Guest Post by Eric Burniche of AvePoint.
File Shares can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to storing large quantities of data for business use. Yes, you enable a large number of users to access the data as if it were on their local machines, without actually having the data stored where disc space may be at a premium. But native management capabilities of file shares aren’t always ideal, so a third-party solution is necessary to fully optimize your file shares.
The primary benefit of file shares is simple, quick, and easy access to large volumes of data for large volumes of users at marginal infrastructure cost. With little or no training required, users can easily access file shares that consist of individual documents to large files and rich media like videos, audio and other formats than can range up to gigabytes (GB) in size.
The Simple Truth: Organizations are quickly realizing native file share limitations, including notoriously poor content management capabilities for search, permissions, metadata, and remote access. As a result, many have turned to Microsoft SharePoint to manage and collaborate on their most business-critical information and valued data.
The Problem: Organizations have various types of unstructured content on their file servers, which is data characterized as non-relational data– e.g. Binary Large Objects (BLOBs) — that when uploaded into SharePoint, are stored by default with the platform’s Microsoft SQL Server database. Once file share content is uploaded, the overall time taken to remove unstructured content from a structured database is inefficient, resulting in poor performance for SharePoint end-users and exponential storage cost increases for IT administrators.
Difficulty often arises when determining what content is business critical and should be integrated with SharePoint as compared to what content should be left alone in file shares, decommissioned, or archived according to business need. File types and sizes also create difficulty when integrating file share content with SharePoint because SharePoint itself blocks content types like Microsoft Access project files, .exe, .msi, .chm help files, and file sizes exceeding 2 GB violate SharePoint software boundaries and limitations.
The Main Questions: How can my organization utilize SharePoint to retire our legacy file share networks while avoiding migration projects and performance issues? How can my organization utilize SharePoint’s full content management functionality if my business-critical assets are blocked file types or larger than Microsoft’s 2 GB support contracts?
One Solution: Enter DocAve File Share Navigator 3.0 from AvePoint. DocAve File Share Navigator 3.0 enables organizations to increase file share activity and take full advantage of SharePoint’s content management capabilities, all while avoiding costs and disruptions associated with migration plans.
With DocAve File Share Navigator, organizations can:
- Expose large files, rich media via list links, including blocked files more than 2 GB, into SharePoint without violating Microsoft support contracts to truly consolidate access to all enterprise-wide content
- Decrease costs associated with migrating file share content into SharePoint’s SQL Server content databases by accessing file share content through SharePoint
- Allow remote users to view, access, and manage network files through SharePoint without requiring a VPN connection
- Direct access for local file-servers through SharePoint without burden on web front end servers
- Increase file share content discoverability by utilizing SharePoint’s full metadata-based search across multiple, distributed file servers
- Allow read-only previews of documents for read-only file servers
The native capabilities of file shares are unlikely to improve, but fortunately there are third-party solutions such as DocAve File Share Navigator that can help turn your file share from a headache to an asset, allowing you to continue to collaborate with confidence.
Eric Burniche is a Product Marketing Manager at AvePoint.