EMC has recently released a new (FREE) tool called Panorama. It can grant mobile access to any SMB2+ share. It’s currently supported through the free iPad Syncplicity client, and I’m told that more clients will be available soon.
“Universally relevant” is a pretty aggressive phrase. Consider that the average knowledge worker has over 3 connected devices. Not to toot my own horn, I’m above average with four devices counting my laptop, tablet, virtual desktop, and iPhone :-).
And yet few organizations have policies and technologies in place to govern the data on those endpoints. It’s a classic story of rogue IT, where users will deploy technologies to enable their own efficiency regardless of corporate IT policies. The best way to mitigate rogue IT is to make it unnecessary. I stopped using Dropbox when EMC IT made Syncplicity available so that I could get to my data on whatever device I happened to be using, wherever I happened to be. But still it wasn’t perfect. I couldn’t get to my home directories or what some would call “The SharePoint” via the Syncplicity client.
This tool is nearly stupid simple. It takes moments to set up. If you’re looking to play, check out the Karsten Bott’s Panorama extension for labbuildr (which is an awesome home lab tool for anyone looking to futz around with MS stuff). If you’ve got a lab already built, grab a copy of the Panorama installer for yourself and get started.
So what’s supported? We know that we can mobile enable SMB2 & SMB3 shares for free. If you’re adventurous with clicking on links, you know that the Panorama software is free to use, regardless if whether you’re an EMC customer or not. What else do you get?
It turns out you get quite a lot. In-app editing, in-app restriction, offline editing, remote wipe. It’s pretty robust, but of course there’s more if you like what you see in the free version. By upgrading to Syncplicity Enterprise, you can get cross device synchronization (rather than simple access to shares from mobile devices), check-in and out from SharePoint, external links to content, and more.
For IT pros struggling to keep their users off ungoverned cloud services, this is an absolutely critical tool. Given its price point and simplicity of deployment, there is literally no excuse for anyone not to be running Panorama.