Answering the “Where’s That File Question?”

One of the biggest challenges users face, and the cause for significant productivity losses, is finding those files later. Where did they store it? What was the file name? The problem is bad enough if they store all their data on one source, but today users can store files on their laptop, desktop, one of potentially many corporate NAS systems as well as various cloud storage accounts (Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive).

Giving users the ability to easily find their data not only increases user productivity, it also increases IT productivity. First, IT personnel are users and they too have all suffered from the “where did I store that file?” problem. Second, if users can’t find a file, they will often call IT to help them find it or to restore it from a backup, which makes finding users’ files IT’s problem. Third, a solution that can help users find their data may also solve another big IT problem –  getting file data to virtual desktop users, especially if the VDI environment is cloud hosted (desktop as a service).

Introducing FileShadow

FileShadow is a multi-source file repository that aggregates files from multiple cloud storage accounts, network attached storage drives, direct attached storage devices and Mac and Windows desktops. Once the repository is built, FileShadow creates a fully searchable index of those files, and that index is not limited to text documents. It provides content information on images and PDF documents. Most importantly, users continue to edit the files in place and FileShadow tracks revisions automatically.

The FileShadow repository delivers high durability (11 9’s) and the vault is highly secure as all files are individually encrypted. Users can continue to share files through their cloud account or users can share files through FileShadow. Users can access files through a web browser or directly from their Windows or Mac desktops. In addition, organizations using Workspot Cloud VDI can leverage FileShadow to provide VDI users with centralized access to all of their files.

FileShadow has the ability to provide document analysis and optical character recognition (OCR) for scanned and PDF document. It can provide image analysis, for example if any image is stored with a picture of a hot air balloon floating over a lake, a search for “balloon lake” will find that image. It will also provide geo-location information. The repository is stored in either the Wasabi Cloud or IBM Cloud.

StorageSwiss Take

Knowing a file is out there somewhere and not being able to find it is one of the most frustrating experiences for a user. Having to recreate a document that is already out there is even more so. In the desktop as a service market, not being able to deliver files to VDI users is beyond frustrating; it can be a project stopper. FileShadow resolves all these issues, eliminating frustrations and keeping cloud virtual desktop projects on-track.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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