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VMware Project Octopus: Data Sharing for the Post-PC Era

By Andrew Hawthorn, Product Marketing, End-User Computing

Last September, VMware provided a glimpse into the future. It demonstrated a new technology, called Project Octopus, that promised to be the first viable Enterprise cloud file sharing application. The way people manage and share information within the Enterprise is changing, and Project Octopus is at the forefront of meeting these new needs.

Today, with the announcement of the Project Octopus Beta, VMware is taking a significant step toward empowering users to securely access files on any device from anywhere. Unlike other solutions, Octopus can be deployed on-premise or accessed via a VMware service provider, and either way, Octopus provides IT with the ability to govern usage and set policies for data access and sharing.

First and foremost, Project Octopus is about getting to your data — anywhere you are, on any device you choose. Simply put, it’s about giving you the freedom to work from where you want to work, using the devices that best work for you. No longer do you have to email yourself a file to get it on your iPad.

Secondly, it’s about collaboration. We have all resorted to sending around large files to teams of collaborators, which leads to version control nightmares. No longer. Octopus allows effortless access, share, manage, search and update files with people inside or outside of your organization.

Thirdly, Project Octopus provides full control for administrators. Centralized policy management enables IT to govern access and usage, while retaining full control over corporate data. Faced with users swarming to do-it-yourself solutions in the consumer cloud, IT managers are excited to provide a safe, highly-available and secure alternative. IT is demanding a complete solution built for Enterprise requirements — one that satisfies end-user requirements for anytime/anywhere access on any device, while still delivering on Enterprise requirements for security and governance.

Project Octopus is the successful marriage of Zimbra and Mozy technologies, with some additional code jointly developed by the two teams. Prior to GA release, it will be folded into Horizon, providing a centralized policy and entitlement engine that will broker user access to applications, virtual desktops and data resources. The result will be a simple, seamless end-user experience when accessing work resources across private and public clouds on whatever device the user chooses.

The beta is open to all and will last through VMworld. Due to limited support resources, priority will be placed on customers with active engagements.


Read more about the other products launched as part of our VMware End-User Computing portfolio announcement.

Visit the VMware End-User Computing Virtual Conference for on on-demand video playback of launch announcements including product break out sessions to learn more.


16 thoughts on “VMware Project Octopus: Data Sharing for the Post-PC Era

  1. Simon Flood

    Firstly the first link in the article is broken – it obviously should go to http://www.vmwareoctopus.com but it must be missing the http:// at the front as it’s become appended to article URL.
    How is the beta being handled? I had earlier signed up to receive info (back when Project Octopus was first announced) yet this article is the first I’ve heard of the (public) beta now being open. Will VMware be contacting all those who’ve previously signed up? Will all those who’ve signed up get access to code?

  2. Nag

    Yes, I have the same question as the previous commenter: How do I get access? I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, since my employer blocks everything else but Mozy and presumably Octopus.

  3. geek65535

    I’d like to know about licensing and pricing.
    Since this is based on Zimbra (and others), will there be an open-source edition?
    And what about pricing? I am reluctant to spend any time or energy testing a beta when the final product may be too expensive to convince my company to purchase.

  4. Andrew Hawthorn

    Yes, but box does not offer the security of an on-premise option.
    @nag — you get it by signing up at http://www.vmwareoctopus.com; however, this isn’t a service — its software your admin will need to set up for you.
    @John — Octopus will morph into Zimbra’s briefcase, but we are unclear on the timing — probably sometime early next year.
    @geek65535 — we are still working on pricing and licensing. That will be unveiled as we get closer to GA.

  5. rwa

    Do you know how long registration takes? We are interested in trying the beta of Octopus and have signed up (which is just entering an email) at vmwareoctopus.com.
    But there has been no feedback for several hours. Are you metering out beta access?

  6. Scott

    Any news on how we can gain access to the beta? I registered my e-mail address several months ago.

  7. Jimmy Hess

    “@nag — you get it by signing up at http://www.vmwareoctopus.com
    It doesn’t seem to work. Is this vaporware after all?
    I sign up there, and I don’t receive any communications at all; I tried an alternate e-mail address; still nothing, and I have allowed several weeks.

  8. Simon Flood

    Weeks? How about months! I signed up August/September last year and have also heard nothing.

  9. Robert

    Signed up in November and once again today, received nothing at all.
    How do i get access to the beta code, we want are eager to test it!!!
    Has ANYONE been able to download the code???

  10. Balazs Nemeth

    I’m very interested in the beta of Project Octopus especially in the integration options with the company’s existing infrastructure, but still have not found any public information about the integration.
    There is any information about the integration?
    Will be a HTTP based RESTful API like the vCloud API?
    Thanks for the answer.

  11. Markus

    I´ve installed Octopus Beta 8.0.0_BETA3_4963.NETWORK.
    It works fine with the admin account but I cannot create any other user. Does anyone make this experience, too?

  12. Simon Flood

    @Markus, if you have access to beta code I’m guessing it’s part of a closed beta in which case you should also have access to official support routes and shouldn’t be posting here.
    As for a public beta, I’ve heard code may not be available until Q1 2013 so I’m now less interested in Octopus and will be looking at Novell Filr instead.
    Now cue others asking where you got the code from …

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