Can Google Drive Replace Your File Server?

by Denise Hazime on July 27, 2012

Google Drive (released in April) is providing companies the opportunity to sync locally stored documents to their Google Apps accounts. No more manually uploading documents, now with Google Drive you have a place on your desktop to drop and retrieve content which syncs with your Google Docs account.

To see how this relates to your company's file server, let's first ask the question: what is the function of a file server?

The quick answer is, it's a safe and central place to store,access, and manage documents.

  • It's safe(ish) for 2 reasons:
    • It's normally protected behind some type of security device like a firewall
    • It can be locked in a closet so it's less likely to be stolen
  • It's provides a centralized management system for access to the documents.

Now that we know the reasons people use file servers, let's see how Google Drive compares.

  • It's super safe: It's super safe because your data is stored in Google's guarded temp controlled server facilities with many redundant copies
  • Central and convenient access: Using sharing privileges, you can easily share documents with anyone you want in your office & even outside your office if your administrators so allow.

Bonus features:

  • You can access your files from home and on the road as well as in the office.
  • You can edit your documents in the cloud from anywhere
  • You can collaborate in real time
  • Cost savings: no upfront hardware costs or IT support personnel required. 5 GB per user for free, and an additonal 25 GB per user only costs $2.49/user/month.

All in all, Google Drive offers all the benefits of a file server, without all the cost, loss risk, and maintenance.

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