Enterprises store large volumes of data in platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint, network drives and virtual desktop environments. Enabling effortless and secure access to this data from outside of corporate networks or from mobile devices has been a major challenge for IT.
Navigating existing firewalls and integrating with legacy systems and applications remain huge hurdles for true enterprise mobility,” said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, research director, 451 Research. “Solutions like ShareFile StorageZone Connectors that integrate seamlessly with existing systems and applications are the way to go.
ShareFile StorageZone Connectors help organizations leverage and mobilize existing enterprise data platforms. This feature, available in the ShareFile mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, allows mobile users to create a secure connection to existing CIFS network shares and SharePoint document libraries. Additionally, with the built-in document editing capabilities in the ShareFile mobile apps, users can be highly productive while on the go.
The StorageZone Connectors architecture consists of three components: ShareFile Control Plane, StorageZone Controller and StorageZone Connectors.
ShareFile Control PlaneHosted in Citrix datacenters and managed as a service by Citrix, the ShareFile Control Plane performs tasks such as managing web applications, pushing feature updates and reporting. Customers can choose the U.S. or the European Control Plane to address performance and compliance requirements. With StorageZone Connectors, all data is stored in the customer’s datacenter; the Control Plane does not store user files, user data or corporate data.
StorageZone ControllerThe StorageZone Controller is used to enable StorageZone Connectors. It is a web service installed on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server that handles all HTTPS operations from users and the ShareFile Control Plane.
StorageZones Controller software supports:
StorageZone ConnectorsThe IT administrator can pre-populate the list of SharePoint sites and file shares that users will be permitted to access. Administrators can also allow users to self-provision access to internal resources.
User authentication processUsers are required to download the ShareFile mobile app from the app store or XenMobile and run it on their mobile device. This step is only required once to set up the Connectors. A two-step authentication process will then be initiated:
All authentication requests and user credentials are securely sent over HTTPS. After the authentication process is complete, the mobile client communicates directly with the StorageZone Controller and all files are securely accessed directly through the Controller within the customer’s datacenter. Files are never sent through the ShareFile control plane when using StorageZone Connectors.
Users with appropriate access will see a connected SharePoint library or network file share in the ShareFile client interface under Folders > SharePoint or Folders > Network Shares.
ConclusionMobile access to enterprise data is a critical component of full productivity for mobile workers. While workers demand a delightful experience, organizations are concerned about secure and seamless access to internal resources. ShareFile StorageZone Connectors help enterprises provide secure mobile access to data residing behind the corporate firewall. This solution extends the value of SharePoint and network drives in a BYO world and enables enterprises to fully mobilize data.