Wide Area File Services (WAFS)

Meeting the Needs of an Increasingly Collaborative World

Distributed teams are a central feature of modern enterprises. Design teams across the world collaborate to create and develop products. Engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales, logistics, and finance personnel manage complex business processes from offices hundreds of miles apart. Companies, suppliers, and customers coordinate supply chains across continents.

Challenges of Business File Sharing and Collaboration

On the surface, the use case seems pretty simple.  Collaborative teams start sharing files like spreadsheets, presentations, proposals, design files, manuals, and product specifications. “Email it to me” is a common request, but when distributed project teams use email or FTP to share files what happens?

  • Complaints about long waits to receive large files
  • A lack of version control, resulting in duplication of effort, lost work, errors, and frustration
  • Concerns about the security of project files
  • Runaway file sharing impacts network and email system performance
  • The cost of bandwidth multiplies

These ad hoc methods of file distribution ultimately hinder team productivity, cause errors, and result in a variety of hidden costs.

 

The Benefits of Having
Project Files Stored Locally

Wide Area File Services (WAFS) technology enables members of distributed teams to find, open, and save shared files locally. Peer Software’s PeerLink and PeerSync Collaboration Edition are industry-leading WAFS solutions designed for enterprise and midsize implementations. 

Imagine no more time wasted waiting to open large shared project files by accessing up-to-date shared files at LAN speed.

Peer WAFS solutions combine the following key elements to support business file sharing and collaboration:

  • File synchronization across all servers involved in the collaboration
  • Remote file locking to avoid version conflicts
  • Management features to ease setup, control, and monitoring of file sharing operations
  • WAN optimization to minimize bandwidth utilization

The cost of ownership of WAFS products is low. No dedicated hardware is required at remote locations, administration is simple, and no user training or special support efforts are required.

Summary

Collaborative teams are becoming increasingly important for efficiency and competitiveness. Extensive file sharing by these teams can place heavy burdens on networks and on the productivity and patience of end users.

IT organizations can choose from several technologies to address their business file sharing needs, but each choice has its tradeoffs and areas of best fit. The implementation of a distributed Wide Area File Services (WAFS) architecture is rapidly gaining popularity for replicating shared project files to multiple locations, as well as providing management tools and remote file locking to minimize file version conflicts.

PeerLink and PeerSync Collaboration Edition are category-leading WAFS solutions that offer superior performance, are scalable, and transparent to end users.

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