German Aircraft Manufacturer Replaces DFSR with Resilio Connect
Deutsche Aircraft is shaping the future of flight—and eco-friendly aircraft design. They use Resilio Connect for fast, resilient, and real-time file replication and synchronization of all of their business-critical files. Resilio Connect efficiently synchronizes over 20 million files in real-time across their Microsoft DFS namespace.
Deutsche Aircraft—which is built on the heritage of aviation pioneers that continues to propel the aviation industry forward with innovative solutions—is developing the most advanced regional aircraft on the market, the D328eco. Everyone at Deutsche Aircraft—from business leaders to engineers to IT—depends on timely and reliable access to all of their business-critical files, in some cases 24/7.
By replacing Microsoft DFSR (DFS Replication) with Resilio Connect, Deutsche Aircraft can now predictably and completely synchronize many millions of files in real-time—in a fraction of the time. Resilio protects all of their mission-critical files from outages and enables active-active high availability for fast failover across all of their Microsoft DFS servers.
Moreover, the IT team is satisfied with the performance knowing that all its business-critical files are protected and available to the Deutsche Aircraft team, 24/7. From an IT management perspective, the team saves 14 hours per week using Resilio Connect compared to DFSR.
Downtime not only delays production—but incurs considerable financial costs to all aspects of Deutsche Aircraft’s business. Before using Resilio, the company faced challenges—and lost several file shares hosted on their DFS file servers. Thankfully, most of the files were backed up—but there was still data loss and considerable downtime, restoring from a backup copy.
The IT team also tried using Microsoft DFSR (Distributed File System Replication) to replicate files across all of its DFS file shares but encountered numerous problems. Using DFSR, there was not enough time in the day to replicate all of the company’s files.
According to Mathias Reitinger, Deutsche Aircraft’s IT manager, DFSR ran for two weeks but was not able to synchronize the files; the job was never completed. DFSR queued up a “backlog” of files that would never fully replicate. DFSR failures and database corruption were problematic and difficult to diagnose. Reliability was poor and required complex command-line troubleshooting using clunky PowerShell scripts.
In some cases, the IT team spent 1-2 days per week diagnosing and troubleshooting DFSR. “DFSR troubleshooting was extremely arduous,” said Reitinger. “There was no management visibility and no central management console. We could not properly diagnose replication problems, such as what files were missing (or not fully synchronized) on the target servers. It was a nightmare trying to resolve these DFSR issues.”
“During production, engineers need immediate access to their data, 24/7. Our workload is split across multiple servers. Sometimes we have 50 engineers concurrently accessing files. We need a functioning environment. There’s money on the line.”– Mathias Reitinger, Deutsche Aircraft’s IT manager
The IT team investigated DFSR alternatives. They required a solution that provided active-active high availability for DFS as well as end-to-end resilience for data protection and security.
Deutsche Aircraft deployed Resilio Connect to replace Microsoft DFSR for their DFS namespace. The solution utilizes the same on-prem IT infrastructure servers and storage Deutsche Aircraft already owns.
Resilio Connect enables all DFS servers to be up-to-date for active-active high availability and failover. If a failure occurs on one DFS server, users connected to that server are rapidly redirected to available DFS file servers in the DFS names to continue working.
Resilio Connect utilizes a peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture to reliably and concurrently synchronize files across multiple servers in the DFS namespace. As a software-only solution, Resilio agents are installed on each DFS server. The Resilio Connect management console offers administrators an easy way to visualize, manage, and monitor all replication for DFS. All functions are easily automated. Events and notifications are tracked and collected in reports and sent via email or webhooks.
Since replacing DFSR with Resilio Connect, Deutsche Aircraft is now able to meet its high availability and disaster recovery objectives to keep all of its business-critical files current, protected, and available via the DFS namespace. Due to the size and scale of the file systems, Deutsche Aircraft needed a scalable solution to replicate around 20 million files of varying sizes and types within fixed timeframes. Some files are quite large.
“We can not afford any disruptions during production. It’s critical that these files are available 24/7 during production. Resilio keeps our files replicated and in sync so users always have access to the files they need. If a failure occurs on one server, users are redirected to another active DFS server.” – Mathias Reitinger, Deutsche Aircraft’s IT manager
Resilio Connect scales to replicate hundreds of millions of files. “With DFSR, there was no full replication after 2 weeks. By comparison, a complete resync of many millions of files using Resilio Connect took about 2 or 3 days.” The speed of Resilio Connect ensures that all files are up-to-date across all DFS servers.
That translates to data availability. “If there's a failure on one server, all files must be synchronized and available on other servers during the failover,” stated Reitinger. “With Resilio in the picture, everyone in the organization has access to up-to-date file shares containing all of their current files.”
Reitinger says the solution is much “safer” than before. Resilio also replicates to an active standby server attached to an LTO library as an extra safe backup layer—if there was ever a need to restore files from a backup copy again.
Efficiency is another reason Reitinger prefers Resilio. “We have a 10Gbps network but prefer to use under 1Gbps for data transfer and replication. With Resilio, we’re able to keep that down to 250Mbps during the day and at night move back up to 1Gpbs.”
From a management perspective, Reitinger’s team saves time and gains peace of mind using Resilio. “Resilio Connect is much easier to manage than DFSR. Using the Resilio Connect management console, you can see everything you need to know. Everything is visible.”
“With DFSR, I can’t recall all of the times I had to check the backlog and troubleshoot it. But with Resilio it’s all right there. It just works. We went from spending 1 to 2 days per week managing DFSR to about 2 hours using Resilio”– Mathias Reitinger, Deutsche Aircraft’s IT manager
Reitinger is looking forward to adding another site in the future. “We’ll be using Resilio Connect to replicate and sync our files across the new site as well. We’re happy with Resilio.”
Aviation and Aerospace Manufacturing
Deutsche Aircraft relies on Resilio Connect to replicate its mission-critical manufacturing assets.
The company replaced DFSR with Resilio Connect to better protect and sync files for applications from Office to CAD to CFD for stress testing.
Resilio protects its high-value assets in real-time and saves its IT team about 50 hours of management time per month.
Protects high-value Office files and mission-critical engineering files for applications such as Altair Hyperworks, MSC Nastran, and Catia for stress and fatigue testing.
Enables active-active high availability across all servers for DFS.
Reduced total sync time across all servers by 6x compared to DFSR.
Saves IT about 50 hours of management time per month compared to Microsoft DFSR.
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