AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

File Sync and Share on AWS Using Panzura Freedom Hybrid Cloud Storage

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By Kumar Nachiketa, Partner Solutions Architect at AWS

Being able to share information with ease is one of the standard requirements of a modern organization. Users demand data access anywhere, anytime, and on any device. File sync and share is an ideal use case, and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage platform is a perfect location for such workloads.

Additionally, solutions from AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners use AWS services as building blocks to provide unique offerings to customers with file sync and share needs.

In this post, we’ll look at the Panzura Freedom solution. Headquartered in Campbell, Calif., Panzura is an APN Advanced Technology Partner with the AWS Storage Competency.

Panzura Freedom

Panzura Freedom is a hybrid cloud storage platform that enables IT departments to manage the explosive growth in unstructured data. Figure 1 depicts the Panzura global cloud components.

Panzura Freedom is a good fit for customers that have an existing, heterogeneous footprint of Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions and would like to unify dispersed data solutions in multiple locations on AWS for collaboration or archive.

Panzura Freedom is based on the Panzura Cloud File System (PCFS), which enables transparent file movement and management across Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and multiple geographic locations.

You can install Freedom on a virtual machine, physical device or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance. Once Freedom has been installed, both Linux and Windows clients will have access to data through NFS and SMB protocols in a single global namespace.

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Figure 1 – Panzura Global Cloud components.

Panzura includes global file locking capabilities to enable collaboration from geographically dispersed users to the same file system. Deduplication and compression also can be applied as data are distributed throughout PCFS.

Figure 2 details the Panzura architecture on AWS. In this example, multiple on-premises sites are connecting to a single AWS region.

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Figure 2 – Panzura on AWS reference architecture.

What You Can Do With Panzura

Panzura supports three primary use cases:

  • Archive on-premises data on AWS
  • Centralize remote data on Amazon S3
  • Collaborate across multiple sites on Amazon S3

In this blog, we are focusing on the use case for collaborating across multiple sites on Amazon S3. Panzura provides read and write access to files from many sites. Using global file locking, users across sites can collaborate and make updates to shared files stored on Amazon S3.

The collaboration use case achieves transfer efficiency through deduplication and compression. The solution utilizes automated caching so only your active files are stored at the edge site for faster access.


Panzura has several deployment options on AWS:

  • Panzura Freedom – Bring Your Own License (BYOL)
  • Global Cloud Storage System – Virtual
  • Global Cloud Storage System – Physical

The details of each deployment option are available on AWS Marketplace. Figure 3 shows deployment options for “Panzura Freedom – BYOL.” The fulfillment option for this deployment is Amazon Machine Image (AMI) based. The details of Panzura deployment can be found in the Panzura AMI Deployment Guide.

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Figure 3 – Panzura Freedom’s BYOL screen on AWS Marketplace.


After the Panzura deployment, you need to decrypt the password for the first time.

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You’ll then need to log in using the password, and follow further configuration steps.

After successful configuration, the Panzura web user interface (UI) can be used to configure the environment for file sync and share.

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When deploying Panzura for production environments, it’s essential to consider some factors:

  • How to implement it in such a way that it handles failure efficiently, and remains highly available in the event of failures?
  • What’s the best way to protect the data?
  • How should you organize your users for better control?
  • How should you size your Amazon EC2 instance to get the optimal performance?

You can read about these topics in greater detail in the Panzura Admin Guide.

Panzura Use Case with HUSCO International

HUSCO International, a global, multi-location manufacturing firm, was struggling with their legacy storage that was costing them more than they could afford and wasn’t enabling the organization to be agile enough to stay ahead of the competition.

The company’s CAD projects and other file data requirements were growing exponentially. At $1.15 per GB, HUSCO International’s storage expenses were getting out of control. They needed to consolidate storage infrastructure to reduce costs.

HUSCO International’s second issue involved slow file access times. Users in China were waiting 30-40 minutes to open CAD and video files over the network, and there were constant file consistency issues when users tried to work on the same file. The company needed a solution that would let users across the globe collaborate on large, complex manufacturing projects using applications like Dassault SolidWorks and Siemens NX (Unigraphics).

The company made a decision to replace their storage solution with Panzura Freedom NAS and Collaboration deployed on Amazon S3. As soon as the solutions were installed, HUSCO International’s employees were able to work together as if they were in the same room, whether they were in Hong Kong or the U.S. Files that used to take up to 40 minutes to open now took just seconds. Version conflicts were now a thing of the past thanks to the Panzura distributed file and element locking technology.

Learn more about how HUSCO International leverages Panzura solutions.


File sync and share is an important workload for collaboration, and deploying a file sync and share solution on AWS is simple.

With a few easy steps, you can deploy Panzura and start sharing files between many different clients and platforms. Visit the Panzura website for more information, schedule a demo, or start a free trial.


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Panzura – APN Partner Spotlight

Panzura is an AWS Storage Competency Partner. They offer a Distributed File System with NFS and SMB/CIFS access to Amazon S3 Object Storage. Panzura’s secure, end-to-end encrypted NAS storage can reduce costs up to 90 percent.

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