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Looking at Some of the Common Functions of SureSync that Meet Business Needs

SureSync provides a number of methods (rules) for keeping your precious data safe and replicated around the globe, as follows:

  • Mirror. One server is designated as the master server, and it is responsible for ensuring that the child servers have an EXACT copy of the files and folders that it holds.

  • Multi-Mirror. Similar to Mirror, but if a document appears on Server 1, then Servers 2, 3, and 4 all get a copy of the same document. If the document is added to Server 3, Servers 1, 2, and 4 all get a copy of the document as well.

  • Forced Master Copy. Ensures that all servers have exactly the same documents as the master server (Server 1). This is useful for resetting permissions on the child servers (Servers 2, 3, and 4) by forcing documents to overwrite the documents on the child servers. This can take a long time, however, because all documents are deployed—not just the changes.

  • Recent Master Copy. Ensures that when the master server has a more recent copy of a file, it copies the files to all the other servers. If a child server has a more recent copy of a file, no copying is done. This is really useful if you want the main bulk of content to be the same on all servers, but some content to be different in each region.

  • Differing Master Copies. Ensures that when the last modified date is different on files between servers, the master server copies the files to all the child servers that have different modification dates. It doesn't matter which server has the greater modification date, but only the master server copies the files.

  • Exchanging Copies. This option allows a file to updated at one site, and the updated file is then replicated to all sites. Sometimes this "swapping" of files is referred to as "peer-to-peer." If a file has changed on more than one store, SureSync takes a note of this and logs the warning. This helps to prevent two users at different locations updating the same file and losing each other's changes. A network administrator must step in and resolve the conflict.

  • Move. Copies files and folders from Server 1 to Servers 2, 3, and 4; then deletes the files and folders from Server 1.

  • Delete. Deletes the specified files or folders from all the servers involved in a relation.

  • Skip. Skips the processing of the files specified in the rule and all the rules before it. It does not skip any of the rules specified after this rule.

I think it should be painfully obvious to you now that SureSync can provide business benefits. It is low-cost, easy to configure, and fits nicely into the Windows NT/2000 environment.

However, if you think laterally, there are some other general uses for SureSync that you could implement within your organization (besides just a straight file copying).

SureSync can do the following:

  • Perform backups of data to remote servers.

  • Restore a server with files that are identical to those the master server contains.

  • Reset the permissions on the file copy to those contained on the master server after a Windows file copy is performed.

Sure Sync offers a number of other feature-rich capabilities that could be very useful to your business.

The "Real-Time" component (an add-on to the main SureSync utility that costs around $150 per server) allows a folder to be monitored. When a change occurs in that folder (that is, a file is added or updated), the monitor triggers the change to happen on the other servers. This is a great utility when you need instant publishing of business-critical documents. Like the standard features of SureSync, permissions and other attributes can be preserved when copying or moving files.

SureSync enables bandwidth throttling to prevent excessive flooding of the network. Because SureSync's main job is to copy files (generally very large ones), it is sometimes inconvenient to other users of the network if it consumes more of the network than other tasks can. SureSync allows you to easily configure the maximum bandwidth usage it is allowed to prevent other users from becoming disgruntled with performance. Although this slows down copying, it does give administrators the flexibility they need to ensure that everyone gets a slice of the pie.

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