Why Manufacturers Still Rely On On-Premise Operations

In the age of remote work and digitalization, many companies are transitioning to a virtual workspace. However, there are still many industries that rely on on-premise operations, and manufacturing is one of them.

One such company is Arm, a manufacturer of cutting-edge automobile products. Unlike companies that have outsourced their manufacturing, Arm keeps most of their operations on-premise and under their control. In fact, they do 99 and a half percent of everything inside their facility.

One of the biggest reasons for this is the nature of their business. Manufacturing requires a lot of physical labor, specialized equipment, and tight quality control. It’s not something that can be easily outsourced or done remotely.

But that’s not the only reason Arm chooses to keep most of their operations on-premise. They also believe in maintaining a high level of control over their production process. By doing everything in-house, they can ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards and that their customers receive top-notch service.

Of course, this approach may not work for every company. Many businesses have found success in outsourcing their manufacturing, sales, and warehousing operations to cut costs and increase efficiency. However, for companies like Arm, where quality and control are key, on-premise operations are the way to go.

Simplify External Access to Internal Shares without Active Directory Management Headaches  

Eliminate Active Directory User Management Headaches

Organizations like Arm need to enable access to users in these manufacturing facilities who could be temporary workers or contractors to file server data in the central headquarter location. However, since these are temporary workers, Arm wants to avoid creating and managing their user accounts in their Active Directory environment. They also do not want all these temporary workers to use the same login and authorize access from different IP addresses, which is a security breach.

Arm was looking for a solution enabling access to company data from these remote manufacturing facilities and ensuring the user’s accounts are managed outside their Active Directory. This provides more manageable and more secure user management and the ability to have complete control of the file share access.

How does Triofox solve these issues without sacrificing security or control? 

As a file server mobilization platform that is focused on file server compatibility, Triofox simplifies the creation of external users or guest users while maintaining the typical file server controls. The secure file-sharing platform goes further to provide the added benefits of security features like auditing, reporting, and ransomware protection. 

This makes it much easier to secure external access to internal documents. If you want to collaborate with partners, distributors, suppliers, or vendors, you can provide remote access to corporate files and define how they will be accessed by users from external organizations. You’ll also be able to track any changes that they are making, increase the security of your corporate network and increase overall productivity. 

In conclusion, while many companies are moving towards virtual workspaces, there are still many industries that rely on on-premise operations. For manufacturers like Arm, maintaining a high level of control over the production process is essential. By doing everything in-house, they can ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards and that their customers receive top-notch service.

Please contact us to learn more about our secure mobile access and file-sharing solutions

A Secure Enterprise Cloud Sharing Solution for Electrical Construction Companies

The ability to access data when and where it’s needed is a game-changer for organizations. Gone are the days where departments had to truck files to centralized locations for storage. With cloud and mobile technology becoming more coveted, deploying a secure and efficient enterprise file sync and share solution is crucial.

Although studies show that the construction industries are lax in their adoption of cloud computing, the overarching importance of cloud technology is undeniable. 

This article focuses on how Triofox can be used as an ad hoc file-sharing solution for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) companies.

Problem Definition: Electrical Company Case Study

Outlined below is an overview of the operational workflow of a medium-sized electrical construction company:

  • Company A is an Electrical construction company with two branches in the US and almost 300 employees in total.
  • They have an on-premise file server with about 4TB of data, which is replicated in the two offices using VMware.
  • They also have a considerable number of field engineers and workers as they do solar and electrical installations for Oil and Gas corporations.
  • Field/Remote workers previously relied on VPN to connect back to the on-premise file server to access files and Dropbox to share files easily.

The following section highlights the performance issues they encountered with the initial connectivity and file sharing solution and how Triofox addresses them.

Pain Points and Triofox Solution To Them

Research has found that construction companies have difficulty with communication and coordination, which can cause delays, higher costs, and poor ROI. Our case study also reflects how changes in the work environment due to innovative circumvention influenced by the COVID-19 global lockdown heightens the difficulties.

