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Wide Area File Services(WAFS)

The network-driven businesses of the technology era are increasingly optimizing their services and networks for accelerated and optimized performance. Business continuity is a significant component of today's widespread business scenario, which requires advanced technology for redundant and continuous efficient performance. Various types of Wide Area Network (WAN) Optimization technologies are employed by Corporate organizations and middle levels organizations to gain maximal benefit for their network infrastructure.

WAN Optimization has a wide range of technologies that are aimed at accelerating applications, improving throughput, enabling bandwidth scalability, and so on. Wide Area File Services, also known by the acronym WAFS, is a subset of Wide Area Network Optimization. Wide Area File Services (WAFS) is basically a storage technology, which enables accessing a remote data center possible over a WAN like it was a local connection. The essential elements of WAFS include WAN optimization and application acceleration. Network or WAN congestion and disruptions can be reduced substantially by caching. Being encompassed as a crucial element in WAN optimization technologies, WAFS is capable of caching Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Intranet, multimedia traffic, and ASP applications. It also accelerates WAN traffic thereby building a sound network. WAFS utilize techniques such as data compression, Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) protocol optimization, and at times storing repeating data patterns in a local cache.

Business organizations having remote office/branch locations can access and share resources/files globally across the Wide Area Networks by using Wide Area File Services products. A distinguished feature is that WAFS enables data sharing at the Local Area Network (LAN) speeds. WAFS solutions are deployed by distributed enterprises for consolidation of data storage in corporate datacenters, which eliminates the necessity for backups and managing data that was earlier stored in remote offices. Given the unique characteristics of Wide Area File Services, businesses, organizations, academic institutions, and governmental agencies having many branch offices, are able to manage data backups from a centralized location in real time. Data backup on servers at different physical locations enhances security. WAFS systems normally constitute Edge File Gateway (EFG) appliances and one or more Central Server (CS) appliances. The EFG appliances placed at remote office locations access storage resources with the aid of CS appliances.

Wide Area File Service or WAFS provide users key benefits such as:

  • Data archiving
  • Continuous read/write access to data backups for all users in the network
  • LAN-like speed in data transfer
  • Constant updating of backup content on a real-time basis
  • Low latency level
  • Advanced data security
  • Quick system recovery when there are network disruptions
  • Compression of data, increasing speed