Enterprises that want to share and store files online have yet another option now that Amazon Web Services has opened its Zocalo service to general availability.
This year has seen Amazon focus more on services aimed directly at end users; besides Zocalo it has also come out with hosted WorkSpaces virtual desktops. There is already heavy competition in this arena from Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and VMware, among others.
Amazon announced Zocalo in July and pitched the service as an enterprise-friendly way to store and share files. It lets administrators control security policies, user access and storage limits. Administrators can configure policies to prevent employees from sharing documents externally, for example. Integration with Active Directory is possible thanks to the Connect feature.
Another important management feature is the ability to choose the region where files are stored. At the moment, organizations can choose between Amazon’s datacenters in Virginia, Oregon and Ireland. The company recommends choosing whatever datacenter is nearest to where most of the users are located, in order to reduce data access latencies.
Users can preview and comment on Microsoft Office files, PDFs, webpages, images, and text files directly in Zocalo. Beyond that they can store virtually any file type. The maximum size of a single file is 5GB, according to an FAQ about the service.