Partner  

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Challenge

M&S Engineering uses an industry-specific software tool – Power Line Systems – to model complex electrical transmission systems. That software relies heavily on large point cloud data sets and generates substantial file sizes. File updating and management among company offices was wasting time and cutting into productivity. In addition, there were concerns about data security, ransomware threats and aging computer infrastructure.

Solution

M&S implemented Panzura CloudFS and Panzura Mobile to give users in remote offices a single global file system and help simplify data management, making the same data accessible in real-time to all locations.

We've been able to get our deliverables to our clients quicker, using less man hours. If that's not a statement for ROI, I don't know what is.

- Clay Pilkilton, Director of IT Security and Infrastructure

Solving Multiple Issues With One Solution

M&S Engineering (M&S) is a full-service engineering firm in Texas, with offices across the state
providing engineering, design, consultation, planning, and analytical services to its clients. M&S employs licensed engineers in electrical, civil, structural, and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) disciplines, along with a host of experienced field personnel.

A premier electrical distribution / transmission engineering company, M&S has a corporate mission to provide clients with quality, efficient services at the greatest overall value.

M&S is uniquely positioned to serve clients with its distributed workforce; however, this strength also presents a challenge. Remote workers need to access files and manage data, while being mindful of security, ransomware, and an aging server infrastructure.

Director of IT Security and Infrastructure Clay Pilkilton was determined to find a solution that aided the entire organization with teams distributed among multiple locations. The solution needed to:

  • Enable the remote workforce to access and work on CAD/engineering files among multiple locations.
  • Help with management of the organization’s data and streamline backups.
  • Remove disparate silos of data.
  • Provide robust disaster recovery.
  • Provide additional security to protect the organization’s data.

The data used in the M&S design process can be large and increases in size over time.

The engineering and design software used for modeling complex electrical transmission systems -
Power Line Systems (PLS) - results in large data sets with substantial file sizes.

Analysis of point cloud data and the large files that are generated require a robust computer infrastructure. These large data sets can be challenging to synchronize among offices in an efficient and productive
manner.

File sync, including oversight to verify that files are properly merged and preserved without
being overwritten, resulted in the inefficient use of time. Productivity became an issue.

The multiple M&S teams in different locations needed to work together on projects, but file updating among sites took time, which was multiplied when different groups in different locations were involved.

If we wanted to stay competitive in the AEC market, we needed to go to the next step. And that's why we went to Panzura.

- Clay Pilkilton, Director of IT Security and Infrastructure

M&S decided to implement Panzura CloudFS along with Panzura Mobile to simplify the file management environment.

Panzura provides a single global file system where all users can see the same data no matter which office they are in. Employees working remotely no longer need to create data silos by copying files to and from their local system to access and share with others.

Panzura’s proprietary deduplication and compression reduced
our data footprint by 40% instantly

- Clay Pilkilton

Minimizing hardware and storage

The organization has been able to minimize the hardware in each office and make the same data
accessible in real-time in all locations.

The patented technology of Panzura has made access to files even quicker than on the previous LAN infrastructure, so accessing large data sets no longer slows users down. Panzura also resolves file locking issues when users in multiple locations are accessing the same project at the same time. Users no longer need to spend time copying files in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Utilization of the cloud with Panzura has enabled the organization to centralize its data, streamline backups and disaster recovery, and minimize software and hardware costs for backups. The Panzura security features an immutable file system that provides additional benefits in the fight against ransomware attacks, as well as providing a secure and robust file system.

Benefits at a glance

  • 40% reduction in data footprint from Panzura’s intelligent deduplication.
  • Users from every office can now have access to the same data.
  • There is no need to waste time copying files between sites to obtain the current versions of files.
  • File locking issues have been resolved, removing the danger of having files overwritten by remote workers when copying those files among different data silos.
  • Data security and hardware concerns have been alleviated.