Distributed File System

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Distributed File System for Nursing Homes?

 

A distributed file system is a way for people to collaborate on large files over vast geographic area of the country.  For example, the head marketing group may be working on a project at corporate, and the field people can need access to these files.  One group that would be less likely to need a distributed file system would be a nursing home or series of nursing homes.   Nursing homes will generally do the marketing and planning in one central office.  The director of nursing or the admin is very unlikely to need access to large files for collaboration.

So, if a group that has a ton of employees, but little need for file sharing is a bad fit, who would be a good fit for a distributed file system?

The best fit is marketing firms, engineers, architects and attorneys.  People who have lots of highly skilled and highly paid employees looking at large files.

If you need a distributed file system for your company, give us a call.

Distributed File Systems vs WAN Optimization

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Network Map

So, you have a server in New York City, another in Los Angeles and another one in Las Vegas.  Your company is growing and you are the head of IT.  You are seeing that your New York and LA offices are having to share a lot of files and it is putting a severe burden on your precious network.  So, you are having to make a decision, do you go ahead and go with WAN Optimization or do you come up with an alternative like a Distributed File System?

What are some of the advantages of a DFS over WAN Optimization?

  • You don’t transfer the whole file every time something is opened, thus reducing your network bandwidth.
  • You have live copies at both sites, so if server A goes down, a working copy is on server B.
  • The price point can be much much less than traditional WAN Optimization products

If you are struggling with network performance and want to chat about a Distributed File System, give our sales reps a call.  We can work with you no matter where you work in the country or the world!

Linux

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Distributed File Systems and Linux

We often get asked the question of whether our distributed file system works with Linux, and the short answer is no it does not.  We realize that people are here searching for solutions, so we will at least list some of the possible solutions that could work, but we haven’t personally used any of these systems, so we can’t say how they do with redundency or maintainability.  They will also vary in complexity.  If you would like to speak with our technical expert, feel free to give us a call and ask to speak with Tom.

http://wiki.lustre.org

http://datafarm.apgrid.org/

http://www.redhat.com/gfs

http://lefthandnetworks.com

http://www.TwinPeakSoft.com/

Again, it should be noted the distributed file systems we set up are done with Windows servers and not Linux.  Nevertheless, we want to provide answers for those looking!

Peer Sync Overview

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Peer Sync Screenshot

If you need to sync your servers so that they contain the same data and are locally accessible at two different office locations, then Peer Sync may be for you!  Peer Sync by Peer Sofware is a product designed to make the servers at multiple office locations all contain the same file revisons without having to manually manage the process.  If a file is changed on a server, the replication carries across to the other servers so that when another office opens the document, the changes which happened at location A can be carried over to location B without having to call or manually sync location B’s file.

The more automated this process, the less file revision conflicts will happen.

If your company has been researching how to sync servers, give us a call and we can go over the details with you!

How to Know When You’ve Outgrown a FTP System?

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How to Know When a FTP is not Enough...

If you have a company who has to share a lot of large files, such as CAD files or major graphic design files, you may find that there are more and more issues with file revisions with expensive employees.  If you are finding that you have the same files in multiple revisions, then you may have issues.  Sally, the engineer in Tulsa opens a file and Betsy the architect in Seattle are both looking at the same file at the same time, both do a few hours worth of work, Sally saves the file back to the FTP server and 20 minutes later Betsy does the same thing and all of Sally’s work is lost.

If this sounds like your situation, then feel free to give us a call so we can help you understand how a distributed file system can be good for you!

Synchronizing a Desktop to a Server

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How to get Your Desktop and Server to Play Nice!

Finding a solution where the software required to run the file synchronization is hosted on the desktop while the desktop can synch with the server is a pain.  With our solution, this is exactly how file sharing and large file collaboration happens! 

When you use our Peer Synch solution, here’s what you get:

  • Backup and storage of your mission critical files to another PC or storage device
  • An Application that runs in the Background — You don’t have to deal with annoying pop ups and slow downs from the software!
  • Real Time File Updates — Now you know your files are safe no matter what stage of work you are at!
  • Multiple Location or Source destinations for large file sharing.  Don’t worry as the file is updated in several places at the same time!
  • Open File Manager — Saves all files, even the one your people are currently using!
  • Availability for the Network manager to access these files 24 X 7!

