Panzura: Enabling a Globally-Distributed Employees to Work Like They Were in the Same Room

Randy Chou, Co-Founder & CEO
The saying “unfavorable environments strengthen one’s personal traits” is true with Randy Chou, the Co-founder and CEO of Panzura. The privilege to grow up in different countries like Bolivia, Colombia, and Spain has given him the power and conviction to become an IT baron. Besides that, his love for football (soccer)—an influence of the Spanish colonies he lived in—taught him a secret sauce of success. “At the end of the game, it is about the resilience, and if you stay and fight a bit longer, the reward can be many times greater,” denotes Chou. This spirit is helping Randy to lead Panzura, a unique provider of a globally distributed file system. Accessed using network-attached storage (NAS) protocols, Panzura’s products allow users to collaborate on applications and files used in architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects from widely distributed locations.

Virtual project teams across sites and companies are presenting AEC companies with additional challenges that demand highly evolved solutions. For instance, a major hurdle facing the AEC community is the time-consuming task of transferring and sharing Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Bentley Microstation, ArcGIS, or CAD modeling type files across global locations. The time it takes to open, transfer, close, and save widely used project files—the ‘File Open’ problem—reduces productivity and increases project costs. The main culprit here is latency. Sometimes, the solutions designed to provide seamless access to project data create excessive amounts of infrastructure and management complexity with sub-optimal results or productivity loss. Leveraging the power of cloud along with patented global file locking, Panzura bring innovation that allows the clients to overcome these challenges and “run what they run today in a much efficient manner,” notes Chou. The Panzura Global File System—consisting of Panzura Software, Panzura Controllers, and cloud storage provides Global NAS functionality needed to reduce local provisioning and management. It presents a Global File System with a consistent view of all files across all locations. This provides AEC companies access to the latest version of any file from any location at any time with little or no latency, eliminating the ‘File Open’ problem.

Panzura has pioneered integrating the cloud as a storage tier into an interwoven global file system and global namespace that presents itself to users and administrators as a seamless, familiar user experience. The integration of these elements into a robust, high-performing system requires groundbreaking advances in core file system technologies. This forms the basis for rapid, file and workflow sharing on a global scale while enabling IT to use cloud storage as all tiers of storage across all sites.
Anticipating massive scaling, Panzura architected its entire solution to be a 128 zettabyte object file system. Constructing its file locking architecture from the ground up, the company created an experience similar to what administrators and users are familiar from their local NAS. All files in the global file system are protected using locking and if a user tries to open a file that is locked by another user at any location, they are given read-only access until that lock is released. “No other distributed file system offers this level of control, protection, and transparency on a global scale,” claims Chou.

We bring innovation with cloud that allows the clients to run what they run today in a much efficient mannerTECH

Leveraging metadata and snapshot technology enables Panzura to be the only company that provides true de-duplication across sites, as opposed to within a site. Because de-duplication reference tables are rapidly shared across all appliances and locations, a globally unique data will be sent and stored in the cloud, minimizing network and capacity costs, while speeding overall performance. Adding to it, the duplication and compression across the enterprise at a granular sub-file (block) level, results in a dramatic reduction in overall storage needs.

Two of the three largest construction firms in the U.S., and two out of the top five construction firms in Canada use Panzura. These firms are not only into construction, but also into surveying of buildings that need to be remodeled and restructured. While surveying the locations, the firms were using different technologies that created a massive amount of data in each location. Hence they were in search of a common platform that will enable them to share data from various locations. Panzura met their requirements to the fullest. The client used Panzura’s solutions in every single location and injected data so that the users from other locations could immediately start sharing that data. “We allow sharing, collaboration, and storage of all the accumulated data that is needed to be built, compiled, and modeled. While using Panzura’s technology, customers feel like everybody and everything are in the same location and are using the same storage,” comments Chou.

Panzura’s ventures in the parts of South America, Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world portray the obsession of the explorer, Randy Chou. With the concept of oneness and mobility as the light, the company hopes to end the darkness of construction industry and aspires to open a path of progress and empowerment.


Campbell, CA

Randy Chou, Co-Founder & CEO

A company that provides cloud storage and data protection through specialized cloud storage controllers