Citrix ShareFile upgrade allows IT department to control personal cloud-based storage

Enterprises can choose between customer-managed or Citrix-managed StorageZones

Citrix Systems is giving back to IT departments some control over personal cloud-based storage with ShareFile StorageZones, which allows user content to be stored in enterprises' own data centers, the company announced at the Synergy conference in Barcelona.

Cloud-based services such as DropBox, Apple's iCloud and Google's Drive are changing the way data is stored and shared, but for enterprises they also mean a loss of control over how and where content is stored.

Citrix is aiming to change that with the introduction of ShareFile with StorageZones, designed to allow enterprises to meet compliance requirements while optimizing performance by storing data close to the user. Users will still access their content the way they are used to.

Enterprises can choose between what Citrix calls customer-managed StorageZones that place data in the organization's own data center, and Citrix-managed StorageZones, which are available in seven locations around the world. It is also possible to use a mix of the two zones, the company said.

Both options are available today, along with the software needed for on-premises deployments.

Working in conjunction with customer-managed zones, StorageZone Connectors are designed to let IT staff create a secure connection between the ShareFile service and user data stored on enterprise networks. A tech preview of StorageZone Connectors is available for download and will be generally available by the end of the year, according to Citrix.

To provide more cloud storage options to users, Citrix also announced plans to add Citrix-managed StorageZones on Microsoft's Azure cloud in 2013.

Next year Citrix will also start shipping the ShareFile StorageZones MPX Appliance. It will have integrated security and network optimization, and also will be designed to simplify integration with existing storage environments.

ShareFile, the company, was acquired by Citrix in October last year.

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