Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California Aerohive Networks has rapidly expanded to offices and operations across the world to serve its customers. To support the Sunnyvale office, Aerohive has invested in a satellite engineering office in China. A customer services operation is based out of Chicago and there are numerous sales and marketing personnel who work remotely from home or are on the move.
Geographical Growth Stresses File Serving Infrastructure
Like many mid-sized companies Aerohive has traditional infrastructure housed in Sunnyvale - file servers, VPN for remote access and associated backup of file shares. This traditional infrastructure served Aerohive well till the business started to grow geographically.
As more remote employees came on board, there was no "office" that they worked from. It was important to ensure that they could still be productive in terms of creating and managing their files. IT was also increasingly concerned about loss of data should a remote employee laptop crash or be stolen.
Collaboration between the engineering offices in China and Sunnyvale became a major bottleneck. The team in China would remote connect into the Sunnyvale file server to access files. However, connectivity from China to Sunnyvale was fraught with problems. There were numerous times when the connection would be slow or completely shut down causing a significant loss in productivity due to time zone differences. It was important to ensure that the office in China had timely and fast access to the files that the Sunnyvale staff had updated that day.
As the cloud became mainstream IT noticed many employees starting to use consumer grade solutions for file sharing. Aerohive decided it was time to embrace the cloud and identify a solution that could solve different aspects of their file storage and sharing needs.
Egnyte Powers Collaboration on Both Sides of the Pacific
Aerohive IT reviewed solutions based on several criteria. After looking at various offerings including Cloud only solutions like Box, Aerohive selected and deployed Egnyte.
Enterprise grade security was one of the key criteria for IT. Egnyte allows IT to centrally manage the solution and integrate with Active Directory for user and password management. Since Aerohive was migrating parts of the business from a traditional file share, granular sub-folder level permissions was essential to map current processes and data structures into the new solution.
Ease of use and multi-device access was another factor. With Egnyte, remote users are now able to sync critical files right from their desktop to the cloud. This data is securely backed up and an increasing number of employees are accessing files using Egnyte apps on smartphones and tablets. "Ease of use for end users is critical but not at the expense of security", says Dave Holeman, VP of IT. "The folder permissions Egnyte provides are the most advanced I have seen in the market and lets us manage access in line with our business policies."
Possibly the most critical need was the ability to use a solution that would work around the vagaries of the connectivity from China. Any solution that was "only" in the cloud would put the China team in no better situation. Egnyte's hybrid offering and the ability to use local storage was a big factor for Aerohive. IT has deployed Egnyte's Storage Sync, a virtual appliance that utilizes local storage and synchronizes to the cloud. One virtual appliance each in the Sunnyvale and China offices store the common engineering file sets that need to be shared. Users in each office simply access files using a familiar mapped drive from the local storage in that office. This ensures that the China team has fast local access to files regardless of Internet connectivity that day. Once the files are updated in China, they sync to the cloud and down to local storage in Sunnyvale. If the China office has connectivity issues, the Egnyte appliance is constantly keeping tabs on this and the sync occurs as soon as a connection is available from China. Similarly, as the Sunnyvale staff works on files and wraps up for the day the files sync to China in time for them to start their business day.
Dave Holeman, VP of IT says, "We evaluated Cloud only solutions, but for us, the Cloud was not enough. We really needed a combination of local storage and cloud to keep our teams humming across the globe. Egnyte addresses multiple file management needs for us as the company grows and is an essential part of our infrastructure."