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The Future of File Collaboration

In today's interconnected world, the need for collaboration has never been greater. Companies that can work together effectively are more productive, more innovative, and better equipped to navigate the challenges of the modern business environment.

That said, in order to do this effectively, companies need a proper file storage solution that includes key capabilities to help facilitate collaboration. A modern file storage solution that enables great collaboration experience needs to provide global-scale file caching features that can cope with today’s IT and business challenges. A global file caching service in a file storage solution can make or break an organization's ability to work collaboratively and impact the way the company functions.

In this article we’ll cover how adopting a great file storage solution such as NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache is the key to modern file collaboration, and how traditional solutions fall short in enabling organizations.

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The Key to Collaboration: A Great File Storage Solution

While the need to work collaboratively has rapidly increased, many organizations are still relying on legacy file storage solutions. In this section, we’ll explore how finding the right file storage solution is key to collaborating more effectively and tackling today's modern business challenges and complexity.

Ever-Growing Data Volume

One of the primary challenges of collaboration is the increasing need to manage and share huge amounts of data. As businesses’ volume of data continues to grow, the potential for duplication and redundancy becomes a significant issue. A great file storage solution can help eliminate these challenges by centralizing and consolidating data, enabling organizations to find better storage efficiencies and optimize their costs.

Data Complexity

Another factor that contributes to the need for a great file storage solution is the growing complexity of business intelligence and analytics. Data is often unstructured and stored independently across different mediums, formats, and storage locations. As businesses rely more heavily on data-driven insights to inform their decision-making processes, the need for a storage solution that enables data to be centrally available becomes even more critical. A great file storage solution can help ensure data is readily available, properly organized, and easily accessible for those who need it.

File Size Considerations

In addition to data volume and complexity, file size is also a critical consideration when it comes to collaboration. For example, it’s common for businesses to have slide decks that are dozens or even hundreds of megabytes in size, making it challenging to share and collaborate with a dispersed workforce. A great file storage solution with top-notch file caching capabilities can help overcome this issue by providing a fast and reliable way to collaborate on these types of larger files, regardless of where users are located.

Distributed Data

Distributed data has become paramount in today's collaborative landscape, driven by the increasing need for data accessibility. In the modern era, data is no longer confined to a single location but is instead distributed across various regions, data centers, and cloud environments. This distribution comes with challenges since data is accessed through diverse file systems, protocols, operating systems, and other technologies. Ensuring seamless interoperability and efficient data sharing across these distributed environments has become a crucial focus, demanding robust solutions that enable effective collaboration and data integration across disparate systems.

Distributed Workforce

When companies have teams spread out across the globe, it can be difficult to provide everyone with access to the same data to ensure that collaboration is seamless and efficient. A great file storage solution should eliminate these barriers by providing a single set of data for users globally and enabling real-time data access and collaboration among team members, regardless of their location.

When collaboration is both internal and external, organizations need to ensure they remain compliant and follow data policies and regulations. A modern and enterprise-grade file storage solution can provide these features, ensuring that data is secure and that users are granted access to specific files and folders according to an organization’s policies.

Challenges with Traditional File-Sharing Solutions

Traditional file-sharing solutions have been the backbone of businesses for years. However, as the workforce becomes more decentralized, the limitations of traditional file-sharing solutions, even enterprise-grade ones, are becoming more apparent. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges traditional file-sharing solutions face when it comes to collaboration.

Location-dependent File Storage

One of the biggest challenges with traditional file-sharing solutions is that they’re heavily location-dependent. Nowadays, workforces are commonly decentralized and found in different geographical locations, so it’s important that location isn’t a hindrance to collaboration. However, traditional file-sharing solutions are often tied to a specific location or network, which can prevent collaboration and slow down productivity. Cloud-based file storage provides a solution to this challenge with global file caching capabilities. Cloud-based solutions enable organizations to move from having to manage multiple islands of data in remote or branch office sites to truly allowing employees to access files from anywhere for a seamless collaborative experience.

Single Point of Failure

Another challenge with traditional file-sharing solutions is that they present a single point of failure. In the event of hardware failure or a regional disaster, files and data can be lost, and the collaboration process can grind to a halt. Cloud-based file collaboration solutions overcome this challenge by providing redundant storage, backup, and recovery systems. This ensures that data is always available, even in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Limited Security Capabilities

Data protection and security are also major concerns when it comes to traditional file-sharing solutions. Businesses need to ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access or theft. Traditional file-sharing solutions often have limited security capabilities, which can make them more susceptible to breaches, ransomware, and other vulnerabilities. On the other hand, cloud-based storage solutions offer enhanced data protection and security features, such as immutable snapshots, quick file restores from the cloud, file versioning with multiple access points, and easy backups and disaster recovery capabilities with support for different regions and geographies. These features provide businesses with greater control over their data and reduce the risk of a data breach.

Finally, traditional file-sharing solutions often rely on data duplication rather than consolidation. This means multiple versions of the same file may exist across different systems and devices, leading to confusion and version control issues, which can also slow down collaboration within an organization.

Better Collaboration With NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache

The way we collaborate with files has transformed over the years, and it’s crucial that we continue to look for ways to make it more seamless, efficient, and secure. Fortunately, the cloud has enabled the development of new solutions that can significantly improve file collaboration. NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache (CVEC) is one of these solutions.

Edge caching for caching data at the edge of the network offers a unique solution for file collaboration, allowing frequently accessed files to be cached locally in remote locations, reducing access latencies, and enabling collaboration among distributed users accessing the same file from remote locations. A central file-locking mechanism prevents multiple users from making changes simultaneously to avoid file integrity issues.


The product is designed to streamline and eliminate IT storage waste at a global level, enabling businesses to access their data quickly and securely from anywhere in the world.

NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache leverages public cloud infrastructure and it’s currently available on Azure, with support for AWS and GCP coming soon. This modernization of cloud storage is a game-changer for businesses looking to streamline their file collaboration processes. The product is designed to provide high performance, scale, cost-effectiveness, and investment protection.

One of the significant benefits of NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache is that it reduces the risk of data loss and breaches. The product offers enterprise-grade security features that ensure data is secure and protected from unauthorized access. 

Try a Game-changing File Storage Solution

A great file storage solution is a critical component of any successful collaboration effort. It provides a centralized repository for all data, enables real-time collaboration, and ensures compliance with internal policies and access management. As businesses continue to evolve and the need for collaboration grows, the importance of a great file storage solution will only continue to increase.

A modern file storage solution with global-scale file caching features, such as NetApp Cloud Volumes Edge Cache, is a game-changer that offers a unique approach to file collaboration. With the modernization of public cloud infrastructure, businesses can access their data quickly and securely from anywhere in the world. Moreover, it helps organizations find efficiencies and optimize their costs by eliminating IT storage waste at a global level. Finally, with its enterprise-grade security features, it can help reduce the risk of data loss and breaches. 

Learn more about how Cloud Volumes Edge Cache improves your collaboration experience.

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Bruno Almeida, Technology Advisor

Technology Advisor