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Box and CTERA: The Big Difference

The Content and Collaboration marketplace is quite crowded, with dozens of vendors offering file sharing capabilities. Because enterprises are trusting a large portion of their corporate data in these repositories, some will thoroughly evaluate the software before they choose. But others simply don’t have the time, or don’t know what to ask about. IT architects who went through evaluations have pointed out to us the biggest difference between CTERA and Box, so I’ll share the insights we’ve gathered. If you want, you can download the full Box vs. CTERA comparison here.

First of all, you need to understand what the platform encompasses:

File Sync & Share
Cloud Storage Gateways
Backup (snapshots)


So while both Box and CTERA offer File Sync & Share capabilities, CTERA also offers Cloud Storage Gateways as well as Backup. “But Josh,” you ask, “who cares that CTERA has cloud storage gateways when I’m looking for file sharing?” Let me explain:

Outside the Box thinking with CTERA

File sharing technology (like Box and Dropbox) isn’t really new. NAS is just an older method of file sharing: people on a network can edit each other’s files, always have the latest versions, and can email a link (of the network path) to access the file. Our customers – typically with10,000+ employees – invested in file servers and NAS extensively throughout their main locations and remote offices, as well as the associated security and governance. So it is ideal if a new file sharing system integrates with the legacy file sharing of NAS.

Cloud Storage Gateways simply provide the CIFS/SMB/NFS interface into the CTERA cloud file system. So CTERA customers get the file sync & share capabilities, but using CTERA doesn’t disrupt NAS users – it empowers them – and IT doesn’t have to ensure privacy and governance for an additional system since IT can leverage the existing validation done on NAS systems.

The same model applies to backup. It is simply another access method for older versions of files. File sync and share products often provide versioning as well, but it lacks snapshots. CTERA brings together file version control as well as snapshots for entire systems.

And as you also might know, CTERA announced version 6.0 recently – a platform update that includes infinite file access to cloud-based files directly from the desktop. Box also offers this kind of caching functionality, but it’s delivered as a separate software client than the Box FSS agent, which means customers would need to choose cache mode or sync mode, or manage both clients. With CTERA you get caching, sync, and endpoint backup in a single client application. We also enable users to ‘pin’ folders for offline access, which Box does not offer today.

In closing, IT Architects who recognize that files are at the center of business and want to accelerate business by giving users additional ways to operate on their files see how CTERA is a more elegant approach than adding on another detached system. For more details you can read the full comparison.

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