Updated for May 2020
It makes me proud to watch our patent portfolio grow continually. To date, we have 34 issued patents which is significantly more than other companies in our space. And there are many more in our pipeline either awaiting the examiner or final edits. Each patent protects a key innovation of ours. Here are a few that I want to highlight:
Our global filesystem is hosted in the cloud and cached at the edge. We separate and independently manage data and metadata. The authoritative copy of both is in the cloud. We cache all of the metadata on each filer for best end-user experience, allowing all users everywhere to instantly see the exact same view and work on the exact same files. We only cache the working set of data on each filer to reduce capacity requirements. To reduce download delays, data uploaded by other filers is proactively downloaded if the folder has been recently accessed by the local users.
Being cloud-native also means we can replace any filer at any time and quickly rehydrate both the metadata and working-set data. Even if a filer that does not have a hot standby fails, it can be quickly recovered.
Single Source of Truth
Different users cannot overwrite each other’s changes or conflict in any way. Gone are the days when end-users and IT must manage multiple differing copies of the same files or projects and resolve the differences between them. We enforce exactly one active copy of every file, period. End of headaches.
We have always focused on response and flexibility. Whereas the cloud is authoritative, some information must be communicated peer-to-peer between our filers to maximize end-user productivity. Examples include real-time notification of file and folder changes where necessary. If users at multiple sites are working on the same project, it is imperative that they see the latest changes instantly. And if data is needed at one site that has not yet been uploaded to the cloud, the necessary data will be sent peer-to-peer. This patented functionality is the engine supporting our real-time collaboration, allowing users to edit the exact file at the exact same time at any location, arbitrating access at the byte level.
One Filesystem, All Use Cases
We use one global filesystem to support all use cases. There is no need to separate different use cases into different volumes, requiring you to move data between different performance tiers to not overwhelm the vendor’s solution. We treat every file exactly the same – it can be accessed by anyone anywhere and at any time and the latest copy will be served. Hundred percent collaboration at huge scale sums it up. We have customers that have deployed filers at hundreds of sites to be able to collaborate in real-time on over a petabyte of data.
One of our first patents was the idea to deduplicate at the edge and at the block level, minimizing what has to be uploaded to the cloud. This feature has served us well, allowing us to easily scale at the edge while keeping our customer’s cloud storage bill low. If any duplicate block is ingested anywhere it does not waste WAN bandwidth or cloud resources. Our filers communicate dedup keys either through the cloud or directly to eliminate data transfers. Our competitors are forced to deduplicate in the cloud, requiring entire files and duplicate data to be uploaded, even if only one byte has changed.
Cloud Service Optimizations
In order to reduce our costs and make our Vizion.ai service extremely attractive to our customers, we have made and protected a number of innovations designed to reduce the cost of running a service within a cloud environment. For example, we leverage multi-tenant databases and a scale-out data cache to dramatically reduce our use of Elastic Block Storage.
In summary, we have built the best platform for global file collaboration. It enables today’s workforce that is spread out across the world to be the most productive possible. And it is well protected with 34 patents and counting. I encourage you to leverage it to make your end-users the very best that they can possibly be.