Owncloud Takes Open Source Storage Sharing to the Enterprise

Posted on April 04, 2012 By Sean Kerner

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The open source ownCloud file sync and sharing project is moving into the commercial space with the release of new Business and Enterprise editions this week. The Business and Enterprise Editions build on the ownCloud 3.0 release that debuted in February.

The new editions provide additional management capabilities and commercial support. What ownCloud is essentially doing is providing an open source alternative to Dropbox that is now more integrated with enterprise systems.

"Dropbox created a market for something we didn't really know that we needed, but now that it's out there, it's hard to be without it," Markus Rex, CEO of ownCloud told InternetNews.com. "We want to make sure that everyone has the same ability while still being able to maintain their own requirements and corporate needs."

The ownCloud business edition is intended for use for up to 50 users while ownCloud Enterprise can handle up to 250 users and be rebranded by OEMs. Both editions will be delivering new management capabilities over the open source version in incremental stages. The initial commercial release includes new clients for end users. A new management interface is set to be released six weeks from now that will provide a full GUI for managing ownCloud deployments.

Security is key concern when it comes to storage. Rex noted that ownCloud now has full logging capabilities and a log analyzer. The upcoming management panel will expand the logging with additional visualization capabilities. Full integration with LDAP and ActiveDirectory is another key component of the commercial release.

"There is not a single conversation we have where security does not come up," Rex said. "Since ownCloud sits in your own data center, it is protected at the same level as your data center as a whole."

For those using the community edition of ownCloud, Rex emphasized that migration to the commercial release isn't hard. He explained that fundamentally, the commercial release is an update to the community edition. As such, all an enterprise must do is install the update and then the commercial edition just runs.

The ownCloud community and commercial releases will remain linked together with updates to the commercial packages within two months of a new community release. The next major ownCloud release is set for the end of April. It will have full versioning capabilities for file sync and sharing.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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