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    Data synchronization is the process in which consistency among data from the source to the data storage location and then vice versa is achieved successfully. On top of that, the continuous consistency of the data over a period of time achieved is success for the data synchronization. Data synchronization is a process that has gained a variety of uses across a platform of applications.

    The Uses of Data Synchronization

    While there are many different uses of data synchronization, there are four that are most prevalent. They are file synchronization, version control, distributed file systems and then mirroring. The ultimate goal for all of these is to keep the files synchronized. However, it is important to note that only file synchronization and version control are able to have modifications made to numerous copies of files.

    • File synchronization: Used primarily for home backups on either an external hard drive or on a smaller, portable flash drive. This process is an automatic one that prevents against the copying of files that have already been copied. This results in the saving of a considerable amount of time because only new files or ones that were recently modified are copied over.
    • Version Control: This is intended for the use when a single file is going to be modified simultaneously by different people. This differs from file synchronization because in that situation, only one copy of the file is being edited at a time. In version control, there might be multiple different copies being modified all at the same time. Therefore, there is software specific to version control.
    • Distributed File Systems: Seen as more limited than version control because there is no keeping of a version graph, distributed file systems is a method in which multiple versions of a file are synchronized. Because of this, it requires that the devices that are involved in the synchronization stay connected consistently. However, there are instances, such as Coda, that allow for the disconnect.
    • Mirroring: As the name suggest, it is an exact copy of the data. For example, on the Internet, there are sites known as mirror sites which are carbon copies of other sites that are on the Internet. This is done to provide multiple venues for download if the information is very important and will be accessed by multiple parties.

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