The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend toward a distributed workforce in the modern enterprise. Work from home programs, the need to include third-party partners as collaborators, and the global competition for talent also contribute to this change. A recent survey found that 7 in 10 U.S white-collar workers are working remotely.
In many organizations, core business processes rely on effective file-based collaboration. This was fine when most employees worked at a headquarters facility with fast links to the enterprise data center and its filers. However, with an organization’s users now spanning the globe, legacy systems fail to meet the collaboration needs of this distributed workforce. This frustrates end users, wastes time and money, and increases risks to the enterprise.
However, along with the change to a distributed workforce, enterprises are also adopting Software-defined Storage (SDS) for its flexibility, agility, and increasing capabilities. Many SDS-based file storage solutions offer features that enhance multi-site file collaboration and provide a number of valuable benefits.
5 Benefits of an Effective Multi-site File Collaboration Solution
#1 Effective Version control. Effective file collaboration solutions provide global file locking. Global file locking ensures only one person can edit a file, or portion of a file, at a time. This feature prevents file collisions and unintended overwrites. Many solutions track and retain previous file versions, enabling rollback to an earlier point in time.
#2 Modern File Collaboration. These solutions enable file and folder sharing with internal and external stakeholders. Changes to files by collaborators are updated automatically with private or public cloud storage used as the authoritative source. The best solutions speed synchronization and minimize bandwidth consumption by sending only the changed portions of a file across the network.
#3 Reduced Storage Capacity. By centralizing file storage and managing effective version control, companies realize savings on file storage. Many offerings utilize deduplication and compression for efficient storage and reduced data transmission. Thus, organizations save file storage costs and reduce WAN bandwidth needs.
#4 Data Protection, Security and Control. Cloud storage and a global file system can consolidate islands of file data into a unified platform that is easier and less expensive to deploy, operate, and scale. For many organizations, cloud storage architecture offers more than sufficient data protection and additional back up can be added. With these solutions, IT administrators can monitor their organization’s entire file estate. IT departments gain more effective control with the ability to assign file permission attributes at a granular level. Customers leverage RESTful API capabilities to integrate the solutions into management tools and automation frameworks.
#5 Fast File Access. Many of these SDS solutions use edge caching appliances to provide end users with fast access to active data. Changes to files are updated on the back end, transparent to the end-user. This process also gives stakeholders a near-immediate view into the file updates.
In short, many SDS-based file storage solutions enable fast file collaboration, improved end-user experiences, new file management capabilities, improved security, and reduced storage needs.
Choosing an SDS-based NAS Consolidation Solution
Is your organization looking for a solution to multi-site file collaboration woes? DCIG will publish the 2021-22 DCIG TOP 5 Enterprise Multi-site File Collaboration Solutions report next week. The report describes similarities and differences among the solutions. Thus, organizations may use the report to quickly identify a shortlist of enterprise SDS-based solutions that enable effective file collaboration.
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