  • a file or folder is shared with you
  • one of the following actions is performed (by you or another user) on a file or folder you have access to:
    • a file or folder is uploaded
    • a file or folder is downloaded
    • a file or folder is shared
    • a file or folder is deleted
    • a file or folder is renamed
    • a file is updated
    • a file is previewed in the browser or one of the mobile apps
    • a file or folder is locked

 

Data Backup

FileCloud offers efficient and reliable data backup. FileCloud provides you with appropriate tools to protect data across all devices. Get auto Desktop and mobile backup, Unlimited File Versioning, and deleted files recovery. Secure backup and restore across all platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and devices (desktops, laptops, and smartphones). Automatically backup media files from iOS and Android devices to FileCloud. Automatically stores versions of files as they change and make it easy to get back to previous versions. Administrators have full control over the number of versions to keep. Recycle bin support allows deleted files and folders to be recovered by users or administrators quickly and effectively. Even deleted files from network folders can be restored.

 

Security and Compliance

The truth is, your employees may find USB sticks, external hard drives, webmail, and smart devices more convenient than traditional organizational tools when it comes to transferring files. Unfortunately, this creates a gap in control and visibility for IT departments, exposing companies to compliance and security risks. As a result, organizations are slowly shying away from consumer-grade secure document sharing to more secure options.

FileCloud offers multiple data protection compliant solutions like HIPAA compliance, FINRA compliance, and EU data residency. FileCloud enables enterprises to run their own HIPAA or FINRA compliant enterprise file share, sync, and endpoint backup solution. FileCloud security architecture offers security, privacy, and data ownership to enterprises. FileCloud also supports federal security standard FIPS 140-2. With FileCloud, you can be rest assured that your corporate data is well protected in your servers and employee devices.

 

Having a secure file sharing solution not only gives you peace of mind about data security, but it also protects your reputation in the process. In addition to adopting these basic securities measures, you need to consider the program you use to facilitate your secure file transfers. Adopting the right solution could mean the difference between a great reputation and the loss of business.

FileCloud provides features for easy business file sharing with complete control over business data. Whether you are sharing sensitive documents, large files, legal or medical data, FileCloud gives you a secure document sharing solution.

Working from Home and the Threat to Business Continuity

work from home

In January 2020 the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As the epidemic’s full implications became apparent, governments across the world begun issuing stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and travel restrictions in a bid to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and prevent the overload of public health systems with patients affected by the disease. This forced many organizations and institutions to rethink their mode of operations. The result was remote work becoming a requirement for many, sometimes overnight.

With the ubiquity of mobile devices in this digital age and most business applications being available via cloud services, migrating workloads from the office to home should be a relatively simple process. However, very few organizations were prepared for large-scale remote work.

For most IT teams, the challenge lies in ensuring their IT infrastructure can handle most, if not all their employees working remotely. But for the sake of the health and safety of their workforce, it’s a challenge they have to rise to while ensuring the continuity of their business operations during an unprecedented pandemic situation that has affected everyone across the globe.

Remote Working is Not a New Phenomenon

Remote work is an already attractive option for employees who prefer greater flexibility. It completely eliminates commuting time for workers with familial obligations; and as the workforce segment that supports aging family members continues to grow, the demand for flexible working arrangements will only rise. However, while remote work is being increasingly demanded by workers and facilitated by technology, according to Gartner, most enterprises (93%) defer to supervisors to decide who works from home and when they do. But due in part to an innate lack of trust, only 56 percent of supervisors actually all their employees to work from home – even if there are supporting company policies in place to facilitate it.

Enterprises that have already invested in the cloud from an infrastructure perspective, or largely rely on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps are naturally at lower risk of experiencing technical difficulties during this time. The inescapable use of remote work for business continuity should signal to all enterprises that it is time to revisit their remote work policies and redesign them for robust use.

While the shift to remote work has accelerated, we believe that employees and organizations will begin to see the advantages of remote work and become better adapted to to it. Though the coronavirus disease has certainly affected work patterns in the short term, there will almost inarguably be far-reaching global technology implications, including increased demand for solutions such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Infrastructure is Key to WFH Productivity

A lot of the technology currently used to facilitate remote working has been around for decades. For most organizations, the underlying software, hardware, and support infrastructure have been designed to accommodate a small subset of the workforce. Performance, reliability, security, and the availability of applications and data are crucial. With the number of new at-home students and workers in the tens of millions, organizations are rushing to shore up their infrastructure to support new users while ensuring basic performance expectations are met.

