ownCloud offers open source Dropbox rival

cloud computing

ownCloud has moved into the commercial market with the launch of its file sync and share project for businesses.

Up until now, ownCloud has remained an open source project with more than 400,000 users, but with the rise of Dropbox and Box cloud storage offerings, it felt now was the time to launch its product commercially.

The ownCloud 2012 Business and Enterprise editions are based on Version 3 of the community edition and aim to give the ease-of-use of file sync products already on the market, but layering extra security for company peace of mind.

There are two new releases for commercial consumption. First up is ownCloud Business, which offers the same functionality as the community project but with maintenance and support, an AGPL licence and support for open source plug-ins.

However, with the second iteration, ownCloud Enterprise, businesses are given the option of running their own file sync and share system on internal hardware and storage in-house. This gives them the security they strongly desire, whilst offering the same flexibility of the community project.

"For more than two years now, ownCloud has been giving corporate IT managers the ability to offer their users easy and secure access to corporate data, while leveraging their existing infrastructure as the back end," said Markus Rex, founder and chief executive (CEO) of ownCloud.

"These new offerings give end users easy-to-use sync clients and mobile apps, and give IT commercial support."

The flexibility of ownCloud comes from the use of the WebDAV standard, enabling users to access, edit or move files all through their web browser. Sync clients for ownCloud are available for Linux or Windows and companies can install it on their mobiles with Android or iOS applications.

The other focus here is the lack of vendor lock-in, where the user can choose where and with whom they store their data.

Both ownCloud Business and ownCloud Enterprise are availble today. The business version starts at $999 (623) a year for up to 50 users, but there is also the option of paying monthly from $100. The enterprise version, which also includes a management console, starts at $15,000 a year or $1,500 a month for up to 250 users.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.