VMware is planning to launch the beta for its Project Octopus cloud storage service by the end of June, and partners are eager to get their hands on one of the pillars of the company's "post-PC" vision.
VMware first introduced Project Octopus at VMworld last September, and company executives have taken to calling it "Dropbox for the enterprise," with the implication that organisations that are allowing their employees to use Dropbox at work are taking an unnecessary risk.
Although Dropbox says it encrypts files on Amazon S3 in secure data centres, there are lingering fears about the service among businesses -- and VMware is looking to quell them with Project Octopus.
"This is absolutely a huge ‘want’ from just about every customer I speak with," said Chris Ward, vice president of consulting and integration at VMware partner Greenpage.
VMware declined to comment on its Project Octopus beta launch plans, first reported by CRN on Thursday.
The cloud storage space is a party that many vendors are vying to be seen at, as evidenced by Citrix's acquisition of ShareFile last October and new products from AppSense and RES Software that addresses the security of files being uploaded to the cloud.
Organisations that have deployed VMware desktop virtualisation are eager to see what Project Octopus will bring in terms of stronger security.
"The need for security controls in Dropbox is definitely something that companies are struggling with," said Scott Miller, director of cloud and virtualisation at VMware partner World Wide Technology.
Just as Microsoft environments with Active Directory restrict access to certain files to certain users, Project Octopus is also expected to provide access controls for distributed file systems.
AppBlast, VMware's technology for delivering Windows and other apps to web browsers and device supporting HTML 5, and Horizon, its cloud-based identity system, are critical parts of the company's vision for a future in which PCs are relegated to the sidelines, and replaced by non Windows devices for primary computing purposes.