Windows file sharing has been a long time challenge for many companies. With the increase in mobile devices, the need for Windows file sharing has become mandatory for corporations. Each business’ network is unique and EXEControl Global Solutions believes that the file sharing solution used by each company needs to be designed and unique to that company’s specific requirements.
Recently one of EXEControl Global Solutions’ clients wanted to share a Windows folder. Their accounting department was using thin clients connecting via Remote Desktop (RDP) to a server in the cloud. The President and Owner of the company wanted to use her laptop.
Some of the requirements from the owner was that she did not want to wait for the files to pull from the cloud server to her laptop for access. She also did not want to use Remote Desktop to access the files. Finally, she wanted to have access to the files regardless if she had internet access.
EXEControl Global Solutions decided to utilize Windows file replication between the cloud server and the owner’s laptop. The laptop was configured to allow the files to be opened while in off-line mode.
It was vital that the solution took into consideration potential issues where someone from the accounting department would try to change a document at the same time as the owner. This is known as file locking.
At first, everything seemed to be working fine. Both groups were able to access and change the files. Locking was operational and everyone was happy. But then the owner started to experience problems. There would be times where she would try to save a file and would be unable to do so.
The problem was caused because when opening a file, Windows would create a ‘.lck’ file but the laptop couldn’t always read that file quickly enough through the VPN (Virtual Private Network) to verify that the owner had permissions to write to the ‘.lck’ file.
To solve this issue, you would normally enable offline files and be done with it. The problem with this is that the rest of the files in the mapped drive that do NOT have offline files enabled can sometimes show as offline. By default, Windows has a feature called ‘Slow Link Detection’ that monitors a shared folder, and anytime the connection is slower than 80 milliseconds, it will put that shared folder into offline mode causing the files to disappear from view.
We did 2 things to address this: 1) enabled offline files for the accounting folder. 2) De-activated ‘Slow Link Detection’ for the owner’s laptop through GPO (Group Policy Objects).
How to disable: Offline Files GPO Setting
Computer Configuration node -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Group Policy -> Group Policy slow link detection policy. Enter 0 to disable slow link detection.
Our client is once again happy with the configuration and is no longer having issue with the shared folder.
For assistance on how your company can effectively share documents, please contact EXEControl Global Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.