ProjectWise DFT + Steelhead versus Panzura GFS ?

Panzura has got quite a lot of press lately in the AEC market. Some really impressive numbers with synching over long distances.

Panzura's Global File System apparently goes one step further compared to caching and seems to be getting support from Citrx and VMWare.

Panzura also runs on Amazon's AWS, Aliweb I wonder if someone will step in and provide something similar for Microsoft Azure. Apparently Microsoft's DFS doesn't work very well.

Doc management system Newforma has also started looking at Panzura. Will PW also support Panzura? Or come up with something that is like GFS + hardware controllers (from Steelhead?).

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  • We are testing the solutions from Panzura and Talonstorage. If you ask Panzura you might find they have a solution for Azure.

    Why are we testing these solutions? Primarily to support Autodesk based workloads. The cloud integrated storage containers appear and behave like file shares. They do not require any additional steps, clicks, integration or delays. Perhaps Panzura is the one to watch - they have Carl Bass (CEO Autodesk) on their board of advisors panzura.com/.../advisory-board If the product works then perhaps it will form part of an updated Project Alexandria / Vault solution to rival PW. They offer an interesting proposition as you could remove caching servers (with their associated maintenance overhead) and replace with an additional network appliance that looks after itself (because it is part of a third party managed command and control structure).

    Would I use it with ProjectWise? No as PW is going to get very confused with the cloud caches and it's simply not designed for it.

    What do we think of them? They really do make a difference when working in the Autodesk stack across large geographic distances. Performance wise when put side by side with PW+Caching Servers they are comparable but what is users really appreciate is that their applications simply work without clutter or complication. It pays to think hard about how much data you need cached in cloud device as it is possible to use the smallest devices with some thought.
  • Unknown said:
    Would I use it with ProjectWise? No as PW is going to get very confused with the cloud caches and it's simply not designed for it.

    Yes. But will it or should it stay that way is the question.

    Unknown said:
    Performance wise when put side by side with PW+Caching Servers they are comparable but what is users really appreciate is that their applications simply work without clutter or complication.

    Really? What kind of set up do you have? Our experience with PW Caching servers has been pretty bad. I think that a lot of IT departments are going to the cloud to offload the admin overheads. Starting with the Office apps, backup, security, software rollouts etc. Getting admins who know PW, AecoSim in addition to VMWare etc etc is pretty difficult expensive. Result- if it's not ready out of the box - bodged set ups and low performance.

  • It's not normally the performance of the Caching Server that is the issue. It is the connectivity between the End User and the Server and the Server to the Integration Server. That's where focus is needed including defined quality of service levels. Last time I looked we had around 20 dotted around the world feeding back to one of three Integration Server farms supporting several thousand staff.

    As for the "IT departments are going to the cloud to offload the admin overheads". I agree and PW Administrators are in scarce supply .

    @Stephen - I'm not doubting PW's ability. Just happy to have the conversation about alternate solutions
  • Stephen,

    Not suggesting replacing PW, altogether. But, asking if PW can work or benefit from Panzura's GFS, as a replacement for CAching Servers.

    "It's not normally the performance of the Caching Server that is the issue. It is the connectivity between the End User and the Server and the Server to the Integration Server. "

    Not very informative. Sounded like you have tested Panzura and PW CS side by side from your previous statement.
  • The performance is comparable. Operated trials with Panzura (and still have an instance of it running). The improvement is largely due to the ability to use the native features of the applications rather than an additional dialogues and methods introduced by PW Integration. We're also using Revit Server to support a geographically diverse project whose workloads are all in Revit.

    The PW+Caching Servers solution is good and in my experience staff have pointed to the server being the bottleneck when in reality it is the connections to it.
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  • The performance is comparable. Operated trials with Panzura (and still have an instance of it running). The improvement is largely due to the ability to use the native features of the applications rather than an additional dialogues and methods introduced by PW Integration. We're also using Revit Server to support a geographically diverse project whose workloads are all in Revit.

    The PW+Caching Servers solution is good and in my experience staff have pointed to the server being the bottleneck when in reality it is the connections to it.
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