Box began as a consumer-focused cloud storage platform, but the service has since added several enterprise features, such as Active Directory management and integration with other productivity applications. Box not only competes with cloud-based file-sharing services such as Dropbox but also with collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint.
Dropbox is a cloud service that lets users store data in the cloud and syncs that data across multiple devices. On the desktop, its folders integrate with Windows Explorer, and mobile apps are available for all major platforms. Typically considered a consumer-focused cloud-based file-sharing service, Dropbox also offers an enterprise option, Dropbox for Teams, which provides more storage.
Google’s entry in the cloud-based file-sharing and storage market is Google Drive, which integrates with Google’s other services, including Google Docs, Gmail, Google Analytics and Google+. It lets users access files and apps through a browser.
Apple’s cloud storage service is iCloud, which lets users store everything from contacts to photos to music and makes that data available across all the user’s Apple devices. The service is available on Macs with OS X 10.7 and up and iOS devices running version 5.0 and newer. In addition to offering data storage, iCloud also provides users with an email address, the Find My Phone feature and automatic device backups. Users can also save their iTunes, App Store and iBookstore purchases in a digital locker and download them to their other Apple devices.
VMware Octopus, now in private beta, is an enterprise alternative to consumer-focused cloud-based file-sharing services. Like Dropbox, Octopus offers data synchronization and sharing services across devices, but it also gives IT the ability to define and enforce security policies.
Microsoft’s Windows Live SkyDrive offers users document storage and sharing. It has many of the same consumer-focused features as other cloud-based file-sharing services, but it also lets IT admins control permissions and determine which users can see which files. In addition, SkyDrive integrates with Windows Live Hotmail.
Ubuntu One is a suite of online services from Canonical. The service enables users to store and sync files online and between computers and share files and folders with others using file synchronization. It also offers integration with Evolution for syncing contacts and with Tomboy for notes due to the access to the local CouchDB instance. Further possibilities include the capability of editing the contacts, as well as the Tomboy notes, online via the Ubuntu One Web interface.
Syncplicity is a backup and synchronization service provided by Syncplicity Inc. The service allows users to store and sync files online between computers. Currently it supports Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX. Syncplicity, Inc. was acquired by EMC Corporation on May 21, 2012