A picture says nearly three decades of words.
Network drives and content management systems were tolerable storage systems when the world was filled with desktops and laptops and most people didn’t work outside of the office and the LAN. That was then. Today, there are more tablets and smartphones sold than PCs by an ever increasing margin. More than 60% of U.S. mobile subscribers own a smartphone. Telecommuting has grown 73% from 2005 – 2011. It’s a different world that needs different storage.
Pictures are good, but videos are even better.
It’s time to say goodbye to E: Drive and say hello to Cloud Drive.
Filed under: Android, Cloud Storage, Consumerization of IT, Content Management, Enterprise Cloud, iPad, iPhone, User Data Management | Leave a Comment
Imagine a college campus of 5,000 undergrads, 3,000 grad students, 800 faculty, and 1,000 administrative staff, all distributed across 4 campuses, 3 distance learning environments, and 100 different departments, all collaborating, sharing, and managing files through a chaotic potpourri of thumb drives, paper copies, unsecure consumer cloud solutions like Dropbox, and impossible to use platforms like Xythos.
Multiply the moving parts above together. Welcome to the current state of higher-ed IT. The emphasis isn’t accidental, because the organizational mess just described will only get bigger as institutions of higher education continue to become more digitally integrated. And the example I just described is only a medium sized school.
We hear about this all the time – how difficult it is to use Xythos, how little IT control there is over students, how faculty are ill-equipped to handle the oncoming digital rush, how valuable research IP is either locked away or vulnerable, and that it’s only a matter of time that a school is exposed to catastrophic liability for the accidental or intentional disclosure of sensitive personal information.
People don’t work the same way their parents did, they shouldn’t learn the same way either
The way students learn and college campuses operate are changing dramatically. With the proliferation of distance learning, MOOC’s, and mobile devices, higher education is in a state of drastic transformation. This shift has pushed the threshold beyond the normal campus and population into an entirely new experience. When it comes to files, IT needs a meaningful solution to manage this transformation, and students, faculty, and campus administration deserve something reliable to navigate it.
Having the correct tools to graduate to the modern learning world is vital to maintaining security, research IP, and efficiency while catering to the way the modern student operates. Paper syllabi, easily misplaced thumb drives, outdated software, and consumer cloud solutions no longer make the grade.
Oxygen Cloud provides a versatile and secure solution to your institution’s file management needs with a user friendly experience that eliminates the varied technical learning curve across the faculty and student body, allowing them to resume their instruction and education without interruption.
Consolidate outdated tools under one flexible solution
- Remove the cumbersome barriers of Xythos and disruptive obstacles of VPN and allow users the painless ability to access and share files through federated AD authentication and anywhere mobile access
- Eliminate easily lost paper materials, thumb drives, and student work product by allowing faculty to manage classes in real time from shared online spaces
- Retire your silos of departmental file servers and maintain all vital information, student records, and academic submissions in cloud-enabled NAS or cloud storage
- Reduce liability and reclaim information security away from Dropbox by enjoying robust security features strengthened by end-to-end encryption and strong management controls
Upgrade to a solution suitable to the modern learning landscape by August
- Support real time learning and administrative collaboration via simple sharing features
- Ensure the integrity of academic work product with strong versioning controls
- Provide ironclad security with user access controls, data encryption and device management
- Enable external collaboration with publishers, third party researchers, digital learning providers, distance learning enrollees and faculty, and campus vendors through direct file sharing or administrative access permissions
- Welcome the widespread adoption of laptops, tablets, and smartphones into higher education with convenient and uniform mobile access across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms
Oxygen Cloud’s mission when it comes to education is to usher institutions of higher learning into the cloud era, empowering campus IT professionals to harness the cloud and transform the future of how students, faculty, and campus administrators operate. Some of the world’s largest universities, publishers, and higher-ed providers already trust Oxygen Cloud’s solution to cloud-enable and manage their user data.
Get ready for the new school year over the summer. Get your school started today!
Filed under: BYOD, Cloud Storage, Collaboration, Consumerization of IT, Mobility, Solutions | Leave a Comment
Tags: education, universities
But tectonic plates are shifting in IT and every customer we talk to is thinking hard about their strategy for the future. When we thought about partnering for that future, IBM was certainly on top of the list. The combination of our capabilities enable us to aggressively address the top enterprise priorities and investments.
Those priorities are clear:
1. Starting with the data, more and more CIOs are starting to consolidate all of their storage into a single “data lake.” This goes for customer data they want to analyze, data from telemetry, as well as the data their employees produce. Platforms like IBM’s SONAS, Storwize V7000 and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise object storage are ideal candidates for such a massive “data cloud.” Oxygen can not only leverage these storage platforms independently, but can seamlessly work across them to provide customers tremendous operational flexibility.
2. Once you have a data cloud, you’ll need access to it from any kind of device. Sales of mobile devices now handily exceed that of PCs and are becoming the new “desktop”. Oxygen presents a unified interface across any device to support secure access to your data cloud.
