Aah, that warm sharing feeling. Just don't let the cloud rain on your firm

How to get biz-level file sharing right the first time, every time

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Parting of the ways

Although cloud support really isn't a problem, one area most definitely is: mobile devices. These are great because they not only let you access your data from anywhere, but with modern 3G and 4G networks you can do so with the kind of performance level you would expect on your corporate LAN.

Cirrus clouds

The problem is that as well as accessing data on mobile devices you can also store data on them. So what happens when someone leaves the company?

Sure, they will have to give back their corporate smartphone, but what if you have decided to encourage a policy of BYOD (bring your own device)? How do you prevent an army of users with data on their own phones and tablets from strolling off with your intellectual property?

The answer is mobile device management (MDM). You let your users access applications in a thin-client setup using the likes of Citrix Receiver, so that the data they are looking at doesn't sit on the phone itself.

And you let people view their corporate email on what looks like a smartphone-based email application but which is really a sandboxed application that can be configured to encrypt emails and make them readable only when the device is able to contact the server and confirm that it is still a registered, permitted device.

Similarly with files: by all means make them look like they are on the device, but ensure that in fact they are also in a sandbox protected by an application that will encrypt or completely delete the data if it is unable to authenticate to your home base.

The point here is that the data doesn't escape from the control of the organisation. You can apply central policies that ensure that when the mobile devices step outside the realm of control, so does the user's access to the data.

This can be either because the user has left the company or (if that is the way you have configured the viewing options) because the device is out of Wi-Fi/3G range and hence can't authenticate to home and confirm to itself that the user is entitled to see the information it holds.

And finally

On the surface the overall task of sharing files across your business is complicated, particularly if you want to do it seamlessly, securely and in a performant fashion.

In reality, though, to use the hideously over-used analogy it is rather like an onion. The whole apparently complex story is simply a collection of pretty straightforward layers.

By tackling these one step at a time you will suddenly find yourself with an implementation you didn't think possible. First, start with a directory service that you understand, possibly separate ones per location but preferably a single overall service split into sites.

Define permissions based on role to eliminate the need for information about remote people. Ensure that sites can communicate properly, using optimisation technology where you need to. Abstract the physical locations into a virtual global entity using the likes of DFS.

Turn on replication where it is sensible to do so; in the case of read-only access for database reporting, for example, it is a no-brainer.

Ask yourself whether you can put any or all of your data in the cloud instead of trying to host it on your own kit.

Finally, consider how the data will be accessed on each of your platforms – whether it is through a thin-client window or by syncing it to the end device so it can be read offline. And if the latter, make darned sure you are confident you can prevent someone strolling off with it. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story


Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.