The pain points include:

  1. Employee frustration caused by VPN Performance issues.

Most of the employees worked from the offices in the past, so accessing on-premise file servers was not an issue. However, with the rise in remote working, hundreds of concurrent VPN tunnel connections on a firewall slows down the network, leading to multiple dropped connections and disgruntled employees who constantly have to reconnect with the system.

  1. Lack of granular control of permissions

Most consumer cloud storage platforms make it difficult for IT administrators to follow important security procedures. For instance, even though they use Office 365, they can’t utilize OneDrive/Sharepoint because, in OneDrive, you can’t set different sharing permissions for subfolders as OneDrive folder sync breaks the permission. For their contractors who work with many project folders, permissions are challenging to manage because permissions can’t be set up for each subfolder of a project folder.

Also, IT administrators can’t control which files users are syncing and who has access to shared files when using Dropbox.

  1. Incompatibility with estimation/database application

They use AccuBid Enterprise, a vital estimating software for their business, as it helps contractors create estimates quickly and accurately. However, this software does not integrate well with Dropbox file sync.

An ideal solution for them would be one which:

  • Allows their employees to access the company’s file server both from remote locations and within the company’s network.
  • Offers a secure file sharing alternative to collaborate internally with their contractors and externally with their business partners.

This breakdown makes Triofox an ideal solution.

Triofox file server access solution extends the functionality of local file servers, enabling cloud collaborative features while maintaining crucial attributes of on-premise servers such as data control and security.

It addresses all their pain points and delivers efficiently as a remote file-server access alternative to VPN and a secure file-sharing alternative to Dropbox/OneDrive. Here’s how.

  1. Eliminates VPN issues with its mapped drive approach

A mapped drive serves as both a physical and logical representation of a network that employees easily understand. With this, remote working employees can easily and securely access corporate files from anywhere. Hence, employees can quickly and efficiently accomplish common tasks when using file services in their daily tasks.

  1. Provides a granular level of control over folder structures

It’s important to have a centralized data repository. Doing so allows for easy data management and allows people in different departments to share information quickly.

Unlike other cloud solutions that allow no IT control or visibility, Triofox provides centralized access for IT managers.

  1. Allows For Seamless Collaboration

Collaboration tools play an essential role in facilitating efficient communication as virtual collaboration can be more complicated for contractors and engineering teams that work with real-time data. Field contractors have to report to decision-makers who aren’t directly exposed to on-field intelligence. It’s important to make sure the right information gets to the right person at the right time, as timely communication aids decision-making. This ensures that projects are managed properly and issues are resolved before they become problems during on-site execution.

With Triofox, large media files can be shared as secure web links without copying them to a different service to obtain the shareable link, preventing bandwidth drain, data leaks, and redundancy. Files can also be shared with multiple people without re-uploading and sharing updated links (because they use Office 365, files and folders can be shared as links instead of attachments via Outlook).

  1. Enable Offline Access

For on-field access with limited to no internet connection, the contractors can enable offline access to files they need and set up automatic synchronization of changes when internet connectivity is restored.

  1. Seamless Integration

It integrates with the existing Active Directory and retains NTFS permissions on files and folders. This way, existing users still have access to network shares. Through its client agents, users can access and share files via web browsers and mobile devices.

Users don’t have to worry about ad hoc software integration problems.

  1. Efficient Collaboration

Access to up-to-date project data enables construction workers to participate more effectively and the project team to be better organized. Files are automatically locked when in use to prevent overwriting. This makes it possible to collaborate on a project without worrying that other team members will undo or overwrite each other’s changes. Also, Triofox’s version control and file tracking feature ensures that each update is saved and traceable.

Conclusion Enterprises can be assured that sensitive data never leaves the file server while granting employees the flexibility to work from remote locations with or without an internet connection and on any device.

