Sharing and Tracking

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-11-30 Print this article Print


Egnyte HybridCloud power users can share files with standard users, who are provided access at no additional cost. As with many file sharing platforms, there is a modest amount of work the file recipient must do to log in and retrieve the shared file. This did not prove to be a problem for my test users, and most recipients should be able to follow the Egnyte instructions without having to ask for help from the sender.

I was able to integrate our test instance of Egnyte HybridCloud with an Okta single sign-on identity management system. Egnyte HybridCloud also works with OneLogin, although I didn't test with that platform. Okta is a cloud-based single sign-on platform that specializes in software as a service (SaaS) to Microsoft Active Directory identity management. This version of Egnyte HybridCloud also supports full Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) for other single sign-on platform support.

After a user is granted access to Egnyte HybridCloud, a range of file sharing options are available. Using FTP, I was able to upload and share large ISO files. I was also able to use the standard file transfer methods provided by Egnyte HybridCloud to upload and share a variety of Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel files. New in this version of the product is the ability to preview certain files, which should make it even easier for users to ensure they are grabbing the right file. I was able, for example, to preview a PowerPoint presentation. However, the ISO files, which contain no human readable information, were rightly not recognized by the Egnyte HybridCloud system and could not be previewed.

Egnyte HybridCloud errors on the side of user notification, whether that user is the administrator, a power user or a standard user. Every significant file and user event generates an email notice to the administrator. Users are notified when a file is accessed, and email is used extensively to inform recipients that they have a file waiting for them. The user emails, of course, are necessary, but I did turn off most administrative notifications after the first day of use.

While the administrative emails were a bit wearing, they were necessary to make up for the paucity of reporting capabilities in Egnyte HybridCloud. The product takes much too Spartan an approach to helping administrators and users understand anything other than rudimentary usage of the Egnyte HybridCloud system. For example, I was able to see overall capacity used but wasn't easily able to see activity reports for users or files. And while there was an "audit" report, this report was not detailed enough to inspire confidence that it would be useful in a rigorous external audit situation.

Even with these reporting weaknesses, I was satisfied with the basic user and file sharing activities in my test organization.  

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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