A few administrators have reported that some of their Windows Client users consume high amounts of bandwidth, sometimes much higher than the total size of the all the folders that reside on the cloud. This is usually caused by automated file access by third-party software or scripts. The Windows Client is usually smart enough to distinguish between a user-generated file access and a software-generated file access, so it will generally not even list that traffic as actual bandwidth usage on the Tenant Reports. However, such non-user file access will still consume bandwidth and if you "rent" cloud resources from third-party systems like Windows Azure or Amazon S3, any unnecessary bandwidth usage will cost real money and can slow down the network for other users.
The problem is caused by aggressive automated file access. Usually, this is caused by anti-virus software that scans the virtual drive, or by file management technologies, such as WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), Robocopy, etc. With anti-virus software, you will need to exclude the virtual drive from all scans. It should be sufficient if you scan the entire system minus the virtual drive on the client-side, and then install an anti-virus software at the cluster-level to cover the scanning of all cloud files.
We've had reports of high bandwidth usage from admins who were using WMI for remote file management, but I was unable to reproduce automated file accesses with the latest versions of the Windows Client and basic queries, such as "Get-WmiObject Win32_Directory" or "Get-WmiObject CIM_DataFile" from PowerShell on the Virtual Drive. However, if you perform copy or other backup operations from either WMI or Robocopy, then you most certainly would trigger an aggressive file access. If you need to perform backup operations, please do so from the local cache directory (%localappdata%\gteamclient\cache), and/or the backend storage.
Due to the nature of the Windows Client's dynamic sync technology, all the cloud file names are stored in a local database and then merely listed on the virtual drive. When a user tries to access a file name from the virtual drive, then the Windows Client will download the actual file from the cloud to the local cache. To test whether or not the high bandwidth usage is caused by a software or script, you can try the following:
- First ensure that you have no running or pending tasks. If you do, please wait until they finish before trying this test. Once they are finished, proceed to step 2.
- From the Windows Task Tray, click on the Windows Client icon and choose to exit the program from the main menu.
- With Windows Explorer, go to %localappdata%\gteamclient
- Rename the "cache" folder to "cache_OLD"
- Start the Windows Client from the Start Menu shortcut. A new cache folder will automatically be created in the %localappdata%\gteamclient folder.
- Perform the process that you suspect is causing the aggressive file access.
- If after triggering the suspect process you notice that ALL the files get automatically downloaded to the cache folder again, then you can be certain that is what is automatically triggering a file access on every file. If this process is automated and happens several times within a day, you can have bandwidth usage that is many times the total size of all folders on the cloud.
Please report any other processes to the support team. We will be happy to assist with the collection of logs on the Windows Client machine to help identify rogue file access problems.
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