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Virtual Sync: Terabytes on Demand

Brandon Moro  (Principal Engineer, Bungie, Inc.)

Location: Room 209, South Hall

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

For decades, the basic way we work on games has remained mostly unchanged - we sync the game's source data from something like Perforce, we change a few things, we validate locally, and we submit our changes. With AAA game source data exceeding 10 TB, and content creators needing to work across multiple branches, it has become steadily less practical to require these volumes of data transfer. When the Covid-19 pandemic sent all of our employees to work from their homes, our development process ran into the limitations of multi-day network data transfers and we were faced with the need to physically transport hard drives back and forth. VirtualSync is our answer: a virtual file system that seamlessly fetches assets on-demand as-needed, allowing us to shrink up-front syncs by 98% or more. We show how this simple idea requires a number of complex engineering challenges to be solved. We will present numerous problems encountered and the solutions we developed to solve performance issues, operating system limitations, service monitoring at scale and more.


Attendees will learn how a virtual file system can be used to provide on-demand access to enormous datasets while avoiding up-front copies. Attendees will be shown the details of an engineering solution in large-scale production use, and will have a jump start on potentially adapting a solution for their unique needs.

Intended Audience

Engineers interested in improving dynamic on-demand accessibility of multi-terabyte datasets.