5 Reasons CentreStack's File Server Mobilization Beats File Server Migration

File Server Migration vs File Server Mobilization

File server migration is commonly viewed as an easy, cost-effective way to address the modern workforce’s increasing need for mobile productivity and security. But moving file server data to a cloud service that is not 100% file-server compatible often leaves much to be desired in the following areas: 

  1. Mapped Drives and File Server Compatibility
  2. Backup, Protection, and Recovery
  3. Application Compatibility
  4. Compliance, Control, and Privacy
  5. Reduced Migration Complexity and Costs

File server mobilization resolves these issues with 100% file server compatibility

SharePoint, Dropbox, Google Drive, and similar services are all based on file server migration. And that’s why so many of their customers have problems in these areas. To address them, file server migration must be replaced by file server mobilization – an approach that fully addresses mobile productivity and security BUT also maintains 100% compatibility with file server use cases. 

This is the advantage of using CentreStack, or any Gladinet product, along with the added benefit that data can remain under your control if you so desire. 

Here’s a brief overview of the five areas where issues might occur, but you can also check out our cloud file server page to learn more about the following reasons to choose file server mobilization:

Reason #1: You Need Mapped Drives and File Server Compatibility

While SharePoint is a powerful platform for document management and collaboration, there are situations where businesses might still need mapped drives and file server compatibility. Some reasons for this include:

Familiarity and ease of use

Mapped drives provide users with a familiar file system interface, making it easier for them to work with files and folders. This can help minimize the learning curve and improve user adoption, especially for those who are not accustomed to using web-based interfaces like SharePoint.

Legacy applications and workflows

Some businesses rely on legacy applications or workflows that are designed to work with file servers and mapped drives. In such cases, it can be challenging to migrate these applications or processes to SharePoint without significant redevelopment efforts.

Performance and latency

Accessing files on a mapped drive or file server can be faster than working with SharePoint, especially for large files or when dealing with slow or unreliable network connections. This can be crucial for businesses that require real-time access to large files, such as design or engineering firms.

Data control and privacy

Some organizations may have strict data privacy or regulatory requirements that mandate the use of on-premises file servers instead of cloud-based solutions like SharePoint. Mapped drives can help businesses maintain control over their data while still providing easy access to end users.

Integration with existing infrastructure

Organizations that already have significant investments in on-premises infrastructure may prefer to leverage their existing file servers and storage solutions rather than adopting a new platform like SharePoint.

Granular access control

Mapped drives and file servers can provide granular access control and permissions, which might be more suitable for certain businesses than SharePoint's permission model.

Reason #2: You Need Data Backup & Services from Your MSP

You need help protecting your data and a restore window bigger than 30 days

When an MSP hosts your data on a cloud file server with CentreStack, custom retention policies can be configured based on the needs of your business. With SharePoint, it's one size fits all and the 30 days of retention they offer may not be enough for your needs. 

Besides that, an MSP will make sure that your data is properly backed up and protected. Generally speaking, the Microsoft Services Agreement (MSA) and Data Processing Agreement (DPA) require SharePoint users to accept more responsibility for their data than a managed service provider would. For example, Microsoft expects you to: 

  • Maintain appropriate backups
  • Use strong authentication methods
  • Comply with data protection regulations

You trust your MSP to provide a bundle of curated services 

Vendors like Microsoft typically prefer that you stay in their ecosystem and use as many of their products as possible. This may not be in your best interest, but it is more likely to happen if you give them control of your data and identity. This is enough incentive for some users to leave their data in the hands of a trusted advisor who will provide a group of products and services that have been more carefully selected to meet their needs. The trusted advisor is much more likely to select the best products and services for your needs, regardless of who built them. You can't really expect Microsoft, or any other vendor, to remain as objective in meeting your needs.

Reason #3: Application Compatibility

You're using legacy applications like AutoCAD, InDesign, QuickBooks, etc...

Most cloud solutions will force you to change daily workflows after data migration. For example, SharePoint might require that you split data into multiple libraries, or shorten file names which breaks external references to files and links between files. Other solutions, like Dropbox, force you to rethink permission controls or control multiple sets of permissions.

These changes and limited support for advanced features like file locking are incompatible with applications like AutoCAD and InDesign in a multi-user environment.

Your business uses legacy applications that create large file sizes or store large numbers of files 

Does your business operate in one of the following verticals: 
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Real Estate
  • Design
  • Manufacturing
If so, then you will likely run into issues with performance, cost, or complete incompatibility.

Reason #4: Compliance, Control, and Privacy

Files sometimes need to be stored in a specific region to comply with regulations. CentreStack's installable platform makes it easy to control data location and maintain sovereignty. 


While SharePoint is compliant with many industry standards and regulations, organizations might have unique compliance requirements that go beyond SharePoint's built-in features. CentreStack can help bridge these gaps by providing additional controls, auditing, and reporting capabilities.


SharePoint's permission model and access controls might not fit every organization's needs. CentreStack offers more granular control over permissions, file access, and sharing. It allows organizations to implement their desired permission structures, control external sharing, and limit access based on various factors such as IP addresses and devices.


SharePoint stores data in Microsoft's data centers, which might raise privacy concerns for some organizations, particularly those with strict data residency requirements. CentreStack can resolve this issue by allowing organizations to store data on-premises or in private cloud environments, ensuring data remains within their control and adheres to their privacy policies.

Integration with on-premises storage

Organizations that require a hybrid storage solution, combining SharePoint with on-premises storage, can use CentreStack to create a unified access point for users, simplifying the management of both storage systems.

Reason #5: Reduced Migration Complexity and Costs

Reduced Migration Complexity and Costs

While SharePoint migration can bring numerous benefits, there are often overlooked costs and complexities that organizations should consider before undertaking the process. Some of these include: 
  • Scaling issues that require splitting large data sets into smaller libraries
  • Reorganizing data and renaming files to meet path length requirements
  • Preventing sync storms and reducing the consumption of local storage and network bandwidth
  • Skyrocketing costs from increased storage consumption

Data migration costs: 

Transferring data from legacy systems to SharePoint can be complex and time-consuming. Depending on the volume and complexity of the data, organizations may need to invest in migration tools, consulting services, or additional staff to facilitate the process.

CentreStack provides the option to leave some or all of your data on legacy systems. It can facilitate combined access to data on-premises and in the cloud, or fully leverage existing on-premises infrastructure to provide the productivity benefits of cloud migration.

Customizations and integrations: 

Many organizations require customizations to meet their unique business needs, which can add complexity and cost to the migration process. Additionally, integrating SharePoint with other business applications or systems may require custom development or third-party tools.

CentreStack supports direct integration with business applications so you don't need custom development or third-party tools. 

Training and change management: 

The transition to SharePoint may require training and support for both end-users and IT staff, which can be costly and time-consuming. 

But CentreStack requires almost zero training with its use of familiar mapped drives, permissions, and file locking.


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