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KeByte: Corporate Cloud Storage as a Service

BYOD and multiple devices per user, data losses and leakages, high turnover of employees due to M&A, firm boundaries which are hard to specify. These are just some of the struggles that IT departments have to deal with on a daily basis, demanding solutions that must be well motivated to be accepted by most users within any company. Not an easy task, there is no doubt about it.

But nothing like a good challenge to bring out the very best of the people at Kabel and an excellent opportunity to offer a solution that makes use of the best cloud platform available, Azure, the central core around which KeByte is being developed on: in essence, it’s just a simple desktop client to store files on the cloud, enabling the transparent synchronization of them between multiple devices and the fast sharing of data among employees, and Internet users too. Moreover, KeByte integrates seamlessly with the corporate AD infrastructure, enabling the reuse of the existing user accounts for Single Sign On authentication, and AD groups for easing the administration through a web interface by establishing bandwidth and storage quotas. But the most important aspect is that KeByte does not retain for itself the best features of Azure’s storage, but directly transfers them to the customer: maintenance of the SLA with an uptime of 99.9% per month; storage in triplicate and transparently geo-replicated; and very competitive prices, specially if purchased through Enterprise Agreements, a very beneficial arrangement that would automatically transfer every future price reductions to the corporate customer.

Thus, the design and architecture of KeByte strikes to achieve the right balance between all the involved stakeholders, and trade-off their different needs and interests:

  • Effortless usability, instantly qualifying any user for its use, with almost no learning curve at all: in fact, using KeByte to upload files to the cloud is as easy as placing files in a particular local directory to directly synchronize them to the cloud
  • To simplify the proper administration, extensive controls have been designed and built to enable the auditing and tracking of events, to facilitate the information retrieval, the rationalization of resources and the control of accesses and authorization through the use of the authentication provided by Active Directory
  • And because isolated information offers no benefit at all, KeByte improves teamwork allowing the granular sharing of files and directories between the employees, and also with any other user (authenticated or not)

The Cloud is secure, or it isn’t

The truth is that it’s never easy to take the decision to authorize the storage of large quantities of corporate information on the cloud. But likewise it’s also true that Azure solves this deadlock by complying with the most restrictive international privacy and security rules and standards, such as the Spanish Data Protection Act (LOPD), besides the implicit guarantee of the steady hardening of its datacentres through the process of carrying out continuous security audits to guarantee their optimal safety.

KeByte deepens this commitment to computer security, not only by offering a perfect integration through federating the on-premise Active Directory to Azure, or by offering encryption for data storage and during transmission; but also by, in direct contrast to any other market offer, instituting a mono-tenant solution on the cloud that once deployed, the corporate customer is able to fully and exclusively control, so it’s never shared with any other KeByte instances: that is, a perfect compartmentalization of the information is established that isolates the files of the different customers, much like a silo would.

Optimal software development processes, the key to achieve the best products

Kabel, a Microsoft partner awarded on many of its development competencies, has focused all the experience accumulated through multiple projects and technologies to build KeByte. In practice, this means the use of the last versions of almost every Microsoft product (Azure, Visual Studio, Windows 8, …), but also the web standards (vg. HTML5)

Our experience stands out the most in picking the best from agile development methodologies: Scrum for the internal and daily development, and Lean to continuously iterate the product with customers and the market, carefully listening for their needs and rechecking them with empirical measurements of the utilization of our services. Integrated with these, intense testing processes (unit, integration and functional) and continuous deployment to the production environment for whatever novelties get developed, or as bugs get fixed.

Within Kabel, we believe that customer attention and support are potentially the best marketing tools that any company could aim to, since they happen to be unsurpassable competitive advantages even in the short term: in that regard, the best of on-demand and custom software development gets combined with the use of the greatest methods for the analysis of the user interaction, creating an unique hybrid that pools the best of long-term planning from traditional development methodologies, with the immediacy of custom development that are the realm of agile development methodologies.

With full support from Microsoft

No doubt about it, the company that gets more and better involved with its Partners: Microsoft took part in the initial phases of product conceptualization, and is fuelling the diffusion of KeByte in major corporate accounts since its early stages. Its backing of KeByte, together with Azure being the best platform for Cloud Computing, are clearly the best guarantees for the coming success of KeByte, upholding the maxim that long-term relationships between enterprises are a key factor to generate value in a solid and durable way.

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