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Druva adds file collaboration to its backup app

Laptop and endpoint backup specialist Druva gives customers the option of adding file collaboration, either on premise or through the cloud.

Druva, which specializes in backup for endpoint devices, is adding a file collaboration option to its inSync backup software. Druva inSync Share lets enterprises share files on premise or through the cloud.

Share will be part of inSync 5.1 that will enter beta on July 31 and become generally available in late August. The file collaboration features are designed to compete with online file-sharing services such as Dropbox and Box.

Druva started out with backup for laptops before adding a SafePoint data loss prevention option in 2011. It expanded to support smartphones and tablets with inSync 5.0 last year.

Chandar Venkataraman, Druva's chief product officer, said file collaboration is the next logical step for the startup.

"We're moving from just offering mobile backup into collaboration," he said. "The lines are blurring between them, and enterprises are looking for backup and collaboration."

End users can create an inSync Share folder on their desktop, and those files are automatically synchronized when changed. Peers can view files natively in Windows Explorer. They can also use a Web interface to view versions of files and delete them.

inSync Share includes three sharing models.

The peer-to-peer model lets users invite peers as authors, collaborators or viewers with different permissions for each role. Share automatically synchronizes folders on invited users' PCs or devices.

The group share -- or subscription -- model lets subscribed users collaborate and view files on a cloud folder.

The external share model lets people share links with external users, who can view files for a limited time until the shared links expire.

Group sharing is scheduled for the second Share version later this year. The peer-to-peer and external share models will be in the upcoming beta.

Customers can create an inSync Share folder from the inSync Client screen that is used to back up and restore files. From there, they create shared folders and set permissions for peers. An inSync administrator can manage backups and shared folders from a unified dashboard.

Druva's enterprise version of inSync -- supporting up to 5,000 users and 16 TB of data -- costs $55 per user per year. The Share feature is an additional $4 per user per month.

Robert Amatruda, IDC research director for data protection, said the need to collaborate is growing within many organizations and he expects to see more backup vendors add file collaboration capabilities.

"This is a nice complement to Druva's desktop and laptop protection, and lets it enter a fast-growing adjacent market," Amatruda said. "Sharing is becoming more important to end users."

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