Panzura CloudFS™ features distributed file and byte-range locking that make it possible for enterprise users to work together in real-time as if they are in the same room, even if they are a world apart.
The Problem With Centralization and Replication
Modern, global enterprises are challenged with giving users consistent, fast access to shared file data across sites. They can either centralize data and throw bandwidth, expensive network connections, and WAN optimization at the problem, or try replicating data between sites. Both approaches have drawbacks, and neither solves the problem.
Performance for users in your headquarters is fast, but users in other offices waste time waiting for files to open over the network. The result is project delays and lost productivity.
Performance is good at all offices since the data is local, but you end up with multiple versions of files that have to be merged later. Data corruption issues are inevitable with this approach.
Distributed File Locking Ensures Data Integrity and File Consistency
Panzura CloudFS solves the performance issue through intelligent caching, providing every location with local data center performance. But if everyone has access to the same data, how do we solve the versioning issue? Panzura Freedom solves it with distributed file locking.
Distributed file locking in CloudFS ensures data integrity by:
Having the originating Freedom FIler arbitrate lock data for files
Running checksum, deduplication, and compression on all data before it is sent to avoid sending any corruption to the cloud
Providing two high availability options: HA within a site by adding a local standby Filer, or running a redundant Filer in the cloud to provide HA for one or more sites
What is Distributed File Locking?
With legacy NAS, if a user tries to open a file that is already in use, they receive a message that the file is in use with the option to open the file as read-only. They can save it as a separate file, but cannot overwrite or change the original file that is in use. Distributed file locking technology in Panzura CloudFS extends this concept from local, legacy NAS and applies it to a global file system.
Many modern applications that use large, complex files support byte-range locking. This is because it offers a more granular approach to file locking. Instead of locking an entire file, byte-range locking only locks the relevant elements of a file that are in use. This enables multiple users to collaborate on a single file, at the same time, without overwriting each other’s work or having to merge edits later.
Panzura Freedom fully supports byte-range locking in modern enterprise applications such as AutoDesk Revit and AutoCAD, Tekla Structures, and Bentley Microstation. Even large Microsoft Excel files can benefit from byte-level file locking.
How Distributed File Locking Works
Panzura distributed file locking operates at the sub-file level. It’s built on five operating principles:
Data integrity above all else
The locking mechanism and other file system features are built to prioritize data integrity.
Immediately consistent lock data
To support data integrity, the locking metadata is updated immediately across all Panzura Filers in the system.
Every file has an origin
This is the Freedom Filer that originally created the file. This node can assign temporary ownership to another Freedom Filer.
One data owner at a time
A sub-file or file can only “belong” to one Freedom Filer at a time — the Data Owner (DO). The DO manages the authoritative copy for that data instance and normally acts as the Authoritative Write Node for that data. Any writes have to be committed through the DO.
Data Asymmetry Resolution (DAR)
Any differences between remote sets of files need to be resolved quickly and efficiently. Changed blocks are transported back to the DO.