PeerLink® is an enterprise application that creates a fully collaborative environment across both LAN and WAN networks. It ensures the same data exists on all participating servers regardless of where changes occur, even on NetApp® filers. The result is users are prevented from accessing files that are already in use on another server in the environment.
With PeerLink® you are able to ensure that your data is accessible, providing a reliable IT solution for you business.
PeerLink® makes data collaboration for businesses with diverse geographical locations a reality. Now your staff can access files and folders in a controlled collaborative environment wherever they are located in the country or around the world.
No longer is there a need to use email, FTP, or a centralised file repository. PeerLink® ensures that your data is always up to date on every file server through real-time file replication. Version conflicts are prevented through distributed real-time file locking ensuring only one person can edit a file at a time.
A study of 40,000 projects found that 66% failed or were are late, over budget or missing critical features. One factor that can contribute to these failures is the geographic distance between project team members. As companies expand and open remote office locations or work with partner firms, teams must find ways to work together across both geographic and company boundaries. With increasing complexity comes the necessity to hold local copies of files at each office.
Historically, providing project files to every team member was done by any number of means. Through email attachments, uploading documents to an FTP site for retrieval. Using a document management solution as a centralised data repository. More recently, through document sharing services offered on the Internet. However, each of these solutions have their own limitations.
CAD File Collaboration
Geographically distributed project teams are common in today's architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations. For those working outside of the headquarters office, downloading and accessing CAD project files seems to take forever. Even worse -- after a long day of CAD design work -- files are sometimes overwritten or corrupted when they are synced back to a shared server.
PeerLink® enables remote teams to share and collaborate with large CAD files in real-time. Now CAD users at remote offices can collaborate with shared files as efficiently as co-workers at headquarters. What's more, PeerLink's distributed file locking technology manages file versioning and keeps shared files from being accidentally overwritten and corrupted.
So how does PeerLink® respond to these challenges?
PeerLink® was created to provide seamless document collaboration capabilities built around traditional file server management processes. File servers utilising PeerLink® benefit:
Choose which folders you want to share and with whom on a folder by folder basis. Shared folders will automatically replicate to only those file servers you designate.
Shared folders will have real-time replication so changes made anywhere will propagate to all other locations.
Files being edited at any location will propagate a file lock (to prevent version conflicts) at all other locations.
All file transfers are secure and encrypted via SSL.
Only changed portions of a file are replicated.
Because all files are replicated, large project files are accessed instantly at local speeds.
How PeerLink® works
A collaboration session consists of two or more participating servers, and a folder hierarchy called the Watch Set. This is located on each server which will be kept synchronised by propagating file locks and modifications to all participating servers in real-time. PeerLink® has local and remote characteristics that form the basis of a distributed application framework. PeerLink® installations are composed of 3 primary components:
PeerLink® Hub - The Hub is the central component of the PeerLink® framework. All PeerLink® solutions are installed, configured and started at the Hub.
PeerLink Broker - The Broker makes up the central messaging system that supports PeerLink® applications. The Broker provides the core communication facility that connects the Hub and Agents in a PeerLink® collaboration environment.
PeerLink® Agent - The Agent is a lightweight component that is installed on a networked host that enables it to participate in a PeerLink® collaboration environment.
After installing and configuring a PeerLink file collaboration session the following occurs:
Step 1: Session Start
At the start of a file collaboration session, PeerLink® requests to scan each participating servers "Watch Set"(the collection of folders being monitored and controlled) for file content. The scans are performed at the agents and results are dispatched back to the hub for merging and file conflict resolution. Transfers are then issued to the agents to synchronise their servers folders. Once complete, the agents are directed to start detecting access and change events on their respective servers.
Step 2: File Lock
Files will be opened by users during the course of a file collaboration session. When a file is loaded into an application to be modified, the PeerLink® Agent detects the event and notifies the PeerLink® Hub of the activity. The Hub then issues a lock event for each of the remaining (target) analogous files across the session. Only one (1) source instance is allowed for any given opened file in a session. Note: If a file is opened in read-only mode, or if the application that opens the file does not acquire a read-write lock on the file (e.g. NotePad, WordPad, etc.), the lock will not be propagated to the target hosts.
Step 3: File Transfer
When an opened source file is closed with modifications, a synchronising transfer request is issued. The session first acquires a lock on the source file to facilitate a stable transfer. The locks on the target copies are preserved during the lock transition at the source. The revised source content is propagated to the target instances and the locks are released. Transfers are conducted among participating Agents and coordinated through the Hub.
Real-time File Synchronization
Version Conflict Prevention
Cross-Platform Support (Windows® and NetApp®)
Smart Data Seeding
Remote Conflict Resolution
Easy install and unobtrusive operation
Centralized Management & Monitoring
Full Support for DFS namespace
Admin Log Reporting
Web based Management Console
Intelligent Connection Check
Cross-Domain and Cross-Active Directory Collaboration
Centralised managemlent and monitoring
Service Level Agreements are common these days, whether they are internal or external. To ensure that these service levels are met, control over processes is crucial. PeerLink's central management console allows you to easily configure and monitor all file collaboration jobs, each with different groupings of projects, data, servers, and/or sites.
PeerLink® also includes a fully functioning web client along with the standard-rich client. This web client not only provides remote access to PeerLink's central management console but also provides customers with a role-based access system through a local user database or Microsoft® Active Directory. Out of the box, it supports admin-type accounts with full management and monitoring access and helpdesk-type accounts with the ability to remotely resolve conflicts across all collaboration jobs.
Sync on Save
Traditionally, a change to a file is replicated from one participating server to another only after the user has saved his or her changes to the file and has closed it. However, this does not help users who work on large files, typically without closing them for hours or even days. With Sync-on-Save functionality enabled, PeerLink® will update the other participating servers every time a user saves a file, even when the file remains open.
PeerLink® leverages byte-level replication to only synchronise the parts of a file that have changed. The parts of a file that have changed are sent to the PeerLink® hub, which then relays the changes to all other participating servers. The combination of byte-level replication and the hub-and-spoke architecture minimise the amount of bytes that flow between locations, keeping connections between locations as open as possible while potentially reducing costs.
Intelligent connection check
PeerLink® is tuned to gracefully handle momentary connection breaks between any two parts of the PeerLink® environment. When connectivity is restored, any events (such as file opens or file modifications) that have been missed by any participating server will be processed immediately.
Pre-seeding of data between all locations is possible and recommended. Upon the start of a file collaboration job, PeerLink® will compare the defined folder structures of all participating servers and sync only the changes across servers. If data pre-seeding is not an option, PeerLink® will do an initial sync of all participating servers upon the start of a collaboration job.
Supported file types and platforms
PeerLink® can lock all file types from applications that put read-only handles on files. These read-only handles prevent multiple users from modifying the same file at the same location at the same time. If this functionality is available on a single server, it will work with PeerLink® in a distributed server environment.
File synchronisaton and backup