Peer Software Solution
With a history that dates back to before the Roman Empire, Egyptian architects and engineers pioneered techniques, technology and processes that enabled the construction of some of the world’s most famous structures including iconic pyramids, temples, tombs, lighthouses and dams.
Continuing in that tradition today is Engineering Consultants Group S.A. (ECG), a multi-disciplinary engineering and architecture firm that is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. Ranked #123 in the Top International Design Firms list published by Engineering News Record, ECG has a prestigious 46 year track record of over 1800 projects in 28 countries; many are megascale in size and complexity. The growing firm has over 2,000 full-time professionals based in 16 locations throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
As with many large engineering firms, projects tend to be located near branch offices, a long distance away from the IT infrastructure and key personnel at a headquarters facility. “It is not unusual for us to have project teams working in multiple locations,” stated Mostafa Saeed, IT Systems Engineer, ECG. “We could have architects at headquarters, a civil engineer in a branch office, and construction managers located at another branch office close to the project site. To do their jobs, all of these people need to share project files with each other.”
To support file sharing and collaboration between headquarters and branch offices, ECG initially established a system of shared folders on a headquarters server that could be accessed from branch offices, but this proved to be impractical because of limited and unpredictable wide area network (WAN) performance. “CAD and engineering related files can be very large, and took a lot of time to transfer with this approach,” said Saeed.
In an attempt to improve WAN performance, the IT team installed WAN optimizer systems between their locations. According to Saeed, “Unfortunately, the WAN optimizers were not able to make an improvement in connection speeds and reliability; we have a challenging environment.”
Next Saeed and his team evaluated file synchronization solutions, including Microsoft DFSR. “We tested many scenarios including continuous and timed sync, but we would encounter conflicts and determined that just syncing the files was not reliable,” said Saeed. “We continued to research additional solutions and discovered PeerGFS from Peer Software.”
Their research led them to PeerGFS from Peer Software.
PeerGFS‘ features, such as cross-plattform integration, global file locking, and real-time replication was exactly what they were looking for.
PeerGFS is a software-based file sharing and collaboration solution that maintains shared project file replicas in real-time on servers at each branch office for fast local access while automatically managing file version integrity. Powered by DFSR+® technology, PeerGFS key features include real-time sync, byte-level replication of file changes to minimize WAN utilization, and distributed file locking to control file versioning.
After downloading PeerGFS and working with Peer Software’s support team located near Munich, Germany, ECG was able to complete a brief proof-of-concept project before fully implementing.