Distributed File System

Archive for the ‘Peer-to-Peer Collaboration’ Category

Sonicwall and Distributed File Systems

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Sonicwall and Distributed File Systems?

This is a question we often hear,  and the answer to the question is more or less, YES.  Sonicwall, more commonly known for firewall sales, has jumped into the distributed file system space.  The cool part is that the Sonicwall solution is 40% of the typical distributed file system price and about 80% of the speed.  This means you can get your work done while staying in compliance to federal laws and statutes.

Distributed File Systems help remote office used understand what the sales team does better and makes it so that the next Christmas is not filled with Emails cursing this machine as he probably doesn’t know how to fully fix thdistributed file system in Las Vegas.

Please call our firm to get great technical support!  We can show you how Sonicwall has built solutions that are much better than the typical offering in the technology marketplace.

Working from a Coffeeshop… A Brave New World

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A Great Way to Work

I am actually writing this blog post inside a Starbucks and just needing to get some work done before I head down to Colorado Springs.  It is getting more and more common for workers to be working in a distributed (non central) environment.  Maybe you have some of your field engineers in Calgary and others in Houston if you are in the oil industry.  If this is the case, there are times where your Calgary people will need the ability to quickly access files in the Houston office and vice versa without ending up with revision conflicts.  (The guys in Calgary and Houston working on the same files at the same time.)

If you have a company which depends on data and you have files going between a lot of different people, you really should look at a quality distributed file system before you start trying to use Sharepoint or some cloud service.  If you want to get into the the techie nitty gritties, give us a call and we’ll be happy to show you how a well set up distributed file system can save your company tens of thousands of dollars. 

I am done with this writing, but I am glad that I can work from anywhere without losing data!  ;)

Sharing is Caring – Even With Files

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Do Your Offices Know How to Share?

If you have a bunch of branch offices that have to share large files, no doubt you have looked at WAN Optimization and probably other file share systems.  Some people tend to shy away from Distributed File Systems or DFS because of some common concerns regarding distributed file system technology. 

  • File Locking — What hapens if client using server A is accessing a file and a client at server B is also accessing this file, when both save, what revision will “win”… Is one person’s work nullified?
  • Remote Site Connections — If a engineer for your company does their work on a laptop, do their files sync automatically, or do they have to remember to push out updates?
  • Overwriting by Unauthorized Personnel —  Sales rep looks at work engineer has spent time on and changes a few details because their account requests it, engineer is not aware and when the bid comes in, a PR nightmare comes with it.  Is your intermediate files at risk if a change is made, or are they saved?

Any distributed file system that does not answer some of these simple questions should not even be considered. Give us a call if you’d like to know how we address these issues.

How Can I Revert to an Earlier File Revision?

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Reverting to a Previous Revision with a Distributed File System

If you are looking at a synched distributed file sytem, the obvious question that comes up is, what happens if sales rep X decides to look at an engineers file and messes up this file?  This question can be answered at two levels.

If you are using the MS Distributed File System, the obvious first answer is setting up the proper access rights to users in your organization in the first place.  The fundamental question must arise, should the rep have been allowed to access the file in the first place.  If the answer is no, there was a configuration issue with your distributed file system.

If the answer is yes, then with our products, you can actually revert to former revisions throughout the distributed file system when using PeerSynch.  Here are the steps you would want to take:

1. Make sure your left Menu Tree is in the Advanced mode.

2. Select the Miscellaneous option from the left Menu Tree.

3. Check Use intermediate file during copy.

4. Now click on the Revisioning option from the left Menu Tree.

5. Check the option Revisioning – Keep backup files of overwritten Target Files.

If you would like more information on setting up a distributed file system for your company, we would be happy to go over what you need to do and how you can get started!

How Engineers Share Large Files

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How to Make File Collaboration easier!

We work with engineers, and engineers have many large files to collaborate on.  For example, the last engineer we worked with was using a massive FTP file share, and spending tons and tons of time waiting for files to go from the remote server to the users and they finally realized how expensive this kludgy method was for their organization.  Using a distributed file system allows them to have the same file on multiple servers and using the FolderMaestro product, they are able to avoid the common file locking issues associated with traditional distributed file systems.

Another firm we worked with we FEDEXing Thumb drives back and forth and killing themselves on cost.  Maybe this would work (kind of) for a 2 man operation, but when you have 5 or 10 members of a project team, this methodology is impossible.

Another option is to utilize WAN Optimization as this will speed up the file uploads and downloads tremendously. 

For most engineers, we do recommend the distributed file system with a 3rd party file locking program like Folder Maestro.

When to Avoid a Distributed File System

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When to Avoid a Distributed File System!

When a company is looking at a distributed file system, they are doing so because there is some pain.  Either there are issues with expensive internal folks not having fast access to files or people who would like to centralize files so there are not problems with versions.  Speed is often the biggest consideration and therefore WAN Optimization must be considered a necessary element to consider when looking at a distributed file system.  If your DFS doesn’t meet basic hardware specs, obviously, you’re going to run into issues.  Having a solid distributed file system is crucial for companies needing peer to peer collaboration, however there tools are not for everyone!

When should you look at avoiding a distributed file system

  • If all the money you have to spend is being spent up front to set up.  Other costs creep in, if you can’t afford this, it’s not good to start!
  • If you are not having access or revision issues
  • If you are in the same location sharing files over a LAN instead of a WANPacket Shapers, etc would be more appropriate if you are trying to solve network throughput issues.

If you have any questions on whether a distributed file system is right for you, please give us a call today!

Peer-to-Peer Collaboration

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When IT professionals come to our site, Peer to Peer Collaboration is their focus which is why they generally look at a Distributed File System in the first place. We decided to build this site so we could address the following “field problems” when it comes to field collaboration or “Peer to Peer Collaboration.” Here are some of the basic issues we strive to help you address in your company:

1) How to increase file access performance (and worker productivity) for branch office workers – and reduce bandwidth usage at the same time
2) How to efficiently share files between geographically separated project teams (e.g. headquarter and branch office sites)
3) How to use server mirroring technologies for file collaboration with branch office sites and partner firms
4) Reviewing alternative technologies for WAN accelerators (like Cisco WAAS, Packeteer iShaper, Bluecoat Proxy SG, Riverbed Steelhead, etc.)
5) How to enable Backup, File Collaboration (Sharing), and Auto-Failover in a few easy steps

As for #5 above, we are packaging FolderMaestro with DFS Namespace (for simple file access failover) to our valued customers.

Ultimately, you need to work with Professionals who are not new to understanding the functional applications of a Distributed File System and how to employ Distributed File System technology along with less well known software and hardware systems to allow for a fully integrated Peer to Peer Collaboration Solution! Please call if you have questions about how we can help your company!