3. Finally, the cloud can be leveraged as a powerful enabler for this kind of consolidation and scale. Oxygen supports the use of the raw compute, storage, and services of the cloud to provide application services and secure data – all with the control of corporate identity. In addition, the cloud offers an opportunity to engage enterprise users in a new, more adoptable way. Today, it’s self-service for your cloud drive. Tomorrow, there will be even more exciting things available.
Come check us out at IBM Edge next week, Booth #802.
We’d love to talk more about your plans for the future.
Filed under: Cloud of Data, Consumerization of IT, Enterprise Cloud, Events, Futures, Mobility, Partners | Leave a Comment
Tags: CIO, data lake, IBM
What is the deal anyway?
Every morning, we hear from IT:
- “I have a Dropbox problem. My users have moved a bunch of files to Dropbox and that’s a security issue.”
- “We have a mandate to support a choice of devices.”
- “My executives and sales guys are pressuring me for mobile file access.”
- “We want a private solution for sync and share.”
Every afternoon, we hear from users:
- “VPN is a hassle. I’m on the road constantly and I need online and offline file access.”
- “I use a Windows laptop in the office and a Mac Book Pro at home.”
- “Management and the sales team are all on iPads, but the only business tool we have on them is email.”
- “I get that I’m not supposed to use Google Drive, but I need a real corporate alternative that makes content available across devices.”
Isn’t everyone saying the same thing?
Not to play psychiatrist, but we think companies can have it all, if only IT and users could listen to each other. This isn’t a collaboration thing or a security thing. It isn’t a mobile problem or a cloud problem. It’s a new way to think about storage.
At one point, file servers were able to provide some sort of balance. They provided an infrastructure for IT to manage user access and how much capacity was provided. And users got E: drives, which at least were accessible right next to their local files. But then came laptops and road warriors, home offices, iPads, tons of mobile apps. IT needs a new infrastructure. Users need a new entry point into their files on the devices that they use today.
Oxygen provides a bridge for users and IT in this multi-device, mobile storage world. With Oxygen:
- Users can access data wherever they are, online or offline, but IT has centralized control over access (and the ability to delegate control).
- Users can have better data access on company-issued and BYOD devices, so the company gets more productivity and flexibility with technology deployment.
- Users can depend on the tablet as a defacto productivity tool for the field, and IT can continuously add more business capabilities.
- IT can have a storage solution that accounts not only for user access control and data control at the device, but also data storage location.
This week, we just added an important new feature that lights up that bridge: our branded enterprise sites.
Branded enterprise sites are available through our web admin console and lets IT set up a user-friendly face to storage services. This addresses one of the primary challenges of companies today – how to roll out enterprise technology to users who have an increasing amount of access to comparable personal technologies.
The branded enterprise site helps users easily find Oxygen via a branded URL, learn about the Cloud Drive and get going in minutes – just like they would with apps in their personal lives. And once a company gets going, they get all the goodness I described above in terms of anywhere access for users and user data management for IT.
Check out the new branded enterprise site today. We’d love to hear what you think.
Filed under: BYOD, Consumerization of IT, enterprise adoption, Enterprise Cloud, New Features, User Data Management | 1 Comment
Tags: CoIT, User data management
It’s a single word, but has at least four connotations:
- Protection from accidental deletions by a user
- Protection from overwrites by yourself or other users
- Protection from device failure
- Protection from storage system failure
Oxygen supports all four, but in a way that’s better for both users and IT.
With Oxygen, IT no longer has to separately backup data in order to protect users from accidental deletions.
Oxygen does it for you, and critically, lets the user recover their own data. All they have to do is go to the web client, hit “show deleted” and recover the file they mistakenly deleted. The recovered file is placed in their Oxygen Drive, right where they last had the file. For security, even “soft deletes” are kept in the Oxygen container for safe keeping, not the generic trash can or recycle bin.
Oxygen also keeps track of each time the file is saved, so you don’t have to.
Unlike file servers, which don’t support versioning, Oxygen creates a version every time a user edits a file. This means the user doesn’t have to think about making copies (which is usually the last thing to remember on a busy work day). Whether the user overwrites their own file from another device, or a colleague makes a new edit, all the user has to do is go to the web client, select the file in question and “show versions.” Clicking the version will restore the file into their Oxygen Drive.
Drop your device on the hard pavement? Wear it out with the sheer size of your spreadsheets? We’ve been there.
You’re going from building to building all day. You’re offsite at a customer site for weeks at a time. You can’t afford to be without your data. With Oxygen, getting up and running on another device is simple. If you damage or lose your primary device, all you need to do is install Oxygen on a second device, authenticate, and you’re back in business quickly. It’s much faster than waiting for someone at headquarters to find your backup (if they even have one, which they typically don’t), restore it to a company-issued device, and then mail the device to you.
Storage system failure is always a risk, even with RAID.
