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Dynamic Links

Komprise takes the native advantages of symbolic links and innovated further, dynamically binding them to the file at runtime, akin to a DNS router. This makes the links themselves disposable – if a link is accidentally deleted, Komprise can restore it. When Komprise tiers data from a file system, it replaces the original file with a Dynamic Link address: resilient, always available and flexible. There are several benefits to the Dynamic Link approach:

  1. The file can be moved again through its data lifecycle and the link is unchanged.
  2. Allows Komprise to not sit in the hot data and metadata paths because it uses standard file system constructs.
  3. The link is resilient when coupled with the high-availability architecture of Komprise and has no single point of failure.

Here is a summary of these advantages in an unstructured data migration use case.

Once Komprise moves a file and replaces it with a Dynamic Link, if the file is moved again – say, for example, after the first archive of a file to an object store and another later to the cloud – the Dynamic Link address does not need to be changed. This eliminates the challenges of managing links. Users and applications continue to access the moved data transparently from the original location even as the data is moved throughout its lifecycle, without any changes. Learn More about Komprise TMT.

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Before and After Migration: SMB (Windows) Systems
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Before and After Migration: NFS (Linux) Systems

By leveraging a standard protocol construct whenever possible (in more than 95% of all cases), Komprise is able to deliver non-proprietary, open, transparent data access without getting in front of the hot data or metadata. If a user accidentally deletes the links on the source, Komprise can repopulate the links since the link itself does not contain the context of the moved file. Data can be moved from one destination to another (e.g. for ongoing unstructured data management) and there are no changes to the link.

To the user, this means no disruption. Users’ storage teams won’t get bothered with help desk tickets from employees unable to find their data, and their applications will be able to keep access to their data. Users and applications that rely on the data that has been moved by Komprise are unaffected.

Stubs versus Dynamic Symbolic Links at a Glance

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Comparing Stubs and Komprise Dynamic Links

While it’s clear that symlinks offer superior resilience and flexibility than static stubs, it’s not that stubs are never useful or never used by Komprise. While most file servers support symbolic links, there are a few situations where the file servers do not support symbolic links. For such file servers, Komprise uses stubs that are dynamic. Dynamic stubs point to Komprise, which redirects them to actual files in the target. This ensures that even if the stub is lost, the corresponding file on the target can be accessed via Komprise and the stub can be restored. Komprise’s dynamic stubs can be made similar in size and appearance to the original file.

Watch a TMT Chalk Talk presentation with Komprise CTO Mike Peercy.

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Related Terms

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