This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Cloud storage platforms like Amazon S3 are handy unless your primary business is providing active file servers. That tidbit was divulged by Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain.

Egnyte on Tuesday released a local cloud networked attached storage (NAS) offering aimed at small to mid-sized businesses. For Jain, the Egnyte move is the latest step in its product roadmap. Egnyte has been providing cloud file servers, but is now taking a more hybrid approach on the network. Egnyte’s direct attached storage already did the hybrid cloud routine.

The company, which recently raised $6 million in venture capital, said its latest offering aims to lump together file storage, sharing and backup with the security of a local drive. Egnyte plans to synchronize its cloud file server with a company’s hardware. Jain added that Egnyte will be hardware agnostic.

When asked about what cloud storage platform Egnyte was using-I had assumed that it would be Amazon Web Services or Rackspace-Jain said the company built its own cloud platform. Why? Bandwidth costs. Outside platforms can be effective if they are used for usage spikes and passive backups. However, Egnyte is an active file server platform so bandwidth costs can add up.

“We built our own back end,” explains Jain. “When we tacked on bandwidth (to other cloud storage platforms) we wound up with a cost of 43 cents per GB.”

Egnyte is likely to find an audience for its hybrid cloud storage approach. By turning any off-the-shelf NAS device into a file server, the company is filling a need. The hybrid approach is resonating with IT managers. Indeed, Jain said Egnyte has landed a Fortune 100 company for its cloud NAS approach. The company, which couldn’t be named, had 1,500 financial planners accessing the Egnyte system. The hybrid file server approach worked for the company due to its compliance and document retention requirements.

That size customer is an outlier, said Jain. But Egnyte didn’t have to do anything specialized for the company other than showing the CIO around its data center and prove it was on par with the company’s security policies.