software sharing server


It has been more than three years now that i have been feeling the need of a Software Sharing Server in IT organizations. No i am not talking about a centralized server where one gets a limited private space to store his data. This is about a local server which could be used to download s/w when we need it, with the internet being the last option to look for.

The advantage is, we free up our internet bandwidth for better purposes, we get a local (fast) download experience.🙂

During our work in various projects we need and hence download a whole lot of s/w from internet which are open source, freeware or shareware etc. People in other projects too do the same. In the process many of the s/w get downloaded multiple times within the same company (worst case within the same team). Typically s/w used in development environment run into MBs (e.g JDK). Imagine how much of internet bandwidth we eat up because of this.

If your organization has multiple offices then the problem only gets worse. When you change machines you downlod the s/w all over again. The bandwidth in smaller offices is usually not fat enough. With ever increasing acceptance of open source s/w the download traffic is only going to increase. The systems and network team of your organization usually only bothers about housekeeping the commercial software.

Given all the problems, i have been wishing to get a solution which would allow a local access to the s/w you need. It should be available to all employees who could access the organizations network. When i need a s/w i would check for its availability in this system and only download from internet as the last resort. Also if i download it, i should post it in this system so that all other people needing the same s/w will only need a local download. This concept can be further extrapolated to auto-replicate the download repository to all offices of the organization so as to allow a true local download experience.

I have so far found only a couple of solutions in this area. But both of them were very immature, buggy and unmaintained. I am unable to answer why there has not been any good solution in this area.😦

2 comments

  1. The usual way to do this is to put a caching proxy server in the way, and set it to cache large files.

    That way, once downloaded, other people will get the same file.

    The one I have used in the past is the squid proxy server.

    Cheers,
    Scott

  2. I am also interested in this issue. You did not say which solutions you’ve found. Also, have you found anything since writing this blog entry?

    thanks

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