Dropbox has been in the news offlate for some wrong reasons but I must commend their business model of ‘Freemium’ to attract users. Our team uses dropbox for document collaboration and we often come to the event horizon of the size limit of the account. While we are currently evaluating the necessity of upgrading to ‘Dropbox for Teams’ our current method of usage has reached roadblocks.
I have recommended Dropbox to a large number of users and hence I did receive about eight gigabytes of storage space courtesy ‘referrals’ but other members of my team are grappling for storage as their accounts are still 2 gigabytes worth. Our current method involves one person sacrificing their account to be the common ‘folder account’. The user has then created a common folder that has been shared across the team.Now here comes the problem : Dropbox creates a folder of equal size in all the user accounts.Lets say folder ‘Fun’ has grown to 2.5 Gb then it will become the same in all the users who are sharing the folder.
At this juncture we did reach out to Dropbox for pricing on their ‘Dropbox for Teams’ and it was amounting to a staggering 1500 USD/yr for 30 users. Although competitively priced against other similar services but it was not an amount we were willing to spend on a external service. This is where I got thinking.
How can Dropbox make inroads into Enterprises who need this technology but have painfully limiting security concerns?
The answer lied in ‘Dropbox in a box’. Although a cheesy term for what I am proposing. It involves providing rack mounted single unit server connected to a storage device either SAN or NAS provided as a box that can be deployed internally behind Enterprise firewalls. This delivery method solves both the access and the security considerations that will creep up when they might pitch to large enterprises.
Although I might be naive in assuming that they would not have thought about it but still I am happy that years of working in Enterprises trying to justify development or acquisition of new technologies to security teams I have learnt the middle ground of approaching them.
“Dropbox in a box”: a rack-mounted server unit with SAN/NAS storage deployed behind the enterprise firewall with the proprietary software and services installed