January 9th, 2012
IN our previous four Purple Prose blogs, we’ve explored the pros and pitfalls of four different file collaboration methods.
Content Management Systems, file replication and mirroring, WAN optimisation and Wide Area File Services have all come under the microscope.
This time around we’ll be exploring how technologies can be combined to provide an effective solution for your business or organisation.
Let’s start the ball rolling with file replication plus WAFS.
File replication and mirroring products improve productivity by making shared files available locally. However, they lack file locking which leaves companies vulnerable to version control headaches.
Riding to the rescue are WAFS products which include a remote file locking module that can be used alongside a file replication product, e.g. Peer Software PeerLock integrates with Microsoft DFS.
Working together, this terrific low cost twosome provides fast file access, prevents version control problems and conserves bandwidth.
However, file replication products like Microsoft DFS are not suited to companies with thousands of files and many offices so larger organisations will require a full WAFS solution.
Another successful combo is WAN optimisation and WAFS, which offers an excellent balance of cost, performance and functionality.
Many companies worldwide opt for WAN optimisation appliances in larger offices and use WAFS to replicate and lock files across all sites. The benefits are local access to files, version control and effective bandwidth use for voice and video traffic.
Collaborative teams have become increasingly common in the workplace. However, in the drive for efficiency, this can place heavy demands on networks, which is why IT administrators must think long and hard before deciding which technology to invest in.
Let’s sum up the merits and disadvantages of each method:
- Content Management Systems – Sophisticated collaborative features but they can reduce productivity when large files need to be shared across remote offices;
- File replication – Makes files available locally but is often let down by lack of version control, effective multi-threading for performance or trouble-shooting management tools;
- WAN optimisation – Improves performance, saves bandwidth and helps with voice and video. Minus points are large files don’t move fast enough for some users and products can be expensive for companies with many locations;
- Wide Area File Services (WAFS) – Replicates files to multiple locations and provides remote file locking and management tools. One drawback to these products is that they don’t improve performance for video or voice traffic.
PeerSoftware, manufacturers of PeerLock, are market leaders in WAFS with more than 10,000 customers worldwide.
For more information about Peer products – or to discuss any aspect of file collaboration technology – call Rob and Jan of Purple Rage Software on 01684 576343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org