Hewlett-Packard has launched a file storage service for users of its Autonomy WorkSite document management software that it promises can be more helpful than consumer-focused hosted file services.
"With consumer-grade services, you can't govern what's out there and often you are not sure about security," said Dan Carmel, who is the head of enterprise content management strategy and solutions for HP Autonomy.
The LinkSite service synchronizes files on an internal WorkSite deployment with an HP file storage repository accessible from the Internet, making internal files available from outside the corporate firewall. All files inherit their read and write permissions from their in-house counterparts.
WorkSite is HP Autonomy's document management suite, which can be used to index and store corporate files. Autonomy acquired the company that created WorkSite, Interwoven, in 2009. Autonomy itself was acquired by HP in 2011.
HP is pitching that this new cloud companion service can provide a superior file hosting to popular consumer-focused services, because it offers more security, auditing and control for system administrators.
The company also asserts that LinkSite has advantages over other enterprise-focused file-sharing services -- such as Citrix ShareFile, or Novell Filr -- in that, at least for users of WorkSite, it is integrated with an existing content management system, so an administrator does not need to set up separate sets of policies for a new hosted file service. Employees also don't have to learn a new interface.
Users can access LinkSite through any browser that supports HTML5 markup, as well as through specific apps for Apple iOS and Android devices. For administrators, LinkSite could audit who creates, modifies or deletes files. They also get a dashboard summarizing usage statistics.
The service is built on HP Flow CM, a hosted content management service HP launched last year for storing online scans made by the company's multifunctional printers. LinkSite runs on HP Cloud Services data centers located in the U.S.
The service transfers files through the HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol. Carmel declined to elaborate on any policies that HP has on working with government intelligence agencies, in terms of disclosing or withholding customer data, other than to note HP follows standard industry and legal procedures for dealing with such situations as they arise.
List price starts at US$19.95 per month for each WorkSite-licensed user, and prices decrease with volume purchases. There is no charge for external users. Each account gets 1GB of storage, and there is no charge for bandwidth use.
The service will go live Sept. 15.