Local Caching Meets 3D Rendering: A Breakthrough for Remote Work

The Challenge: Remote Work and 3D Rendering Don’t Mix Well - Or Do They?

Meet Alex, a systems administrator with a dilemma. His team is scattered across Germany and the U.S. and relies on 3D rendering software like AutoCAD for various projects. With the primary file server located in the U.S. and work done remotely, latency has become a crippling problem that makes smooth operation nearly impossible.

The Technical Dead-ends: Synchronization, VDI, and Why They Failed

Faced with the challenges of working remotely, Alex initially turned to synchronization tools to bring files closer to his team in Germany. However, the generic sync tools caused more problems than solutions, creating file duplications and conflicts when multiple users accessed the same files. In addition, these off-the-shelf syncing tools lacked important file-locking features, making maintaining file consistency for group collaboration difficult.

Alex then investigated Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as an alternative. The idea was to run the rendering software on virtual machines hosted in the United States near the primary file servers. However, this approach had its drawbacks. Most virtual machines lacked the GPU power required for efficient 3D rendering, and the machines that could meet this requirement were prohibitively expensive.

A Technical Breakthrough: How CentreStack Solved the Problem

Enter CentreStack. CentreStack is not just another synchronization tool but essentially a file access solution. Its unique architecture combines local caching with centralized file locking. When a user accesses a file, CentreStack caches it locally on their PC or Mac. These machines, equipped with high-quality GPUs, are ideal for intensive 3D rendering tasks. In addition, CentreStack constantly watches for file change notifications to ensure that all cached copies are never outdated.

Here's why CentreStack's approach is revolutionary:

  • Local Caching: CentreStack pulls files from the central server in the United States to the local machine in Germany, fetching them directly from the local SSD drives during rendering. This drastically reduces latency and increases efficiency.
  • File Locking: With CentreStack, file locking is centralized. Even if a file is cached locally, a user can lock it, eliminating the potential for file conflicts and ensuring smooth collaboration.
  • File Streaming: CentreStack streams files over the HTTPS protocol, reducing the chatter associated with traditional SMB protocols. This makes it inherently faster than fetching files over a VPN.

In Alex’s local tests, CentreStack outperformed a regular Microsoft SMB-mapped drive on the same network. The speed advantage came from CentreStack's ability to cache files on local SSD drives. The rendering application fetched these files directly from the SSD, a process that was much faster than using a Gigabit Ethernet LAN.

The Final Verdict: A New Standard for Remote Work in 3D Rendering

"If I had known about CentreStack earlier, this would have been my first choice," says Alex. "I wish more people knew how CentreStack can help solve problems even industry giants like Microsoft struggle with."

Learn more about CentreStack's solution.


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