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Best Practices for Deploying Smart Cache

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Here is a quick checklist of Best Practices to be followed when deploying Smart Cache.

1. Determine if Smart Cache is the Right Hybrid Solution for your Deployment

Smart Cache is the next generation of Storage Sync, and it supports almost all the use cases of our Storage Sync customers except AEC advanced applications (other than Revit and Civil 3D files) and database applications like ArcGIS. If users in your business use any of these applications, please consider Storage Sync as your primary option. Refer this article for a more detailed comparison of Smart Cache over Storage Sync.

2. Review the Product Guide

It is recommended that IT administrators review the Product Guide in the Smart Cache Installers article before installation.

3. Determine the Right Size for the Data Disk

IT administrators are recommended to review the size of folders they are synchronizing and consider the rate at which the data usage is growing in the specific folders before provisioning the data disk. Provisioning a smaller size data disk can lead to sync failures and errors.

4. Provision the Data Disk (Initial Install & Increasing Size)

The installer creates two disks: the system disk and data disks. The data disk is sized at 50GB by default. IT administrators are required to increase the size of the data disk before they initially boot the VM up for the first time. Any effort to re-size/delete-add the data disk after the initial install can lead to disk corruption.

Thin and Thick provisioning of disks is supported. A recommendation is to use fixed limits if the disk is provisioned as a Thin disk.

5. Schedule an install during off-peak hours

The sync engine follows a sophisticated algorithm to scan the folder structure and synchronize folders and files locally. Depending on the size of folders that are being synchronized, this operation could take anywhere from a few minutes to multiple days. It's recommended that IT administrators set up the device during off-peak hours and allow the first full sync operation to be complete over the weekend.

6. Deploy Smart Cache close to users

Smart Cache provides maximum performance benefit when deployed close to the users. We recommend that administrators identify the location that provides the least latency between users and the device before the installation. For example, deploying in a remote construction site where designers and construction engineers are actively accessing content is more efficient than deploying the Smart Cache in a data center in the same scenario.

7. Configure static IP address

The discovery process of the Egnyte Desktop App utilizes the FQDN and IP address it gets from the CFS and performs a latency test to identify the best device to connect to. We recommend that the Smart Cache device is given a static IP address.

If this is not feasible for your deployment, it's recommended that a DHCP address with reservation is provided to ensure the device received the same IP address at every boot. Refer to the Configuring Static IP section of the Product Guide in the Smart Cache Installers article for details.

8. Selecting Folders For Cache Warming

It's recommended to select folders which contain large files like more than 50MB file size can be good candidates for warming the Smart Cache.  Assuming you don’t select any folder for cache warming, Smart Cache still caches the file contents dynamically so it's not mandatory to select files under cache warming but it's a good practice to select few folders which contain large files. This makes the first time user experience better. 

Example

Select the required folders from the folder picker which can be either the entire folder hierarchy or just one single folder from the folder hierarchy tree structure as shown in the below screenshot (currently it supports up-to 10 folders as limit for folder selection) - It's a mandatory setting that needs to be configured.

Screen_Shot_2018-04-02_at_10.19.12_AM.png

Then users are required to type the file type extension(s) against each folder that was selected in the previous step so that only those file type extensions are matched for pre-fetching the files to cache.

  • "41388 - Foremont Hospital” is configured for .rvt and .dwg file formats only,
  • "97959 - Cafe Expansion” is configured for all files as no file extension is mentioned.

After cache warming configuration is saved, the Smart Cache device is going to download files, which are equal and greater than 50MB size criteria only from the selected folders

  • “41388 - Foremont Hospital” (only .rvt and .dwg files)
  • “97959 - Cafe Expansion” (all files)

Smart Cache_Best Practice_2.png

9. Complete initial sync before rolling out to users

Since synchronization can take a few minutes to a few days, depending on the size of the folders being synced, it's recommended that IT administrators wait for the first full sync to be successfully completed before rolling the device out to user groups. Onboarding users and having them connect to Smart Cache when the initial sync is in progress can cause file conflicts and duplication.

10. Limiting Groups Added to the Device

Egnyte Desktop App is designed to proxy all user requests through Smart Cache if the user belongs to the group that is added to the device and if the user is Hybrid Connected. IT admins are recommended to only add groups of users that are residents in a particular location where the device is deployed.

For example, consider 2 remote offices (NY and SFO) with Smart Cache.

NY Office: /Shared/Sales and users are from the sales group.

SFO Office: /Shared/Marketing and users are from the marketing group.

Bets practices dictate that the NY Smart Cache only syncs /Shared/Sales and adds users in the sales group while the SFO Smart Cache only syncs /Shared/Marketing and adds users in the marketing group.

Smart Cache supports 300 users per device.

11. Rolling out the Egnyte Desktop App

Egnyte Desktop App is a single client that provides a unified experience for users. Follow the best practices for deploying and using the Desktop App.

 

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