Globalscape WAFS Alternatives 

Globalscape WAFS alternative

Why write a blog on Globalscape WAFS? It’s been discontinued and EOL as of December, 2019: the product is no longer supported. 

Yet there are many customers out there still using it!

If you’re one of them, you may be considering your Globalscape WAFS alternatives. Resilio Connect provides a scalable and real-time alternative to Globalscape WAFS—that runs on Windows, Linux, Unix, macOS, and any type of storage (direct-attached, SAN, or NAS) located in your data centers or your cloud providers’ data centers.  

Unlike Globalscape WAFS (Wide Area File Services) and more traditional file replication tools like Microsoft DFSR or Peer Software PeerGFS, Resilio Connect is peer-to-peer (P2P) and WAN optimized. As we’ll explore later in the blog, Resilio offers greater efficiency, flexibility, reliability, speed and scalability than these conventional client-server tools.   

Please get in touch with us to schedule a demo or feel free to read on.

Background on Globalscape

Founded in 1996, Globalscape has released numerous products over the years—from Globalscape MFT (managed file transfer) to Enhanced File Transfer (EFT).  Back in 1996, when I was at Microsoft, their very first product was one of my favorites: CuteFTP.  I used CuteFTP for years to transfer files between my home network (across a US West DSL router) and an FTP server on the Redmond campus. Thank you for many years of good FTP’ing, Globalscape! 

Alas, in this day and age, FTP and other TCP-based tools aren’t useful for moving large data sets or for real-time synchronization and other advanced replication scenarios.  Thus, Globalscape WAFS was designed to address both continuous data protection (CDP) as well as the ability to instantly access and share files and worksets across multiple offices worldwide.  

The discontinuation of Globalscape WAFS was likely due to a combination of factors, including the changing landscape of file synchronization and replication solutions and the company’s focus on other products and services. Existing customers could receive support until December 2019, according to the Globalscape web site. 

Our flagship product, Resilio Connect, provides all of this and a heck of a lot more. If you’re looking for faster file replication, reliable two-way or multi-directional file synchronization, WAN optimization, and real-time synchronization—Resilio Connect should be at the top of your WAFS alternatives list.  

Both Resilio Connect and Globalscape WAFS are designed to provide efficient file synchronization and replication across multiple locations. However, there are significant differences between the two products that make Resilio Connect a far superior alternative to Globalscape WAFS than traditional client-server tools. A big difference between Resilio and these other tools is the underlying architecture. 

Hub-and-Spoke vs Peer-to-Peer

Resilio Connect is a software-only, peer-to-peer (P2P) solution that reliably moves and synchronizes payloads of any size and type fast and efficiently. 

By contrast, Globalscape WAFS is based on a traditional client-server architecture—referred to as a central Vault (which is the hub). All file replication and updates must pass through the Vault before trickling out to each remote WAFS Agent (the spokes). If you’re using Globalscape WAFS, you already know the challenges with this.

Globalscape WAFS is based on a hub-and-spoke architecture

The hub is a performance bottleneck and single point of failure. Additionally, these architectures are not well-suited to widely distributed organizations moving or synchronizing lot’s of data at the edge.

For example, in engineering and construction, or mining, if a remote project team on site needs to share files, Globalscape WAFS needs these cached ahead of time. But what if the files are created on site? WAFS only offers caching for online access but nothing beyond that.

Resilio, by contrast, enables engineers on site to rapidly sync among one another using P2P–even when offline.

Resilio is based on a peer-to-peer architecture.

Through Resilio’s P2P design, files are distributed (hashed) across multiple endpoints simultaneously, which significantly reduces transfer times and protects all files in motion. Resilio enables active-active high availability—and there’s no single point of failure in the Resilio architecture.  If there’s a failure in the network or an agent becomes unavailable, the other agents continue replicating data.  Resilio is quite elegant when it comes to working offline and gracefully coping with network failures and disconnects.

Scalability Matters

Scalability is tremendously important when it comes to synchronizing many files across many endpoints, concurrently.  This is particularly true for larger files and datasets including many millions of files.  Real-time is important. Only the changed portion of a file should be replicated and synchronized, rather than the entire file. Yet—when this real-time capability is combined with Resilio’s P2P architecture, there are huge benefits to both efficiency and scalability. Reducing the amount of data sent across the network improves speed and reduces the amount of network bandwidth required for each job.  

