Blog

You Wouldn’t Take a Plane Around the Block: Three times to use Flight for S3 and Azure transfers

By Meg Cater | Jul 22, 2015

When to use Signiant Flight with Microsoft Azure blob storage or Amazon S3 object storage

Signiant Flight was designed to accelerate large files and big data sets to and from cloud storage (Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure and soon Google Cloud). Its core acceleration is the same technology that’s used for fast large file transfers, between people and systems, in our other products like Media Shuttle and Manager+Agents.

While Flight always provides additional security and management features to cloud storage subscriptions, it does not always improve performance compared to cloud vendors’ options for data ingest and download. Here are three times when it really does:

When there’s distance between your data center and the Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure data center

Unless there is distance between your data center and your cloud storage vendor’s, using Flight would be akin to taking a plane to the other side of a city. Flight’s powerful ability to eliminate latency and capitalize on available bandwidth is lost with such short transfers. While it can transfer huge files faster and more reliably, it was really designed for distance.

When an organization has many data centers that need cloud storage ingest

Another scenario when Flight really makes a difference is if an organization is ingesting data into cloud storage from multiple data centers around the world. A first thought is often to send all data back to a central location before cloud upload, but this a highly inefficient practice that requires sending data twice and does not take advantage of the distributed nature of the cloud. As a SaaS solution (the only one on the market), Flight is globally accessible and provides access to the nearest cloud for every location. Vendors like Microsoft and Amazon have data centers around the world; one is sure to be much closer to a distant office than your IT headquarters is.

When a company is sending the same file to multiple locations

Likewise, Flight is especially helpful for distributing the same content to multiple locations around the world. Rather than sending the same file multiple times — which saturates the internal network with repeat load and doesn’t fully utilize the speed of the destination’s network —upload it once to your S3 bucket or Azure container and each location can pull it down using Flight.

While there are other times when Flight can greatly improve a company’s use of cloud storage — like time-critical workflows and bulk data migration — these three often have the highest business impact.

For more on Flight, visit our product page.