Sharepoint the Office 365 collaborative tool

We’ve been talking for a while about Sharepoint, the Office 365 collaborative tool. But, what brings SharePoint to collaborative work ?

Sharepoint in a word

Sharepoint is a layer which helps to present and organize shared document and information by creating intranet portals and dynamic web pages without any particular knowledge.

Online team workspace

As explained in microsoft-office365.net, dynamic web pages can be used to create online team workspace. Though these pages, team members will put shared documents links of their online storage, and each member will be able to follow documents updates.
You can use Sharepoint to also create some wiki-likes pages, for documentation and project management.

Sharepoint forms

Microsoft 365 chose Sharepoint for its simplicity. You don’t need any technical knowledge to create forms to manage day-off demands for instance, or meeting rooms reservations.

Sharepoint Search

Every data published though Sharepoint is indexed. It makes the search among a large amount of documents a lot easier.

What kind of data can you backup online ?

If you need to store multimedia files online, you don’t need to choose the best cloud storage, any online storage will be fine.
Restrictions come with more professional needs like storing operating system or data bases.
In those particular cases, you will need some specific cloud storage services.

Do not over load your bandwith during backup process

Data transfer can make your network connection really overloaded.
Best online backup software compress data before uploading them into the online storage.
Other technology like deduplication consider a file as a gathering of blocks.
Online backup services uploads only the updated blocks, which is really a bandwith gain compared to the whole file.

More details about deduplication by visiting this website best-cloud-storage.org or by watching this video :

Virtual appliance vs virtual machine

Once your virtual image created – a vmdk file if you use Vmware converter – different kind of virtualization softwares are available. With Vmware for instance, you can choose Esxi Server which runs a pre configured linux based OS, or Vmware for Linux, a software that need to be installed on a Linux host, but let you set your virtual machine with the guest OS that you want.
With the same properties of compatibility and hardware independance, the vmware appliance runs an configured operating system and the application that provide the service expected.
A big advantages, to patch or update a vmware appliance is very simple. Just apply patches that come from the application vendor. They are pre-tested.
Other set like Vmware Tools are available for free and fix networking or drive access issues.

vmware view

Virtual desktop architecture

Now you’ve got your virtualized environnement, you need to control the access, the rights on each Virtual Machine, with a minimum of time spending.
As for a traditional network, you need to grant access and give privileges to each user of your virtual architecture. Vmware VDI helps you to manage this issue.
To provide a secure access to your virtual desktops, Vmware for instance has a service named Vmware View which garanty to your cloud users the access to their virtual environnement from anywhere.

Virtualized architecture by Vmware

Vmware is a major company in virtualization and cloud computing echosystem. Once installed its virtualization solution on any physical machine, you are enabled to run any operating systems.
Vmware solution reduces drastically time to market for development projects, which helps companies to create and deliver new applications faster.
The virtual machine combined with an optimized operating system and its application, you obtain a package called vmware appliance. A huge library of virtual appliance is available for download on the Wmware Marketplace.