Resilio: From BitTorrent offspring to collaboration contender

Resilio was included in a DCIG Top 5 Rising Vendors Multi-Site File Collaboration Solutions Report in February. Here’s what we know about it.

Privately held Resilio came into being in June 2016 when it was spun out of BitTorrent Inc. to be an independent enterprise-focused business with BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker at the helm. The other co-founders were:

  • Ilan Shamir, Chief Product Officer and ex-GM Platforms at BitTorrent
  • Konstantin Lissounov, CTO and ex-GM at BitTorrent

Bram Cohen designed the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing technology back in 2001. It split large files into smaller chunks and sent them to the destination system without incurring costly network connectivity fees. Swarms of BitTorrent nodes could hold copies of files and send chunks to the target system to increase download speed. He co-founded BitTorrent in 2004 and its P2P technology became hugely popular. It was used for transferring video and other files, and grew to have a large presence on the internet, with over a quarter of the upstream traffic using the protocol in 2019. This was in the pre-Netflix days.

But the BitTorrent business ran into problems as it tried to encourage a decentralized and encrypted internet. Resilio was spun out in 2016 leaving a consumer-facing BitTorrent behind. This company was bought by the Chinese cryptocurrency TRON Foundation in 2018 for $140 million.

Resilio CTO Konstantin Lissounov co-invented BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer sync technology in 2013. It involves synchronizing files stored in a user’s device with those on a remote device. There is no intervening or central public cloud-based master copy, as is the case with Dropbox. Resilio Sync uses the technology to sync file folders on different machines, and so can be seen as a Dropbox alternative.

Resilio has three products: Connect for larger businesses, Sync for small businesses, and Sync Home for a personal user to link devices together and sync files and folders between them. It has a free base component and a one-time perpetual license Sync Pro option to link devices together for automatic file/folder synchronization.

Resilio Connect operates over an organization’s existing storage and network infrastructure and adds WAN acceleration to the base P2P file sharing protocols. The software is agent-based, with all linked devices having agent software installed. It can scale, with one customer having more than 100,000 Resilio endpoints in its network. Connect is claimed to offer the fastest real-time file transfers available. The DCIG report says: “This faster synchronization becomes especially noticeable when numerous nodes (three or more endpoints) and large data sets are involved.”

It also notes: ”Resilio reliably hashes and replicates changes to other connected devices in a many-to-many full mesh replication scheme. Resilio Connect’s ability to reroute around network and system outages enhances availability and resiliency across servers and sites.”

As well as files, Resilio natively supports Azure Blob & Files, S3, Google Cloud, and any S3-compatible object storage.

Think of it as a basic file/folder sync and share technology without the bells and whistles provided by the likes of CTERA, Egnyte, Nasuni, and Panzura, which operate at a global file management level. Get a copy of the DCIG report here.