VMware Project Octopus is now available in beta

VMware announced the beta release of Octopus today. Octopus is VMware's Dropbox-like file syncing service.

VMware announced the beta release of Octopus today. Octopus is VMware’s Dropbox-like file syncing service. It was first announced last August at VMworld, and about a month ago it surfaced in the Apple App Store. (VMware also made announcements about View 5.1 and Horizon App Manager today.)

The back end for Octopus is deployed on-premises (or it can be hosted by a service provider), and there are clients for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows desktops, and web. (Fun fact: we learned that the desktop clients are based on technology from Mozy.) The app is pretty standalone now now, but we’re hoping for eventual integration with things View and Horizon (like Citrix Receiver and ShareFile), so when a user opens a file in Octopus it launches the appropriate mobile or Windows app.

From the demos we’ve seen so far, using Octopus is pretty straightforward. There’s a folder, you put stuff in it, and it’s synced to other devices. Simple as that, except it can be controlled and provisioned by IT. Like any other corporate file-syncing solution, there’s preview, open-in control, offline access, storage quotas, granular control over users, event logging... all the usual. For now it’s nothing too revolutionary, but it’ll get exciting when the integration starts happening. And even if the whole thing is no better than Dropbox, being able to deploy it yourself on your own servers that you trust is pretty great.

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"For now it’s nothing too revolutionary"

While true, this does enables on premise hosting of cloud like services. In large enterprise environments where data loss prevention practices limit the use of any consumer services like Dropbox, this opens the door for our users. Significant advancements to cloud security\compliance are needed for large organizations to be comfortable using public services.

I think the revolutionary point to make here is consumer cloud services (in the form of appliances) can be hosted on premise and Horizon or CloudGateway can be the broker for the end users and devices.

This could solve many challenges our organization faces in meeting user expectations, while protecting IP.