There’s “per job” scalability. With Globalscape WAFS, the best practice was to keep replication jobs smaller (under 500 GBs) and under 300K files. By today’s standards that’s insufficient. Most modern enterprises go way beyond this!  

Resilio Connect has no limits on payload size per job and — this is not a design limit — we’ve validated 400 million files per synchronization job.  You can sync pretty much any payload in any direction.  

Then there’s end-to-end replication scalability: the entire process of synchronizing a large number of files of different types across many systems — and across many locations. 

Resilio Connect has no limits on payload size per job and — this is not a design limit — we’ve validated 400 million files per synchronization job.  You can sync pretty much any payload in any direction.  

Then there’s end-to-end replication scalability: the entire process of synchronizing a large number of files of different types across many systems — and across many locations.

Resilio scales every aspect of the synchronization process. You can scale up by adding resources to each Agent system (CPU cores, memory, storage throughput and IOPS)—as well as front-side network capacity. You need at the very least a 10 Gbps capable NIC to go 10 Gbps.

But what’s really unique about Resilio is that you can also scale out — by simply adding Agents to the job. There’s nothing like this on the market.  To go faster, you increase bandwidth and add Agents.  

In summary, Resilio has taken a holistic approach to improving scalability and performance.  The end-to-end process of synchronizing millions of files, for example, requires optimizing all phases of the job:  reading, indexing, and merging file systems.  Merging is the non-trivial process of reconciling differences across N-number of file systems, in parallel.  Considering that some file systems may be large, or deployed in a remote location, over an unreliable or low bandwidth link, this merging and sync process must be extremely efficient, fast, and reliable.

ZGT WAN Optimization

And then there’s the challenge of maintaining performance across wide-area networks (WANs). There are many ways to overcome latency and packet loss—but most ways around this are either by brute force (GridFTP on TCP) or using UDP Blasters and various deduplication and compression techniques to keep traffic off the network.  When it comes to convention WAN optimization for bulk data transfers, these implementations are restricted by point-to-point architectures (e.g. Aspera and Signiant) where file movement is limited to point-to-point and (at best) hub-and-spoke.    

Resilio Connect has also developed a native, cross-platform UDP-based WAN optimization technology that overcomes latency and packet loss—but is also purpose-built for P2P file delivery. Resilio’s Zero Gravity Transport (ZGT) provides full utilization of allocated bandwidth to achieve predictable speeds, even over high-latency networks and unreliable low-bandwidth connections. And all of the benefits of P2P — active-active HA, no SPOF, priority peers, etc.  — are included as well. 


This brings us to flexibility. Resilio Connect is cross-platform and can run on physical systems, directly on NAS systems, or in virtual machines or containers.  You can deploy at the extreme edge, in an on-premise data center, or in the cloud. Resilio supports a wide range of platforms and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and strategic partners’ NAS devices. This makes it an ideal solution for organizations with a diverse IT environment, hybrid clouds, multicloud projects, and for teams working remotely. 

Built-in Security

Instead of relying on 3rd-party security services or VPNs, Resilio offers native end-to-end security including:

  • Mutual authentication and authorization 
  • Generation of one-time session encryption keys for end-to-end encryption
  • Data integrity validation
  • Standard encryption protocols: TLS 1.2, AES-256, SHA2 

Resilio is also SOC2 Type 1 certified. This is particularly important for organizations that handle sensitive or confidential data, such as financial or healthcare organizations. 

IT and Cloud Cost Optimization  

Another consideration when evaluating file replication solutions is cost—especially when it comes to cloud cost optimization. Resilio Connect offers a subscription-based pricing model based on the number of Agents, bandwidth, and capacity. This can be a more cost-effective option for organizations that need to transfer large amounts of data, as they only pay for the resources they use. For example, Resilio makes it easy to pin traffic to a network—within a location—and avoid transferring unnecessary traffic outside of the network.  For example, you may need to replicate files from one cloud region to another.  Resilio offers a way to do this without much if any data leaving the provider’s network.