With Oxygen, most operations can continue even with storage failure, because Oxygen users can still access the data that they have cached locally. For maximum coverage, if you’re using your own on-premises storage for Oxygen, you should always back up that storage volume for an appropriate RPO. A weekly backup is the best compromise between protection and capacity efficiency (since Oxygen’s encrypted data can’t be de-duplicated). If you’re worried about potential data corruption, Oxygen performs check-summing before every commit into the system, minimizing the possibility of corruption.
To restore a backup of Oxygen, simply restore the backup to a new storage volume, and point your storage connector at the new volume. The system will immediately be active to your RPO target. Shared content will typically be unaffected, as they are merely references to the actual data (.cloud files). Locally cached content will be refreshed based on the next action of the user, and whether the locally cached content is newer than the recovered data.
Another thing to consider, particularly if you have local storage in a single site, is whether cloud storage makes more sense going forward. Cloud storage like AWS, AT&T, IBM or Savvis, can provide greater availability and disaster tolerance than that single file server in your data closet. Oxygen let’s you choose any of these cloud storage options, giving you a convenient way to reduce risk and increase operational effectiveness. Of course, Oxygen encrypts all data that goes into cloud storage, keeping you covered there as well.
I searched far and wide for some clever pop reference to backup, ala Riggs and Murtaugh, where partners always had each other’s back. But even if you miss that reference, the point is clear. Backup is important, and Oxygen can cover both users and IT when accidents or system failures occur.
Filed under: Cloud Storage, Enterprise Cloud, Enterprise storage, Private storage, User Data Management | Leave a Comment
Tags: accidental deletions, backup, versioning
In the world full of constant innovation and change, things will inevitably become more complex. We’re always tackling complicated situations by trying to find the right solutions and providing the right answers. And sometimes, giving a complicated answer to a complicated issue may address the problem, but only just. The bandage falls off, and it’s only a matter of time before things become complicated again.
Take, for example, FTP. Those are solutions that have “solved” the file transferring issues, but created other problems in the process. In some cases, people become so fed up with the tool they’ve given up completely. Or, they’ll resort to using outside, non-IT-approved applications. More complications arise; leaked information, unsecure data, that sort of deal. So what now?
The answer is simple.
Oxygen gives us back that simplicity we need. You’ve probably been using and saving into drives since they first came out; so naturally, the feeling of using Oxygen is already familiar to you. It’s a simple drag and drop, open and save. And we want to keep it that way – the flow of how you work in Oxygen is a seamless and simple integration into how you’ve been working for years.
In fact, using Oxygen is so simple, you won’t even need to think twice.
I’ll give you an example.
My Mac was having a few issues, and I needed to access a file inside my Oxygen Drive to send over to the stalwart queen of Vanguard, Julia. But my computer was taking too long to reboot and Queen Julia needed that document right away! Almost automatically, I pulled out my smartphone, logged into Oxygen from my iPhone, and bam! Within a few seconds, I shared the link and Julia was able to get the document (sparing me her wrath).
Don’t believe me? Check it out yourself and sign up today!
- Iris, Account Advisor
Filed under: file sharing, Mobility, Oxygen Cloud, Workflow | Leave a Comment
In the army, standard-issue means your boots and fatigues. For 007, it means a sleek car with tons of gadgets.
What about standard-issue for your workplace? Is it like bootcamp or the British Secret Service?
A few years back, standard-issue used to be a black Dell laptop, a black laptop bag, AD credentials, an email address, a security card and a cubicle. Road warriors would also get a Blackberry.
Note that I didn’t mention data storage.
Seems crazy right? Data is what knowledge workers generate every day, yet the only thing they were issued to store that data was the hard drive on their laptop, or perhaps a NAS home directory. The answer to sharing: email. The answer to data access: the laptop itself.
Even then, there were issues. What happened if you lost your laptop? A disaster. What if you left it at home before a meeting? Scratch that presentation. You ended up with a lot of folks carrying their laptop everywhere they went, increasing the chance of the former in order to try to prevent the latter.
Now, I won’t go into a diatribe about BYOD, but things have changed further. Workers today need to be equipped appropriately for a data-driven world. Data is a weapon, a facilitator, a currency – data needs to be available and accessible in order to be used when needed. Smart businesses (yes, I’m complimenting our customers) have realized that they need to reboot their standard-issue.
Now they hand out a check so you can buy the devices you need. They’re usually more open to you working wherever you need to and “touching down” at the office when necessary. In addition to an email address, you’re asked to create a Twitter handle and LinkedIn account. And you still get the AD credentials and security card.
We would add a cloud drive to that list.
A place where you can create and save your plans, presentations, and forecasts. A place where you can review your work and work that others have shared with you inside or away from the office. A place where you can save your work email attachments. In short, a place that stores all your work data, so you can use it when you need it, and where company IT can protect it and control it.
We don’t sell 007′s DB5 with the ejector seat, but short of that, an Oxygen cloud drive is something that every modern worker needs as standard-issue.
Filed under: BYOD, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Cloud | Leave a Comment
Tags: 007, home directory