Apart from the clear-cut, procurement of the correct tools, licenses, and deploying them quickly across a broad workforce: IT teams must also make sure that their colleagues can reliably utilize the resources. This includes access to basic apps like email, file sync, and sharing, via remote desktop access and other virtual desktop infrastructures.

Naturally, unanticipated stress has been put on remote working technologies, leading to security and bandwidth concerns. Whether or not existing on-premise enterprise setups are able to cope with the sudden, yet prolonged increase in users trying to access the organization’s applications remotely, solely rests on the quality of the network connections available.

Right of the bat, most businesses tried to access how much capacity they’ll require by running one-day tests. Agencies like NASA ran remote networking stress tests to understand what the impact of adding thousands of new remote workers would have on their networking capacities. Teleworkers will have to connect to their data repositories, applications, and other offerings to maintain business continuity. The effective transmission reliability and throughput of a VPN in combination with the internet can easily become a bottleneck.

A VPN is Not the Answer to All Your Problems

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud is becoming mainstream among enterprises. Several applications now run in the cloud, making it easier than ever to leverage and acquire those apps to make enterprises more efficient and agile. The cloud has given rise to a world of mobility where workers can be productive from anywhere since access to applications is no longer tied to physically being in the office. With the coronavirus outbreak triggering a sudden influx in the need for work-from-home precautions, the need for easily accessible applications has never been more apparent.

As it stands, typical enterprise infrastructure involves applications that are hosted and installed within the office, and are only accessible from the confines of the office network. Most file servers are either hosted on Windows or Linux, with the two main types of file systems being NFS (Network File System) on UNIX/Linux and CIFS (Common Internet File System) on Windows. A vast majority of the organizations that have been in operation for a while, typically use CIFS or NFS file systems. An NFS allows remote hosting of resources over a network, by mounting file systems that facilitate the interaction as is if it was local.

CIFS is also cross-platform and folders can be shared over a local network or across the internet. Accessing files on a CIFS network over a VPN via a mobile network is possible, but the connection can be patchy, access to client applications will likely be limited and extremely slow. Whenever a remote worker needs to access an enterprise application or document, they must first turn on the VPN application, which in turn grants them access to information sitting within the company network. For VPN applications to work optimally, they require adequate network throughput and VPN hardware capacity. While this is easy to achieve on systems built for about 20 -30 percent of employees working remotely, it can easily be overloaded when this number skyrockets; regardless of how many licenses are available for the VPN application.

Overloaded VPN concentrators may require massive injections of rules managers and hardware. However, VPN hardware is not the type of thing you can easily pick up at your local BestBuy, it calls for a rigorous procurement and installation process that could end up taking weeks. The VPNs that organizations typically rely on to manage and access critical files have multiple limitations. With full office closures happening overnight, and workers being asked to work from home. Several of those workers are going to turn on their VPN to access business files and applications, only to discover that their connections are down. IT support staff should brace themselves for a flood of calls from frustrated colleagues trying to navigate through the nuances of remote connectivity, support issues will be hard to diagnose remotely because they involve third-party hardware and networks.

Luckily, several apps that once had to be hosted within an office network have since transitioned to the cloud. Productivity applications like Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and communication platforms like slack have seemingly eliminated the need for VPN applications. Sadly, VPNs are still central to how several enterprise workers access their files and applications. And an overnight migration to a public cloud architecture overnight is not a practical solution for them.

Making the Most Out of What You Have

In the event user or performance, issues arise. There are steps that IT teams can take to reduce the load on networks and various on-premise IT resources. Managing employees’ expectations is important and making them aware of possible degradation in the performance of the services and applications they rely on to complete their tasks may lessen the amount of stress the IT department is under.

To ensure workers remain productive and business continuity is not stifled, IT teams must find a way of enabling mobile access and file sync for data that lives behind a cooperate firewall without the need for a VPN and without re-configuring permissions whilst utilizing existing LDAP or Active Directory authentication. Several enterprises have heavily invested in scalable Network Attached Storage solutions like EMC Isilon and NetApp Filer. Solutions like NetApp provide low latency access to files as network shares via a WLAN or LAN. But they can still be used as part of a remote-work infrastructure with virtual desktop infrastructure applications.