Multicloud File Storage Gateway

Another way to reduce IT and cloud costs is to increase utilization of deployed infrastructure–like servers, storage, and networks. There are a number of things you can do with Resilio Connect that you can not do with Globalscape WAFS. For example, Resilio offers a software-only file storage gateway—which offers a file interface to object storage. Remote objects are stored in long-term cloud object storage (e.g. Minio, AWS S3, Wasabi, Backblaze, Azure Blobs, or any S3-compatible object storage). These objects are cached locally by Resilio at remote sites. Each on-prem office or data center may use a server or storage device running Resilio Connect as a local cache and file gateway.

One of the capabilities of Resilio’s file gateway is transparent selective sync: this allows IT and storage admins to efficiently cache and store files on-prem or in remote offices located anywhere. This multicloud file gateway solution is a great alternative to proprietary, vendor-specific gateway such as an AWS file gateway (which is only for the AWS cloud) as well as other global caching approaches such as NetApp global file cache.

For example, you can transform an on-prem NAS device (physical or virtual) from a strategic Resilio partner like OSNexus running a Resilio Connect Agent into a full-fledged cloud gateway. 

End-users accessing files on the Resilio file gateway simply mount a file share as they normally would.  In the background, Resilio Connect is enabling users (either end-users, admins, or both) the ability to browse the remote files and “select” which files they want to download and sync.  They can partially or fully download the file — and choose if they want to sync it.  

Once downloaded, other users can access the files over SMB or NFS.  And cached files can be kept or purged based on a policy.  

Benefits of using Resilio Connect as a file storage gateway include:  

  • Efficiency – Cache files on-demand at remote sites.  Purge files based on retention policy.
  • Flexibility – Browse, select, and download only what you need.  Selectively sync files you choose. You can partially or fully sync the needed files. 
  • Global availability – Replicate across data centers and cloud regions as needed to meet availability goals. 
  • Optimized capacity – Keep infrequently accessed files on longer term storage; keep active files on  local storage.  
  • Cloud extensibility – Make files stored in the cloud available to other local users via SMB or NFS.

And then there’s the simplicity factor.  Resilio gives Globalscape WAFS users an easy-to-use alternative to sync files of any size and type fast and in real-time across as many sites and servers as needed. Using Resilio Connect, you can centrally operate, control, and automate all file delivery options.

Globalscape WAFS Use Cases

Resilio Connect gives Globalscape WAFS customers an easy and exceptionally fast and scalable way to distribute and (optionally) synchronize files (and metadata) from a single or multiple source points out to any number of target servers (or other Resilio endpoints), located anywhere; these could be internally in the same site, on the same LAN; or externally, distributed to farms of web servers, or file servers, over the WAN. Your endpoints could be located in any data center or in your cloud provider’s hosting facilities.  Using Resilio, the latency posed by long haul networks becomes an afterthought.  WAN optimization is built in.    

Engineering and construction and other markets with large files are well suited to Resilio Connect. Resilio has numerous customers in engineering, construction, architecture, and other firms using CAD and 3D software tools such as Dessault Catia or Solidworks, and Autodesk Revit. Resilio is quite well suited to replicating these files.  

Manufacturing: One of the world’s leading green aircraft manufacturers shaping the future of flight—and eco-friendly aircraft design—uses Resilio Connect to keep their most valuable data current and accessible. The company stores its computational fluid dynamics output from Dessault Catia and other systems, on Microsoft Windows Server running Resilio Connect. These images and other files contain important work that makes airplanes. They enjoy always having access to this data and their latest updates, as well as the set-it-and-forget automation. Resilio protects and replicates their mission critical files in real-time.

This airplane designer and manufacturer simply replaced Microsoft DFSR with Resilio Connect. Resilio offers an in place “zero migration” solution for DFS replication–and covers everything needed out-of-the-box.

Extreme engineering: One of the world’s largest Fortune 500 extreme engineering firms uses Resilio Connect for VDI Profile Sync in support of its global (edge, data center, and Azure) deployments.

In an interview, their storage and VDI project lead told me that that “Resilio seemed to good to be true.”

And that, from a DR perspective, their company likely saved $8.6 million in remote access costs to their graphics-intensive 3D workstations.  “These 3D design workstations are expensive and mission-critical. We can not afford to be offline for 96 hours if the applications are unavailable.”

