Summary:

More businesses are putting at least some data in the cloud and a growing pack of vendors is fighting for that business. The latest entry is Egnyte’s updated hybrid cloud offering which supports up to 10B files and 10,000 concurrent users per account.

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More companies are starting to put at least some of their corporate data in the cloud and a growing pack of vendors is fighting for that business. The latest entry: Egnyte’s updated hybrid cloud service, which raises the file and end-user limit per account.

It is only within the last year that companies seem truly comfortable entrusting at least some business files — perhaps the archival information that once would have been relegated to tape drives — to a cloud storage solution. Egnyte is pushing its hybrid cloud —  which syncs files between a local cloud and an off-site cloud — as a secure solution for such jobs.

The new Egnyte HybridCloud File Sharing for the Enterprise supports up to 1 billion files per account (up from 1 million) and 10,000 concurrent users (up from 1,000), said Vineet Jain, CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. The new HybridCloud is also integrated with NetApp’s storage appliance.

With the updated offering, Egnyte steps up the already intense battle for businesses that will pay to put their content into a secure cloud. Key contenders  are Box (formerly Box.net) which most recently claimed 8 million users. But there are new entrants by the day, including GroupLogic’s ActiveEcho, Accellion’s Kitedrive, and SurDoc. To further complicate matters, the major platform players — Microsoft, VMware, Apple and Citrix are all working on their own cloud storage and file share-and-sync options.

Egnyte can play the cross-platform card — with support for Android, iPhone, iPad  (and now Windows Phone 7.5) devices as well as the major desktops. And Egnyte’s paying customers are not subsidizing lots of free riders, Jain said. Egnyte offers a two-week trial whereas Box and Dropbox– the consumer fan favorite — subscribe to the “freemium” model where users, as long as they don’t surpass a predetermined data limit — 5GB for Box, 2GB for Dropbox — store for free.

As companies put more of their stuff in the cloud, the demand for those storage resources will grow, but so will the number of vendors jockeying for all that business.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user redjar

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