The shift from working from an office to working from home / remotely due to the pandemic looks like it is here to stay for many companies, even post pandemic. End users have had to cope with moving from being always connected via a high speed line to SMB shares to working across consumer broadband from B2B2C file services. Prospects and customers have helped us create a pretty clear picture of the problems this has caused them and below we outline the top three things that we have been told:
1. Restrictions on File size: Many of the SaaS B2B style Share and Sync services have restrictions on files size, such as Microsoft Teams which is limited to 2GB.
2. File Upload and download speed: Consumer style broadband rather than office LANS causes real issues with end user productivity
3. Bandwidth restrictions / limits: Although it is often in the small print many services have limits with regards to how much data can be transferred during a time period and/or can introduce service throttling.
We have worked with a number of Companies over the lockdown period to help them resolve these issues. Lets look at how:
1. Resolving the File Size Issue – Unfortunately the file size issues is baked into a lot of the business consumer SaaS services which as previously mentioned have set limits. Ultimately a storage service is required that supports very large file sizes and for this object storage is perfect with many companies already using services such as Amazon S3 Azure, Google Storage etc.
As the File Fabric presents a Global File system to end users it is trivial to add access to one of these services so that users can work collaboratively with large files. Companies can also additionally choose to expose their existing file based service to their end users if they wish. The Global File System that end users can interact with ends up looking something like this:
This is the same view from a users windows desktop:
In this example have a specific folder for large files, which actually is an S3 bucket. Also there is direct access to Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams data in addition to access to two SMB shares that are being exposed from the office, but as everyone is working from home no-one would normally have access to. If users are working with Office 365 and Teams direct any new files will automatically be discovered and added to the File Fabric’s Global File System index. Similarly any files directly added to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams will automatically be available through Office 365 and Teams.
The File upload / download speed is dealt with transparently using the File Fabric’s M-Stream feature which accelerates files to/from user desktops by uploading a single file in multiple streams. Users can see this in action when they are, for example, uploading a file:
Unlike some of the consumer B2B services Cloud Object Services such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure and Google Storage don’t really impose bandwidth limitations so utilizing the File Fabric’s M-Stream feature extremely large files can be uploaded and downloaded. We have one media customer dealing with 4K and 8K UHD single files in the order of 500GB+.
In summary remote working does not need to be a limiting experience when working with large files and consumer broadband. The File Fabric provides a scalable web front end and integrated desktop experience for end users to continue to efficiently and productively work from home and/or remote from the office. Also, given the compliance driven world that companies now reside in, the File Fabric transparently does its checks and balances with regards to event auditing and compliance monitoring to ensure that everything is safe and secure.
If you would like to find out more about the File Fabric and how it could help your companies use case feel free to self-schedule a no-obligation demo.