Resilio helps their VDI profiles load faster and keeps their data accessible from the extreme edge.

Other Important Capabilities for Globalscape Customers

The following capabilities may be of interest to the WAFS customer base:

  • Two-way (bidirectional) sync: Basic one- and two-way file distribution and/or synchronization between two servers (Globalscape WAFS also supports this basic one-way client/server replication from server to server.)
  • One-to-many sync (within or across locations). This can be “real time” to synchronize only the files that have changed. With Resilio Connect, distribution and synchronization scales fluidly—as the load can be distributed across all agents participating in the job. Synchronizing hundreds of servers with Resilio takes practically the same time synchronizing two servers. 
  • Many-to-one collection and ingest: In cases where files need to be collected from remote agents—which can be located anywhere—either within a site, or received from multiple remote endpoints, Resilio makes it incredibly reliable and easy. This scenario is not supported on Globalscape WAFS and may benefit some Globalscape WAFS customers.  For example, if you wanted to aggregate and automate updates from multiple sources into a single site, Resilio gives you an easy way to set this up and centrally control all the settings and options. 
  • Many-to-many: Another scenario unique to Resilio Connect is full mesh or “N-way” sync, across any number of Agents.  This gives customers the flexibility to make multiple updates to multiple servers (in any order) and rapidly and efficiently propagate the changes to all other servers in the job.  This also enables remote work when multiple contributors are making changes to a single file or multiple files from many locations. 
  • Automation and centralization for simplified management and a transparent end-user experience.  For automation, all job types can be scripted or API driven and integrated with a variety of workflows.  Resilio Connect provides centralized management through the Resilio Connect Management Console to streamline operations. 
  • Notifications and job automation for hands-free management. With Resilio it’s easy to centrally track, monitor, and manage all jobs through the management console.  For example, you can set up Webhooks, create rules and notifications, and manage policies for jobs and users.  It’s easy to govern and audit which files are to be transferred and which are excluded.  
  • Antivirus compatibility: Resilio is compatible with numerous AV and malware packages that run on different OS platforms and use on- and off-box scanning methods. 
  • Familiar, workflow-friendly end user experience:  Users don’t need to learn a custom user interface because Resilio has integrated its product with the file management tools included in each operating system, such as Windows Explorer and Mac Finder.  There are no proprietary data management tools.  Managing files is always easy and familiar. 
  • Easy to install.  Resilio Connect is an agent-based software solution where Agents are installed on all systems (endpoints) participating in file delivery.  Installation is seamless, straightforward, and well documented.  Supported clients include a variety of servers, mobile devices, desktops, virtual cloud servers, and popular cloud storage services.  

While some features like file locking are not yet available, we’re finding that many customers prefer file locking on the application level—and run into problems doing it with global file systems or other approaches. 

The high level reasons to consider Resilio Connect as an alternative to Globalscape WAFS include:  

  • Real-time access to updates—across any location and any number of sites and endpoints. 
  • Flexibility to distribute, synchronize, and/or consolidate files in any direction, across as many servers (or other endpoints) as needed.  You can also use any on-prem IT infrastructure or cloud.  
  • Speed:  You can obtain full LAN speeds on the local network or throttle allocated bandwidth. If you’re looking for performance improvements, simply increase bandwidth and add Resilio agents to gain speed. Each agent can run to 15+ Gbps with the available bandwidth. Aggregate numbers are as fast as you want to go. Think 100 Gpbs or get in touch with us!
  • Scalability: Simply add agents to scale performance. Moreover, Files can be of any size and you can sync many millions of files per job.  Resilio has validated 400 million files per job. One customer distributes files to over 100,000 agents.  
  • WAN optimization is built in: For remote file access, distribution, and sync, Resilio offers a WAN optimization setting for transferring or synchronizing files over distance, Resilio overcomes latency and packet loss to obtain full utilization of allocated bandwidth policies. This built-in UDP-based transfer option is called Zero Gravity Transport (ZGT). 

Firewall Friendly Proxy Server

Resilio also includes a proxy server to route traffic through firewalls to simplify and centralize port assignments within customers’ demilitarized zones (DMZs). The Proxy can be deployed within a DMZ or behind any firewall. 

