The process of creating consistency among various forms of data from a source to data storage and vice versa and the continuous harmonization of the data over time is called Data synchronization. It is a fundamental need for the success of most applications.
There are several tools used for file synchronization, version control, distributed file systems, and mirroring to keep sets of files synchronized. However, only version control and file synchronization tools can deal with modifications to more than one copy of the files. File synchronization is commonly used for home backups on external hard drives or updating for transport on USB flash drives. The automatic process prevents copying already identical files, and can save considerable time relative to a manual copy. Version control tools are intended to deal with situations where more than one user attempts to simultaneously modify the same file, while file synchronizers are optimized for situations where only one copy of the file will be edited at a time. For this reason, although version control tools can be used for file synchronization, dedicated programs require less overhead. Distributed filesystems may also be seen as ensuring multiple versions of a file are synchronized.
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