If you are looking for a distributed file system solution, please feel free to give us a call!

Distributed File System and WAN Acceleration

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If you have been considering WAN Acceleration for your company, possibly an architecture firm sharing large files or an engineering firm collaborating on various files, you have probably looked at WAN acceleration products to increase your worker productivity.

WAN Acceleration is vital for many Engineering companies who have so many files to share a simple file sharing system like a Distributed File System won’t work.  Why wouldn’t a distributed file system work as well for an engineering company with a lot of files?  Mainly, the files still need to be transferred back and forth.  If the primary issue is data throughput, a WAN acceleration product such as Riverbed’s Steelhead appliance makes sense.  This is when files go back and forth more on a single occurance basis.

If, however, the problem has to do with collaboration, getting the updated files open more quickly, a distributed file system should be chosen.  Choosing the right types of technology to address your pain points is the most important facet to solving the real world issues your business faces!

Please call us for more information on WAN acceleration products or for the proper set up of a distributed file system.

Distributed File System vs WAN Optimization

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A distributed file system can work with WAN Optimization or in leiu of it...

If you have had data flow problems…  multiple sites which require access to servers and it has been obvious that a new solution is necessary, you have probably started looking into WAN Optimization through Riverbed or Cisco or Bluecoat to address these issues.  These are solid systems, to be sure, and if you desire to maintain a centralized file system, then they can make a lot of sense.  We are a Bluecoat partner as well as Cisco certrified.  One thing you should keep in mind is that a distributed file system with the right plug ins may acheive a result that is far closer to meeting your needs than getting a WAN Optimizer or even extra T1 capability.

What our solution does is push the files out to the edges, so to speak.  Each local user in the group has local access, but the plugin software ensures that there are not several people working on the same files at the same time (which would create revision issues…)  Having a system that fully takes advantage of the faster LAN speeds is essential if your highly paid employees spend a lot of their time wait to upload or download large files.  We have an awesome large file collaboration methodology which we can get you a demo copy for free or schedule a webinar so that your business can see the advantages of going to a distributed file system over a centralized filing system.

WAN Optimization works better than a distributed file system when the files that get pushed back and forth are not consistently being worked on or touched by others in the group.  Even with a distributed file system, original files have to be push out and replicated to the remote servers.  If the files are not changing much once they get there, a distributed file system with file locking capabilities really won’t solve the issues you are trying to solve.  A WAN Optimizer makes more sense when there are limited numbers of transfers of the file from the home office to to remote location.  A distributed file system makes more sense when revisions and efficiency of populating the new data to all the servers is essential.

Distributed File System vs Sharepoint

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Sharepoint or a Distributed File System?

If you are trying to decide between a centralized file share, Sharepoint, or a distributed file system, how do you know when to pick a centralized file system and when to pick a distributed file system?

A company should choose Sharepoint (or a similar solution) when:

  • You want all of your files in one central repository
  • You have smaller files sizes and types
  • You generally aren’t in a position where 2 people are looking at the same file at the same time.  (Granted, Sharepoint does have  a “check in/check out” system, but it is weak compared to other technologies out there.)

When you should consider a distributed file system:

  • When you have multiple locations spread across the country
  • When file access time matters to you
  • When the files that are being collaborated on exceed 100MB per file
  • When a WAN Optimizer has been suggested to address data flow issues.

If you want to find out how to consistently and reliably share files over multiple locations using a distributed file system, please give us a call!

NTFS File System

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How we integrate with a NTFS File System

When someone is looking into a distributed file system, there is generally questions as to how solutions will play with the NTFS that is native to Windows file structures.  NTFS is simply the name of the Windows file system structure and its capabilities today. So the folders, files, permissions, and other configuration items you see on your computer or server can be described as an NTFS system.
 
What we do in our file synchronization + file locking solution (e.g. FolderMaestro product line) is to first synchronize / mirror the NTFS file system on 1 server to all the other the servers of a company and then overlay with distributed file locking to control version conflicts (so that no 2 persons can edit the same mirrored copy of a file at the same time in different locations).
 
So we’re additive to and overlay on top of a NTFS File System in a distributed / mirrored environment.  Please call if you have been considering distributed file sharing but had concerns about file locking and revision control and we’ll show you how our FolderMaestro system will work with your existing NTFS File System.