Product Reviews

PeerSync Automates Replication

Synchronizing on the fly made easy.

PeerSync is a file and folder synchronization program that’s easy to use and completely wizard-based. You tell PeerSync what to synchronize by simply generating filters. I found creating filters to be ridiculously easy. You click on the Add Filter button, walk through a few screens and, voila, instant filters. The first screen asks you what type of filter you want to create. You have a total of 16 filters from which to choose. Even though there are a lot of filters, it’s easy to tell what each filter does. Some of the filters you can create are:

  • Real-Time Replication
  • Real-Time Backup
  • Manual Replication
  • Manual Backup
  • Every minute (or every hour) Replication
  • Every minute (or every hour) Backup

There are two main types of file synchronization filters: replication and backup. Replication keeps the two directories synchronized, and backup copies the data from one directory to another. Both replication and backup can be run in real time, at a set interval or on schedule, however, the schedule feature requires the Server Edition (PeerSync Pro III).

After choosing the filter type, you must choose a source directory and target directory. These directories can be local drives or network drives. You can use drives mapped to a drive letter or universal naming convention names. Lastly, you give the filter a name and save it. It really is that simple. After creating the filter, you can set exceptions not to be synchronized. Exceptions can be based on keywords (using wildcards) or based on file sizes. I find the file size setting to be more useful than the keywords. This way, you can synchronize your server without the fear of choking your network bandwidth by trying to synchronize huge files.

One of the things I like best about this product is the ease of customizing your filter by using the Peer Sync Profiler. It has a similar look and feel to Windows 2000’s administration tools, with a console tree on the left and a details pane on the right. This makes it easy to start using this tool for anyone familiar with Win2K tools.

PeerSync’s interface organizes a large amount of information clearly. (Click image to view larger version.)

You can configure Peer Sync to transfer NTFS file permissions and file compression. Peer Sync has logging built in. It can e-mail you the logs so that you don’t have to go searching for them. Peer Sync will run as a service, allowing it to run invisible to the user.

Peer Sync is a great product for anyone looking for a graphical tool to handle file synchronization. However, you should be aware that most of its functionality can be duplicated by using Robocopy (a command-line tool from the Win2K Resource Kit). If you don’t mind writing a batch file, and you already own the Resource Kit, you can save yourself some money. You can use the Win2K scheduler to automate your Robocopy script. However, if scripting isn’t for you or you want functionality not provided by Robocopy, then Peer Sync would be a handy tool to add to your toolbox.

About the Author

Chad Todd, MCSE, MCT, CNE, is the author of Hack Proofing Windows 2000 Server by Syngress Publishing. He is the co-owner of Training Concepts, which specializes in Windows 2000 and Cisco training.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Dec 30, 2010 Peersync Power User NYC

I would consider myself a Peersync power user. Have 3 copies running and we sync server to server as well as offsite. My only complaint would be the folder count requierment when you start a job on a directory with over 3 million folders to sync. Peersync takes 24 hours to count the source folders before it will start syncronizing

Sun, Mar 25, 2007 Dayyan New Zealand

Our company has been using Peersync for project file sharing over three WAN sites.
We have had no end of headaches with it. The support has been slow and altogether useless.

Don't spend your money on this product if you have large amounts of data. If you do, be sure to back things up very regulary or suffer.

Besides, Windows 2003 R2's DFS handles all of this so much better.

Thu, Sep 22, 2005 Tim CT

Peersync is a very good product. I use it to to mirror two servers. one onsite and one offsite. Using instant file replication you don't have to fear losing any data. Pretty easy to grasp the use of the layout, I like it simple. However, it is very stable, unobtrusive and fast. It is much easier to purchase a couple of servers and keep them mirrored then worrying about backing up every night. Buy it and sleep better at night!

Wed, Jul 13, 2005 Matt Lauer Detroit

I tried other pieces of software, and whoever complained about it not being "polished" can enjoy robocopy then for what it does. I love robocopy, but the bottom line, it can't handle millions of files like PeerSync does. The multi-threaded engine is very slick and the replication to an FTP server is amazingly fast as well. This makes it possible to synch up remote offices across the globe without a fancy VPN tunnel.

Mon, Feb 14, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

Nice product but it is not completely polished. Log files don't automatically roll over at midnight like on most servers. Just fill up to a specific size, then backup for a few iterations and that's it.

Having to make it an admin to run as a service is not acceptable in some environments, etc.

Just seems like it needs some more polish.

Mon, Jan 26, 2004 No Name Auckland

quit writing crap about your own software in the comment section.

Wed, Jun 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

PeerSync came highly recommended by several IT admins I know who use it to sync up desktop data (one handles a large law firm, the other a financial concern). It was a snap to install and configure and runs like a charm in real time in the background. Why bother to muck around with scripts when you can do all this out of the box.

Wed, Jun 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Great product

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