Cloud Workflow Evolution for Better Control and Data Protection – FlexSync 3

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Quantum’s StorNext software is first thought of as a powerful, shared file system – but it’s really part of a powerful platform of services that enables high-performance sharing, storage, and management of large unstructured data. As the nature of work has become more distributed and collaborative, FlexSync – a replication and synchronization service – has become more popular and important. 

Now, we’re proud to announce FlexSync 3. We’ve made FlexSync even better with cloud capabilities that unlock new workflows for geo-distributed teams and organizations.

Since FlexSync was designed to work with file systems, it originally focused on replicating files, either from place to place on the same system or between local and remote systems. FlexSync is crazy fast and works with enormous file counts because it’s plugged into StorNext’s metadata database, eliminating the need to “walk the tree” to discover changes.

Customers rely on FlexSync for their critical data movement and management, but they told us they wanted more. They described how they needed flexibility as their teams change and grow. They want collaboration, but also control.  Above all, they want a “single source of truth” for important data assets – one that is cloud-based yet within the StorNext ecosystem, so their teams don’t need to use multiple tools, manually move data around, or worry about files vs. objects.

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration and Control across the Cloud

FlexSync 3 answers these requests and is an important building block in harnessing the power of StorNext collaboration and control across ‘the cloud.’ In addition to the existing functionality, FlexSync now allows you to synchronize files to and from an S3 bucket on a public or a private cloud storage destination, including, of course, ActiveScale. File data is written as objects into the cloud bucket, but that’s not the cool part. In addition to file data, file system metadata is also written to the bucket in a format that you can use with a remote FlexSync instance. The cloud bucket then becomes a transit point for files to move between StorNext file systems and serves as a centralized content repository for otherwise disconnected sites.

You can manually control a synchronization task using the GUI or CLI or use the task scheduler to automatically perform tasks, enabling workflows from the most ad-hoc single site “copy a few files to cloud” to the most complex, multi-site, shared content environment.

Providing Near Real-Time DR Protection and Simplified Ransomware Protection

Simple cloud disaster recovery (DR) protection is one of the obvious uses for FlexSync’s new object capability. Recurring replication may be scheduled at intervals as short as one minute, providing near real-time protection from site disaster. If a second site is available and synchronized, it serves as a hot DR site should the primary go down.

With optional versioning enabled, FlexSync 3 also provides simplified ransomware protection. If content is encrypted or deleted, it’s simple to synchronize to a previous version to revert the data to an unpolluted state.

While data protection is necessary, it’s not “fun” or “exciting.” Fun and exciting use cases for FlexSync 3 revolve around the concept of a shared content repository. Depending on business needs, many different models are possible.

One writer and many readers make for a publish/subscribe model, where a central content arbiter can broadcast content, and individual sites around the country or the world can subscribe to relevant material. Expanding to multiple readers and writers enables a full shared collaboration model. One common flavor is “follow the sun” production, where multiple geographically distributed teams work in sequence on a common digital product, handing their work to the next team at the end of their working day.

Explore FlexSync 3

These are just a few possible use cases for FlexSync’s new functionality. Quantum is fortunate to have very creative customers, and I can’t wait to see what other use cases they find to make their lives easier and their businesses more efficient.

Learn more about FlexSync 3 in the Quantum StorNext Scale-Out File Storage White Paper.

FlexSync 3 is available now as an option for all StorNext subscribers. For more information, contact your Quantum representative, your authorized Quantum StorNext system integrator, or contact us here.

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