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What are the Two Main Methods of File Synchronization?

By AK, 5 October 2019

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File synchronization is a process that will minimize data loss and leaks by ensuring that two locations possess the same files. These two locations-- whether server, data storage, or cloud--can be interlinked. That means when you modify a file in one area, the changes will also be reflected in the other location.

In synching your processes or data, you can do so manually, which would be time-consuming. Another alternative is the use of file synchronization software, which will fully automate the process.

1Two Methods of Synchronization

There are two ways to go about synchronization. First is the file mirroring or file replication, and the other is a bi-directional synchronization. File mirroring is also called one-way sync.

One-Way Synchronization -- File mirroring means that you can’t touch one file without the changes being reflected on the other. The original site is known as the Source while the “mirror” is called Target. As the name suggests, the mode of replication is one-way, which means the copies go in one direction. The Target then serves as your backup. Any new files that are stored on the Target won’t be reflected on the Source. File synchronization software can easily do this task, especially when you are moving large volumes of data.

Bi-directional Synchronization -- The two-way sync means that while the Source is copying to Target, the Target is also copying to the Source. In effect, the directional movement of the replication is two-way. If you store a file on the Target, a new file will also appear on the Source. When you delete a file on the Source, the same data will also be erased on the Target.

Two Methods of Synchronization

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2Two Types of Synchronization

When you are talking about the types of synchronization, you are either referring to the data or the process.

  • Data synchronization -- Data sync ensures that information and data are appropriately backed up through multiple copies. The data integrity in various locations should also be maintained in the process of syncing platforms. The numerous copies must have a central database that serves as a repository of all data that are stored in different locations.
  • Process synchronization -- The process synchronization, meanwhile, is when you execute several threads simultaneously, so they move predictably and uniformly on the designed parameters.

Two Types of Synchronization

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3Some examples of process sync are:

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  • Mutex or mutual exclusion, which is used when you want only one of the threads to access the data at a time.
  • Counting semaphores can be utilized when you want full control and inventory of the shared resources or data.
  • Conditional is when you set parameters for the threads to wait for certain conditions to occur before they inform the other threads to move into action.

The beauty of the file synchronization software is the automation capability. You can deploy the software, and it will start mirroring files in five minutes or less. Then you can leave the application to handle the task while you focus on other more essential things in your business.

You can also set conditions like running syncs at 1-hour intervals or when you shut down the system. You can sync the files in real-time or schedule a time, like at 11 p.m. on a particular day of the week.

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