How to Improve Access to Azure Files in the Cloud

With more and more employees working from home, many businesses seek to move data from their on-premises servers to cloud storage services. One of the more popular cloud storage solutions is Microsoft’s Azure Files – although it presents its own unique set of challenges to companies seeking to serve their remote workforces better. In this blog, we will look at how to improve access to Azure Files.

Azure Files is a managed file share service for files stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform used by large and small businesses for data storage, app hosting, and other purposes. Azure Files allows companies to share files hosted in the cloud with remote employees located anywhere in the world.

Using standard protocols like SMB or NFS, Windows Server administrators can set up access to Azure archives. Users can mount Azure Files directly from the cloud or on-premises servers. Users can access Azure Files from a Windows, macOS, or Linux machine.

Many organizations use Azure Files because it makes it relatively simple to share files via the cloud. It can easily replace on-premises file servers and existing file shares with minimal maintenance. File shares can also be cached on local Windows Servers if desired.

Challenges in Using Azure Files

Azure Files sounds like the perfect solution for organizations with work-at-home employees who need to access files remotely. However, users have discovered that it is less than ideal, with many challenges that impact the service’s ultimate usability.

The biggest challenges in using Azure Files include:

  • No native mobile application for access from phones and tablets
  • No file locking, which could result in multiple users overwriting each other’s changes
  • Potential sync problems with local caching
  • Inefficient bandwidth use from repeatedly downloading the same files from the cloud

These issues can result in inefficiencies and, sometimes, corrupted files. They also are keeping many organizations from embracing Azure Files as their remote file sharing solution.

A Real-World Example

One of our clients decided to transfer all of their on-premises data to Azure Files from local file servers. However, after conducting a service test, they discovered several issues due to the lack of file locking and other popular system features.

This client has offices in two different locations, in the U.S. and Dubai, UAE. The client’s file server is in the U.S. The client currently accesses local files at both locations and needs to access U.S.-based files from the Dubai office..

The client needed the same set of files to be present in both locations. The client had to transfer the files from both on-premises sites to a cloud file server to achieve this. The client chose Microsoft Azure Files to accomplish this.

The Azure Files solution appeared to be a viable option. Microsoft’s data center in Dubai is not far from the client’s Dubai office. His US office is also next to the Azure East data center in the United States.

The client began by syncing files from his office in the United States to the Azure cloud but soon ran into Azure’s lack of file locking functionality. People in both the US and Dubai offices were seeing different copies of the same file was inconvenient. Latency issues plagued the client, especially when it came to files syncing.

As a result, the client was forced to seek out another choice. They went with Triofox.

How Triofox Makes it Easier to Access Azure Files

Secure Azure File Access

All of these issues are addressed by Triofox, which provides all required file system features for Azure Files, including:

  • File locking
  • On-demand synchronization
  • Instant syncing to the central storage repository
  • Efficient bandwidth utilization
  • Secure mobile app access

With Triofox, Azure Files becomes much more usable for remote workers. Files are locked during editing so that essential data is never inadvertently overwritten. Azure file shares look just like typically shared folders on users’ devices.

Triofox offers web browser, desktop/laptop, and mobile access. The Triofox mobile app enables users to access files at home from their own mobile devices. Remote access is easy and secure..

Let Triofox Be Your Azure File Sharing Solution

Triofox is a file server enhancement solution that supplements Microsoft’s Azure Files remote file sharing. With Triofox, remote users have secure access to data in Azure Files with all the file locking and synchronization features that ensure safe and efficient operation. Contact Triofox today to learn more about how Triofox can help your organization get more out of Azure Files – and create a more efficient and practical remote workforce.

Contact us today for a free trial!

Efficiency in the Remote Office: Everything You Need for Secure File Sharing

Companies have to establish an effective remote file sharing strategy to cater to a variety of different business cases. A site office may have to capture field data and share it with the entire team in real-time. Engineers working remotely may be required to check out a license token from the company servers before they can use an application. Mostly, it’s just having access to the latest version of a file on a shared drive secured within a corporate network.

