Varonis seeks to provide cloud file sharing, without the cloud

With DatAnywhere, Varonis wants to provide enterprises with on-premises cloud file sharing services such as Dropbox and Box.net.

Varonis Systems Inc. is preparing an application called DatAnywhere that performs on-premises file sharing and syncing that mimics cloud file sharing services.

Varonis said it will begin beta testing DatAnywhere Aug. 1.

According to David Gibson, Varonis’ vice president of strategy, DatAnywhere allows existing traditional file servers and network attached storage (NAS) devices to sync files to users’ remote devices while adhering to existing organizational security restrictions.

Varonis is positioning DatAnywhere as an on-premises alternative to cloud file sharing services such as Dropbox and Box.net.

“Organizations are struggling to offer the same kind of experience that consumers can get for free, so we wanted to close that gap,” Gibson said. “We wanted organizations to be able to offer the same quality accessibility, but with the same infrastructure and that same control infrastructure in place.”

DatAnywhere will automatically sync files between corporate file shares and remote employee mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablet computers. It will authenticate with corporate directory services, enabling employees to securely share files with co-workers and external business partners.

“It’s going to behave exactly like Dropbox, except that no data is stored in the cloud,” Gibson said. “All of the data will be synced back with your corporate file shares.”

Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst for collaboration and conferencing at Current Analysis Inc., said many cloud-based file syncing and sharing services sweep the security concerns under the rug. He said Varonis is using existing network-based tools for DatAnywhere.

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“What [Varonis is] doing is definitely taking advantage of a largely utilized feature of traditional [local area networks] LANs,” Shimmin explained, “which is the CIFS file system for sharing files, and making it much more Web friendly by converting it into HTTP.”

Varonis’ Gibson said security concerns around users syncing and sharing files through public cloud services pushed the company to develop the software. Varonis’ primary product is its DatAdvantage data governance software, which enables permissions management, access auditing and user identification for Windows file servers.

DatAnywhere will allow users to create sync lists to designate the data to sync with each device. So a user could sync the entire marketing department corporate file share with their laptop but only specific folders or documents with their smartphone.

DatAnywhere also will have extranet functionality so selected users can share files with third parties outside the company.

The beta clients for Windows and Apple desktop and laptop computers will be available Aug. 1, and the mobile client for iOS and Android platforms will be released in the fourth quarter. Gibson said pricing will start at approximately $40 per user for 250-user shops. Support and maintenance contracts will be available for 20% of the original price.

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