The First Thing You Need for Effective Multi-site Collaboration

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If the weight on your shoulders has gotten heavier trying to provide team members working on a project from multiple locations with a consistent data experience, you could benefit from some pointers in multi-site collaboration. The whitepaper “Moving to the Global Collaborative Economy” pointed out that there are three key requirements for effective multi-site collaboration:

  1. Real-world global collaboration
  2. Impact on organizational speed
  3. Overall enterprise value

To achieve a high level of productivity, especially when members are dispersed, a team needs to be able to work together seamlessly to accomplish real-world collaboration. As a complication, when team members aren’t located in the same office, they need certain safeguards to effectively share work on a project.

There are two leading solutions for working in cloud-based global file systems: Nasuni and Panzura. They have comparable features, but not the same functionality. The main difference is in the way each one manages real-time changes.

Nasuni

Nasuni manages file locks based only on the service running in the cloud, and that service must be enabled in order to collaborate across sites. When it is, the sync interval is recommended to be no less than every five minutes. If it is more than that, write collisions by users are likely, resulting in multiple file versions. File locking is important for ensuring team members do not override each other and cause orphaned versions of a file to be stored on the server.

The more users/filers sharing the same dataset, the slower the updates will be made globally to the file system.

Nasuni is designed so filers must be within 60 milliseconds of the cloud locking service to reliably use advanced locking. For multi-national companies working in the cloud, that’s not really feasible. For instance, Autodesk Revit requires real-time and byte-range locking among all users for some features to function correctly, and Nasuni isn’t able to accommodate those exigencies.

Unless the global lock is applied to all folders, directory updates at two different locations between data snapshots can collide, with only one instance winning (possibly the wrong one).

Panzura

Panzura provides distributed file and byte-range locking built on a model with concurrent hub-and-spoke plus peer-to-peer functions. Multiple team members can work on the same data sets or even the same file simultaneously from separate locations without collision, overrides or orphaned versions. Peer-to-peer synchronization eliminates the need for versioning, and users receive immediate updated data from the cloud or a peer filer. Simultaneous collaborative work will have no single point of failure, even when using aggressive byte-range and file locking applications like Revit.

A single locking mode for files or bytes simplifies the IT job of implementation and maintenance. In addition, auto-caching works for collaborative directories, which broadens the opportunities for team members to rise above location and time zone complications.

The peer-to-peer infrastructure of Panzura allows mass file permission changes to be distributed locally and synced with the cloud, so the impact on platform performance is reduced.

The combination of cloud sync, peer-to-peer lock and sync function, and enhanced auto-caching capabilities provides an immediately consistent data experience regardless of a user’s location.


To find out more about using Panzura for collaboration, reach out to the experts of the Applied Software Digital Transformation Team and start a conversation with one of the Panzura experts.

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