Resilio customers asked for more flexibility in using Connect behind firewalls to support remote workers and other data sharing use cases involving firewalls.  Resilio now offers a Resilio Connect Proxy to simplify and centralize port assignments within customers’ demilitarized zones (DMZs). The Proxy can be deployed within a DMZ or behind any firewall.

The proxy improves security by isolating inbound traffic from data transfers. No data is stored on the Proxy.  The Proxy simply allows customers to configure outbound connections and use a single IP address behind the corporate firewall.  This greatly simplifies the lives of administrators when supporting users with continuously changing IP addresses.  Now companies can more easily support remote work situations and a diversity of firewall configurations and best practices.  

Globalscape WAFS vs. Resilio Connect – Feature Comparison

CapabilityGlobalscape WAFSResilio Connect
Real-time synchronization++
Real-time N-way synchronization+
Offline work++
Firewall friendly++
Bandwidth throttling++
Store previous versions of files++
File-level, differential-based++
File locking+
File and job filters++
One-way synchronization++
Two-way synchronization+
One-to-one transfers++
One-to-many transfers++
No single point of failure+
File integrity++
Job recovery (reboot, failures)+
Pre and post distribution processing++
Continuous update++
Comparative snapshot++
Large file optimization+
Unlimited file sizes+
Object support+
Multiple TCP/IP streams++
WAN Optimized UDP+
Peer-to-Peer Architecture+
Bandwidth usage control++
Dynamic smart routing+
Management Console++
Web UI++
Autodesk / CAD / CAE compatible++

Getting Started

Resilio offers a complementary guided evaluation that’s well worth taking advantage of.  It’s easy and can be completed in 4 steps.  Please schedule a demo to take advantage of this POC! 

For an overview of what you’ll be installing, please see the Resilio Connect Quickstart Guide. In the POC, you’ll learn how to add Agents to the console, connect file shares, and create your first synchronization job. Moreover, you’ll learn best practices and gain insight from the experts. The POC will be tailored to your individual use case and your organization’s goals and requirements. 

Resilio is an agent-based solution.  Agents are installed on each managed device.  All agents are centrally managed by the Resilio Connect Management Console. How’s this different from Globalscape WAFS?  Globalscape WAFS is also an agent-based solution for Windows. Each system runs a WAFS Agent (agentservice.exe which runs as a service named ‘WAFS Agent’ (WafsAgentSvc).  The product does not address other endpoints such as macOS, Android, Linux, BSD, or other operating systems.  Resilio, by contrast, runs a variety of platforms, including some NAS systems, as well as the cloud. 


Resilio Connect offers a high-performance, scale-out, and cross-platform alternative to Globalscape WAFS. With its P2P architecture, intelligent synchronization algorithms, and support for a wide range of platforms and operating systems, Resilio Connect can provide fast and efficient file replication and synchronization across different locations. Plus you can sync in any direction: one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many. Unlike Globalscape WAFS (where all synchronization goes through a central hub—Resilio can sync directly with other agents, located anywhere. Customers have the flexibility to distribute files to many servers concurrently; consolidate files from many sources; and sync files in any direction, across any location (LAN or WAN). 

Globalscape WAFS customers are able to use Resilio Connect in similar use cases but also as a way to distribute many millions of files of any size and type.  A variety of storage types and OS platforms are supported (physical or virtual) and can be located anywhere. 

Through automation and centralization, Resilio’s server sync solutions gives IT and storage admins and operators an easy, fast, and secure way to efficiently sync files in real-time and on-demand through selective sync.  Automation simplifies everything—for hands-free operations.   

If moving to the cloud is in your plans, Resilio makes it incredibly easy to use the cloud and your choice of cloud storage (from SMB & NFS file storage to S3-compatible object storage); from the MinIO to AWS to Azure to Google GCP.   

We’d love to discuss how you’re using Globalscape WAFS and how Resilio can help you. The best way to learn more about Resilio Connect in the context of Globalscape WAFS is to register for a live demo


Resilio Connect provides a robust alternative to Globalscape WAFS for real-time synchronization and other file sharing and collaboration use cases.

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