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Talon Storage claws at sync-and-share market with MobileFAST update

Talon extends its RemoteFAST file-sharing software for branch offices to smartphones and tablets.

Talon Storage is looking to carve out a big piece of the Microsoft Windows file-sharing market to stand out in the crowded file sync-and-share field. With the recent upgrade to its MobileFAST software for Windows-based enterprise file sharing, Talon added a Web portal that lets mobile users securely access shared file storage on desktops and Windows client servers.

MobileFAST enables users to access shared Microsoft File Server storage on multiple platforms, including Mac and Linux. It is a mobile variant of Talon Storage's flagship RemoteFAST tool for virtual file sharing between data center storage and branch offices. MobileFAST extends secure file sharing to smartphone and tablet users.

The MobileFAST SyncServer is a virtual appliance designed for installation on Windows Server 2012 and local file servers. Talon integrates Microsoft Active Directory permissions to authenticate remote users seeking to access centralized storage. The Web portal uses HTTPS and a REST-based gateway to translate SMB shares across a Secure Socket Layer.

Mobile users get online, offline access to SMB shares

Unlike earlier versions, the newest iteration of MobileFAST enables both online and offline access to file shares from any mobile device.

"We now have better integration with multiple platforms. We understand the semantics of any type of file-level data and are able to compress that data and stream it more effectively to end users," Talon product director Jaap van Duijvenbode said.

Talon's Intelligent File Caching mechanism resides in a Microsoft NTFS volume, using file references to analyze changes made to logical blocks. When a user overwrites a file from a mobile device, MobileFAST uses a cached version of the file to stream incremental differences and merges the changes into one authoritative data center copy.

Focus on Windows file sharing

Talon markets its software to enterprises that need distributed sharing of complex files, particularly firms in the architectural and engineering sector. Its software works with legacy storage arrays and public cloud providers. An annual MobileFAST license costs $72 per user per year.

File sync-and-share products are rapidly becoming commonplace. Eric Slack, senior storage analyst at Storage Switzerland, said Talon needs to emphasize its genesis in WAN optimization to stand out in the crowded market.

"Talon started out by enabling fixed offices to share large files. Adding mobile capability seems like a natural evolution. The other thing that's somewhat unique about them is the focus on distributing Windows file sharing to mobile users. They integrated their technology with the Windows File Services path so that it looks and feels like you're at your desktop," Slack said.

Next Steps

Distinguishing between sync-and-share and backup

Using a hybrid cloud to secure your sync-and-share environment

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