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A growing number of companies are looking at the under-exploited SMB cloud market and releasing products to fit. The latest is from Egnyte (news, site)  which has just announced that this week its Office Local Cloud is available on the Netgear ReadyNAS business-class network storage platforms.

Combining on-site local storage with file storage in the cloud, it gives users the ability to access and share files not only from the office, but also from the outside and offline, while maintaining control over everything that has been accessed or used in those files.

As one of the growing number of hybrid solutions that have entered the market over the past 12 months, primary data is kept on-premise while synchronizing with Netgear’s cloud service. It can also be integrated with existing directory services including Microsoft’s Active Directory and LDAP.

This means that Office Local Cloud on Netgear ReadyNAS, provides active file repositories that will automatically synchronize the cloud and local storage so that users access the most recent version of files locally or in the cloud.

Egnyte’s Hybrid Solutions

The move to release Office Local Cloud on the Netgear ReadyNAS corresponds to a growing move towards the cloud from enterprises in the SMB space, as well their adoption of hybrid storage solutions.

Egnyte has three offerings in this respect that will be deployed according to the size of the enterprise involved:

  • Personal Local Cloud: Deployed on a user’s computer and is a standard feature with power user accounts.
  • Office Local Cloud: Deployed on a Network-attached Storage device for SMBs.
  • Enterprise Local Cloud: Deployed on any existing hardware as a VMware-based Virtual Appliance.

The advantage of a hybrid solution is the ability to access files in the local cloud when there is no internet connection and have them immediately updated in the cloud once the connection is re-established.

Egnyte, the Cloud and SMBs

Egnyte is making Office Local Cloud available on Netgear ReadyNAS’ storage platforms just as the SMB space is starting to pull out of recession and start looking at economical IT options.

According to a recent survey from IT market researchers Access Markets International in their SMB Cloud Services Practice report, there are roughly 750,000 (12%) small businesses and 20,000 (24%) medium businesses already using software-as-a-service .

However, 78% of SBs and 31% of MBs are leveraging a SaaS plus on-premise mix (or hybrid model), while approximately only a third of SaaS users are using an actual pure-SaaS product.

With an anticipated growth of up to US$ 95 billion in global SMB cloud-related spending by 2014, it isn’t a surprise to see over half of US SMBs looking into SaaS as a potential solution.

Approximately one in five US SMBs plan to use SaaS. However, AMI believes that SMBs are easing into the concept of local plus cloud-based computing rather than leapfrogging into a pure-play platform. Egnyte has just fitted itself into this small space with this partnership.