There are no one-size-fit-all software, infrastructure or bandwidth that an organization can purchase to solve this problem by using legacy approaches, including the use of VPNs. Fortunately, the solution is simple. A solution that will allow enterprise data to sit securely on-premise at the office, and still be accessible to users via the cloud and not through a VPN. FileCloud can help remote workers collaborate, access, and share files securely with ease by mapping existing file servers on EMC Isilon and NetApp Filer as network folders and instantly make them available on networks outside the office. FileCloud easily integrates with existing active directory, NTFS file permissions, and network shares; giving employees low latency access to large files without having to recreate complex permissions.

Image courtesy of freepik.com

Author: Gabriel Lando

Are System Admins Obsolete as Everyone is Moving to Server-less Infrastructure?

 

With everything moving to the Cloud and server-less infrastructures, are sysadmins becoming obsolete? What can sysadmins do to stay relevant in IT?

System administration roles are diversifying as system engineers, application engineers, DevOps engineers, DevOps engineers, virtualization engineers, Release engineers, Cloud engineers, etc. Because of the scale in cloud computing and an additional layer of Virtualization, infrastructure engineering is managed as a code by using automation tools such as Chef and Puppet. The rise of computing and analytics has given tremendous elasticity and stress to the back-end infrastructure by deploying distributed computing frameworks such as Hadoop, Splunk, etc. Applications are scaling horizontally and vertically across the data centers. The emergence of cloud has shifted the traditional role of a system admin to the cloud engineer but infrastructure design and basic system services such as mail server, DNS, DHCP remain intact.  

| Learn Linux

If you want to make your career as a Linux system administrator then you need to learn the basics of Linux along with the hands-on practicals. I would recommend you to go for Redhat Certified System Administration full course. The videos are available on Youtube and torrent as well. RHCSA is an entry-level certification that focuses on actual competencies at system administration, including installation and configuration of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system and attaches it to a live network running network services.

| Get comfortable with scripting language & automation tools

Bash for everyday scripting, putting things in cron, use it to parse logs. Bash is not limited to it by itself, you want to learn a little sed and awk, and focus a lot on regular expressions. Regular expressions can be used in most languages.

After you have spent a few weeks/months learn python. After a few weeks with python, you will easily see where it makes sense to use bash vs python.

Perl is a good general-purpose language to use, if you deal with a lot of files or platform-independent sysadmin automation, including Solaris & AIX. It’s a bit hard to learn but easy to use

Some of the important automation tools for system admin are

  1. WPKG – The automated software deployment, upgrade, and removal program that allows you to build dependency trees of applications. The tool runs in the background and it doesn’t need any user interaction. The WPKG tool can be used to automate Windows 8 deployment tasks, so it’s good to have in any toolbox.
  2. AutoHotkey– The open-source scripting language for Microsoft Windows that allows you to create mouse macros manually. One of the most advantageous features that this tool provides is the ability to create stand-alone, fully executable .exe files, from any script, and operates on other PCs.
  3. Puppet Open Source – I think every IT professional has heard about Puppet and how it has captured the market during the last couple of years. This tool allows you to automate your IT infrastructure from acquisition to provisioning and management stages. The advantages? Scalability and scope!

| Stay up to date with the current generation of infrastructure standards & practices

  1. Analytical skills: From designing to evaluating the performance of the network and the systems
  2. People skills: A network and computer systems administrator interacts with people from all levels of the organization.
  3. Technical know-how: Administrators have to work with different kinds of computers and network equipment, so they should be familiar with how to run these
  4. Quick thinking An administrator must be very responsive and must be able to quickly come up with solutions to every problem that pops up.
  5. The ability to multi-task Administrators often deals with different kinds of problems on top of what they usually do.

It’ll be systems administration under a different title like “Cloud Engineer” and do things differently, probably using automation tools and infrastructure code management and deployment.

Coding, automation, and scripting are all very important skills to have now and for the future.

Ultimately someone will need to admin the systems and deal with the operations of the tech stack. So, yes it has a future.  The type of company varies tremendously, any company could use a sysadmin.  It may be an unexciting job of maintaining a local file share and email server, or something challenging like keeping a thousand servers running.