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Technical Insight: Peer Software Takes a Different Approach to Global File Access

Published June 13th, 2023. In this free Technical Insight report, Senior Analyst Dave Raffo discusses Peer Software's take on Global File Systems or Cloud NAS with their Peer Global File Services (PeerGFS). Download this free Technical Insight now!


The exponential growth of file data and the remote workers who create and access that data creates challenges for today’s IT teams. They increasingly need to provide remote access, local performance, file sharing, high availability, and backup to a workforce that spans sites.

As a result, organizations today commonly find themselves with infrastructure requirements for multiple on-premises sites and public clouds. Hundreds and even thousands of workers could be operating from their homes on multiple continents.

IT organizations have several ways of dealing with this trend. On-premises enterprise NAS products are the traditional method for enterprise file storage, and these products now commonly extend to public cloud storage. Global file systems – sometimes referred to as Cloud NAS – were developed specifically for hosting a primary set of data in the public cloud and then focuses on file caching to edge appliances for remote collaboration.

Peer Software takes a different approach to making files accessible to anyone in an organization wherever the files and people are located. The Peer Global File Service (PeerGFS) is not a file system but can help customers of popular NAS systems manage data across on-premises sites, the public cloud and edge locations. The key piece of PeerGFS is real-time active-active replication that provides fast, local access to mirrored data across sites to improve productivity for distributed teams.

Like global file systems, PeerGFS can reduce on-premises infrastructure footprint. Also like Global File Systems, PeerGFS can take advantage of the public cloud to make files appear local even if they are in the cloud or at the edge. Its active-active data services fabric also enables continuous data protection for backup and high availability.

Unlike global file systems that were designed as NAS replacements, PeerGFS complements leading NAS products customers are already using. That provides the value of global file systems while allowing customers to keep their existing NAS investments. PeerGFS works with Windows file servers, Dell PowerScale (Isilon), Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity, Dell PowerEdge, NetApp ONTAP, NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, AWS FSx for NetApp, and Nutanix File storage, and support is planned for other NAS products. Customers can also use PeerGFS to replicate data across NAS systems from different vendors if they have more than one file storage platform.

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