Cloud

Box Drive lets business users access 'tens of millions of files' from their desktop

A new enterprise solution from Box called Box Drive uses streaming instead of syncing to provide unlimited access to all of your company data in the cloud.

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Image: iStockphoto/Rawpixel

A new app from Box, called Box Drive, offers business professionals "infinite access" to all of their company files, without taking up space on their desktop. According to a Box blog post, users could access "even tens of millions of files" if they wanted to.

Box Drive achieves this promise by relying on streaming the files instead of syncing them. Unlike the traditional Box product, which syncs data and makes on copy on the user's drive, Box Drive allows users to access the streamed files through the app, without a local copy needed, the release said.

The goal of the product is to provide the benefits of cloud storage but in a more familiar, desktop interface, according to the post. Syncing tools are limited by a user's drive space, and network file shares are outdated, the post said. That's where Box Drive comes in.

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Some people simply don't like working from their browser, the post noted, and that's understandable. However, Box Drive feels less like a browser tool, and more like a way to access files stored on a hard drive.

Once installed, Box Drive will simply appear as any other hard drive on a user's computer. To access a given file, the user will click on it, downloading it to their machine. Native search functionality is included to improve productivity.

Another point noted by the post was the security available through cloud tools like Box. By consolidating the points in an enterprise where a given file lives, it limits the potential security risks relative to that file.

Additionally, Box Drive could help customers maintain their compliance. Box Drive supports HIPAA, FINRA, and FedRAMP compliance, while also offering data retention rules and other security tools as well, the post said.

Box Drive supports Mac, Windows, and VDI environments, the post said, opening it up as a file sharing option across a host of different organizations.

If a company were to use Box Drive to replace a host of legacy tools, they could stand to save some money too. According to the release, existing customer have saved between $1.3 and $6 million over the course of three years.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The new Box Drive app offers unlimited access to an organization's cloud-hosted files by relying on streaming instead of syncing the files.
  2. Box Drive allows users to operate similar to working from a traditional shared network drive, which could be a subtle way of getting more users on board with the cloud.
  3. HIPAA, FINRA, and FedRAMP compliance are supported by Box Drive, along with Mac, Windows, and VDI environments.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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