Officially my last preview before Storage Field Day 7 is Transporter. Transporter is a private cloud file sharing service. Maybe the most obvious use case for shadow IT is file sharing. Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive make file sharing and collaboration simple. The combination of wide mobile app adoption and collaboration capability makes these services hard to combat in the enterprise. Transporter is attempting to tackle this very problem.
For those of us that jumped on the home NAS/DAS bandwagon early, we may remember Drobo. Transporter acquired Drobo in May of 2013. I’m interested to see how they have leveraged solution. Transporter leverages Drobo-like appliances to host the data. Original Drobo’s allowed for interesting storage expansion and protection schemes. Users could add randomly sized drives to a Drobo appliance. The device would automatically create and expand volumes as drives get added or replaced.
Barriers to use of these services have been the integration with mobile apps and sharing data outside the enterprise. Successful solutions have benefited from wide support from mobile apps. Users expect the ability to open documents within mobile productivity apps. Today, this is done by associated a file sharing service with a mobile device. Users have been less than accepting of solutions that require much more than a username and password. A similar challenge exists when users want to share files with collaborators outside the organization.
My questions aren’t around Transporter’s ability to create a secure private Cloud, but it’s ability to make the process so frictionless that end users will adopt it and prevent the leak of enterprise data.