There’s a lot of new storage terms out there today, from scale-out NAS to software defined storage (SDS). It’s smart to consider these storage options in-order to decrease cost, increase security and improve efficiency. Today, let’s talk about federated storage.
What is Federated Storage?
Federated Storage is a system that brings together various storage resources into one single management system. Many forms of storage can be connected, such as NAS, servers, cloud accounts, etc…
Federated storage has been around for a while. Sysadmins have been able to connect some aspects of storage — but it hasn’t been user friendly and scalability has been a concern.
Federated Storage Today
Federated storage struggles to integrate all the different kinds of storage, from hardware in your infrastructure to cloud accounts. As the internet-of-things, file sharing and collaboration tools continue to grow, this will only become tougher.
Federated storage is usually just I.T. focused. The user interface is built for I.T., so members of your organization rely on traditional means to store and send files.
The Evolution of Modern Federated Storage: Designed for Users, Built for I.T.
Federated storage isn’t about just connecting your storage anymore. It needs to make all of this storage accessible for every type of user, regardless of their tech savviness. It’s about decreasing the risk of shadow IT by giving everyone a safe and user friendly place to store and exchange files. Modern federated storage systems are beginning to include a UI for non-I.T. users that’s easy to use.
That’s why today’s federated storage systems are evolving into a file exchange platform (FEP). This FEP helps your team connect, manage and share all of their files and storage assets with the people inside and outside your organization.
FEPs built on the federated storage background are designed for the end user, but created for you and the rest of your I.T. department. These solutions help IT by encrypting data both during transfer and at rest. They connect your storage into one place for you so you can monitor and audit activities taken by the user. You should be able to see when and how a user did an action.
Because of their ease of use, the FEP helps replace personal file sharing accounts that users are creating. Users create file sharing accounts because your current solution for sharing or storing files is too cumbersome (*cough* ftp clients *cough*) or simply doesn’t work (*cough* email attachment size limits *cough*).
Since you’re pooling together your storage, your federated storage solution, whether it’s an FEP or not, needs to help people access their files regardless of what device they’re using or where they’re currently located. If they can’t access these files everywhere, they’ll turn to their own personal storage. If they keep doing that, what’s the point of trying any modern file storage service? You lose compliance and increase liability, all because you create friction for you users.
Think about all the time that could be saved if your storage was connected and managed from one centralized management area, while allowing users to access that data in whatever way works best for them.
That’s what an FEP can do for you. If you’re looking for a solution like this, contact our team and we’ll walk you through ways we can help you connect your storage to our on-premise appliance, FileHub™.