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Summary:

Latest OwnCloud offers AES encryption at rest and other bennies for IT pros but still offers an easy Dropbox-like user interface.

cloud storage

OwnCloud, which offers an open-source spin on the whole Dropbox for the enterprise chestnut, has added better encryption and other enterprise perks to its latest release. OwnCloud’s pitch is that it provides an easy Dropbox-like  user interface, but allows the enterprise to use whatever back-end cloud is most appropriate.

Whereas the previous release supported encryption of data in motion, the new release offers AES encryption at rest, regardless of what cloud data store the customer selects. Such encryption is becoming a bigger deal in the aftermath of the PRISM data security controversy. OwnCloud also promises a provisioning API that will tie into whatever data center automation tools a company already uses.

One customer, Sean Hill, executive director of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, went with OwnCloud because it wanted an open-source “easy-to-use Dropbox replacement” that could work with the open-source iRODS data grid and libraries that it already uses.  “The existing iRODS clients all need a bit of work and didn’t interface well with other services like S3, Dropbox and Google Drive,” Hill said via email. INCF also wanted to contract with the company to get support.OwnCloud claims nearly 1 million users worldwide but, as with most of its competitors, it offers a free version and it’s unclear how many pay. And the field is bustling with competitors. Companies including Box, Accellion and Egnyte all fighting for this business.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Kristine Kao said OwnCloud plays it down the middle, offering very easy UI for end users along with IT controls for corporate and the ability to keep putting its data in the company’s existing in-house data store or whatever cloud store it already uses. “Sometimes execs get upset when they’re told that they’re not using the data center they just spent so much money on for their storage. OwnCloud gives them that option, as well as the Amazon S3 option,” she said

Gartner analyst Gene Ruth said OwnCloud’s open-source roots and enterprise focus sets it apart, although Sparkleshare is another open-source competitor.

Indeed, it sometimes seems, based on the pitches I get, that there are as many file-sync-and-share (FSS) vendors as there are companies wanting to pay for that service, a characterization that Ruth acknowledged is certainly true in the enterprise space.

“It’s hard to keep up with them all — and they continue to fine-tune their offerings. We are seeing more vendors getting into the ‘trusted’ FSS space — companies like WatchDOX and Boole Server,” he said. “FSS is an interesting and fast-growing market that is closely aligned with the similarly interesting enterprise cloud storage market which is rapidly expanding.”

So stay tuned: Both demand for and supply of these cloud-based file-sync-and-store services is growing.

OwnCloud CEO Markus Rex will be talking about the state of the European cloud, in the wake of the PRISM data privacy  controversy,  at Structure: Europe in London September 18-19.

This story was updated at 11:03 a.m. PDT June 25 with additional analyst comments.
  1. you should also check out adeptCloud, it’s a lot like like ownCloud except more enterprise feature rich and works across organizations.

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    1. Jake Robbins Tuesday, June 25, 2013

      @Aaron adeptCloud does not seem to be »a lot like ownCloud«, but just similar to Dropbox, Box, and all the other proprietary cloud solutions.

      ownCloud on the other hand is fully self-hosted, open source and extensible. They develop in the open and the source is at http://github.com/owncloud – where’s yours?

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  2. Check out Gladinet Cloud Enterprise too, which is based on Windows Platform (IIS/.NET/SQL), native integration with Active Directory. A good pitch to companies standardized on Windows and Active Directory.

    http://www.gladinet.com/CloudEnterprise/

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    1. You can use active directory authentication with OwnCloud and you don’t need a Windows Server or MS SQL license to run.

      Sure Gladinet Android/iOS app is free you have to pay for the server.

      OwnCloud server is freel and Android/iOS app is 99 cents

      OwnClould beats Gladinet by a mile

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      1. OwnCloud Commercial isn’t free either. Gladinet is a commercial solution, not open source. Neither is positioned for personal or consumer.

        Businesses need to purchase support and maintenance from OwnCloud so pricing wise, need to compare commercial to commercial.

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  3. Seems the key thing with ownCloud is that it is open source and self hosted. Pretty much all the other services are proprietary and/or are hosted in their own cloud service.

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  4. Silentpartner Cameras Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    Online computer technical support staff helps alot to make new customers. It also brings your business to good height and makes a good reputation.

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  5. some people have misunderstand owncloud…they offer commercial purpose services for business, but software itself is not commercial. You can download it to linux and run with your OWN server. Owncloud software is even included in opensuse installation packet.

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  6. But it’s not client-side encryption, right? The encryption keys are stored on the server, so anyone with access to the server could decrypt the data?

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