When schedules matter and teams need to work together while remaining apart, a fast and efficient remote file sharing solution is vital for business success. However, granting remote file access in a computer network presents benefits and risks to the organization. If they don’t provide easy access, staff will be less productive. Yet, if they don’t prioritize security, it opens them up to cybercrime, data loss, or even corporate theft.

Traditional systems tended to err on the safe side, forcing remote users to go through multiple layers of security and authentication before granting them access. It made remote work laborious and frustrated IT engineers who had to troubleshoot a list of dependencies when something went wrong, which it often did.

Challenges with Remote File Sharing Technologies Like Virtual Private Networks

Incremental improvements in file-sharing technologies enabled more knowledge workers to start operating remotely. As companies learned how to access a network drive from outside the network securely, they adopted policies that allowed staff to be productive from almost anywhere. One of the oldest and well-known technologies that organizations used to achieve this are Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Disadvantages of VPNs for Remote File Sharing

VPNs remained the standard for secure file access over the last two decades. It’s only recently that new technologies became available that could compete with these systems. The drawbacks of VPNs encouraged developers to build alternative solutions for remote file storage and access.

Some of these drawbacks include:

  • Scalability – VPNs can only handle a limited number of concurrent connections at a time. This makes it difficult to scale when more users are logging in remotely. If the company needs a greater number of simultaneous connections, the more they will have to spend on their VPN licenses. This also makes using a VPN as a remote access solution expensive.
  • Speed – By routing all information through the VPN server instead of the ISP’s infrastructure, networks tend to be slower. Some estimates found a VPN reduces network speeds by up to 90%. Performance will also decrease as more users log on to the network. The company will have to compensate for the reduction in bandwidth when using a VPN.
  • Complexity – Every company’s digital technology stack is unique. Setting up a VPN that works with all the company’s information networks and file servers requires expertise in a variety of disciplines to configure it correctly. The team responsible for setting up the VPN solution will still need to add additional network security protocols on the endpoint devices to keep the company’s systems secure.

How to Share a Folder Over the Internet Securely Without a VPN

The most efficient solution available now for sharing drives and folders over the internet is a remote server access tool. Triofox has all the benefits that come with a VPN secured connection without using the same dependencies. It streamlines remote access and allows staff to collaborate effectively while working from anywhere.

Triofox’s remote access file server integrates with the company’s Active Directory (AD) directly and inherits the existing NTFS permissions to manage remote access. It reduces the burden on IT staff while giving remote workers secure access to their files from anywhere using a web file manager.

The Benefits of Triofox to Access External Hard Drives Remotely

Packed with features, Triofox overcomes the shortcomings that traditional VPN solutions bring to a corporate network. Designed for speed, Triofox provides fast and secure access to specific files or folders. For organizations that need to implement a work from home solution quickly, Triofox is the easiest way to enable remote access from any connected device.

The benefits of Triofox remote server access include:

  • Improved Productivity – With integration to Office 365, staff can collaborate using web-based co-editing and co-authoring.
  • Granular Control – Use web links for files and Outlook attachments to share information with access controls and expiration dates.
  • Secure Access – Using HTTPS and SSL protocols to process access requests means all information remains secured and only authorized users have access to the remote files and folders.
  • Reduced Bandwidth – Triofox saves on bandwidth and speeds up drive navigation by only downloading the folder structure before accessing the intended file.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Use – Unlike VPNs, Triofox is easy to implement and can enable the company to start remote work within minutes instead of weeks.

Enabling Remote File Sharing for Workers to Telecommute Efficiently with Triofox

To keep track of all the different transactions from remote workers, Triofox comes with complete auditing and reporting capabilities. Compared to a VPN, Triofox is a cost-effective remote server access solution that leverages the company’s existing on-premises infrastructure for a reliable, fast, and secure connection.

Please visit “File Server Remote Access without a VPN” for more information.