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Project Profile

Peer Software Solution

Customer's Platform(s)



The Challenge

Laserfiche is a mission critical system for TD Auto Finance and downtime was not possible. The migration project was further complicated by large numbers of files, folders and objects.

Sitting in his Toronto, Ontario office, Enterprise Architect Dave Roberts couldn’t believe the project estimates for how long it would take to migrate 2.5 TB of data. Trying multiple backup and data replication utilities he was familiar with didn’t help improve the time required, which was being measured in months, to move data from a mission critical Laserfiche document management system hosted onsite by TD Auto Finance Canada to a NetApp FAS3250 storage system in a TD Bank data center. Even a local full backup to high-speed tape was taking over 6 days to process. Consequently, the project was stalled due to the anticipated amount of system downtime that would be required to complete the migration.

Checking into the history of this system revealed that a previous Laserfiche file server refresh took several weeks to complete, and that was over a local 1Gbps LAN when the document repository was a fraction of its current size. “It turns out that we have one of the largest Laserfiche implementations in North America, and as I continued to analyze things I came to the conclusion that the problem wasn’t the volume of data or network bandwidth; it was the fact that we were dealing with over 64,000,000 files in over 300,000 folders,” said Roberts. “The complex file and folder structure was bringing popular backup and migration tools to their knees and I needed something with a more powerful scan and compare engine to get this project back on track.”

At this point, Roberts reached out to the local NetApp support team which recommended PeerGFS from Peer Software. Featuring a high performance scanning engine, realtime byte-level replication and integration with the NetApp Data ONTAP storage operating system it had solid specifications, and the NetApp team indicated it worked well in other difficult migrations.

According to Roberts, “We were getting desperate with this project. It was falling behind schedule, but we continued to look for the right migration tool and decided to request a fully functional trial version from Peer Software.“


After installing the software, Roberts experimented with various configurations and quickly noted some dramatic performance improvements. At that point he decided to reach out to Peer Software’s support team to discuss migration strategies.

“Peer’s support was phenomenal. I was just on a trial version of the software, but they treated me like a longtime customer and it didn’t take long for us to tune PeerGFS with the proper number of threads and jobs to reduce the project estimate to a matter of days with literally no downtime from a file system cutover perspective.

We were able to complete a proof of concept with the trial software and were confident enough to schedule the migration over a weekend,” added Roberts.

So, what were the final results? “Everyone was happy! The operations team loves the fact that we can now use snapshots to back up the Laserfiche system and no longer need our old backup solution. Most importantly, TD Auto Finance was thrilled that we completed this migration with minimal disruptions and no lost files. In fact, they actually sponsored a post-migration party where we made a toast to Peer Software!” said Roberts.

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