December 12th, 2011
LIFE is full of key decisions, like selecting the right file sharing option for your business or organisation.
Get it wrong and you’ll have wasted time, money and effort.
And your employees certainly won’t thank you for something which makes their job more difficult.
Our last Purple Prose blog checked out the pros and cons of Content Management Systems (CMS) – this time we’re reflecting on file replication and mirroring.
These products, which include Microsoft DFS, move copies of files to different locations where they may be needed.
Let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of this method, starting with reasons to buy:
- The license cost is low or nominal.
- Users can find and save files locally or from the nearest server, rather than having to wait for them to be retrieved from and saved back to a central store. That will cut down on cries of ‘just off to make my third cup of tea while this file opens’.
- File replication technology usually includes techniques that conserve bandwidth and reduce network times at busy times. File copying can be scheduled for off peak hours.
- Thumbs up from employees, who need little or no re-training. They can easily find what they want in familiar file shares using standard browsers or explorer interfaces.
And the reasons to look elsewhere are:
- Basic file replication products lack file checkout and remote locking, which means that two or more people can work on the same file at the same time. Important changes may be lost or employees could be working on out of date or incorrect versions, which in turn could lead to an unhappy office and costly errors.
- They lack the detailed, real-time monitoring needed to help administrators to tackle persistent problems or bottlenecks and view which files have been replicated or if replication has failed.
- Some products are single-threaded or allow only a few threads, which could lead to delays if the number of files and locations goes up.
To summarise, file replication and mirroring products are a straightforward, low cost option for businesses that do not require version control and have a small number of locations.
For expert advice on file replication and other file collaboration systems, including CMS and WAN Optimisation – which we’ll explore next time – call Jan or Rob at Purple Rage Software on 01684 576343. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org