University Web Developers

University Web Developers

The two graphic designers I work with are trying to figure out the best way to implement a backup system for completed projects and they've narrowed it down to two options, each with pros/cons.

1. A large external hard drive to which they periodically copy completed projects.
2. Some sort of DVD "carousel" and indexing software so they can, for example, search for a particular project number and it will tell them on what disc that project's files are housed.

The biggest "pro" for option #1 is cost...external drives are cheap these days. The biggest "con" for that option, however, is reliability...if the drive crashes, then you're back to square one.

The biggest "pro" for option #2 is accessibility...most of these DVD carousels work on both PCs and Macs (and some even work standalone), so more people could use it if needed. The biggest "con" for that option, however, is that they take up a lot more desk space than an external drive.

Does anyone have any experience with either (or both) of these backup options, or with a third option that we haven't even considered?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide,

Doug Thompson
Manager of Web and Electronic Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University

Views: 45

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have used versioning systems for this in the past. My two top are Subversion and Git. What you do is setup a repository and your designers can "checkout" the repo. They then have a local copy they can make as many changes to as they want. When they have finished their revisions they do a "check in". The beauty of one of these systems is that everyone is kept up to date on changes and let's say designer B overwrites a needed change from designer A. No big deal, simply look into the repo history and pull out the revision you require. When dealing with text you can even merge revisions together.

If you are in a primarily Windows environment Subversion has a really nice tool called Tortoise that makes it a breeze to use. The drawback to Subversion is the need for a server app running somewhere. Git does not need a dedicated server, but to my knowledge there are still no tools that integrate into the Windows platforms as nicely as Tortoise.
Ben's approach to having something that handles versioning is a very nice approach. We use Team Foundation Server for that... it's a bit convoluted since we have PC's and Macs, between our programmers and Designers.

Howerver, I do want to mention a product to consider if you're going the HD route. I use a Drobo at home for safe backups to a hard drive. If your designers feel most comfortable with making copies as their workflow, consider that or a similar NAS.
We've used Subversion for some projects and had a lot of success with jungledisk.com for full servers.
This discussion has gone a bit off course...I'm looking for something for our graphic designers...Mac users...using primarily Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop, with linked graphics and whatnot...no need for version control, per se, as they're wanting whatever solution we arrive at to be used for storage of finalized/finished projects (so, once they're done and they no longer need all the associated files hanging around on their computers)
And that is exactly what a version control system does. Additionally you have the added benefit of being able to dig into the past with minimal extra disk space usage. Also, if used for current projects as well it retains the benefit of keeping current work safe from bad revisions and allows all designers to stay up to date on each others work. If one needs a file they don't have to ask for it to be emailed, they simply update their checkout and they have it. They can even delete files and be able to retrieve them from the history. Or you can toss only your backups in there.

It's a super simple system to use just for backups. Works on all platforms. Is open source. What more could you ask for? The three who responded all used it as a backup service with no problems.... If you do not think a version control system can be easily implemented as a backup system then I recommend the external drive approach. Format the drive fat32 and it can be used by virtually any operating system.
Ah...I get it...they're using a version control system not for its versioning capabilities, per se, but its overall backup functionality.

Thanks for the clarification.
Don't get hung up on version control being for programmers. Anyone creating any sort of asset that changes over time is a prime candidate for version control. Designers lose some of the benefits (like nicely comparing different versions of the files) because of their tools (Photoshop, Flash, etc), but the core idea is that anything they produce gets periodically saved to some sort of remote system with a nice log of who changed what when.

That being said, having large multimedia projects stuffed into a Subversion repository can be acutely painful for your system administrators. Make sure you have a nice fast network and PLENTY of hard drive space. Filling the disk on your server is likely to cause a rain of fire from IT.

I have had great success initiating designers into using a simple Subversion repository and the TortoiseSVN client. If you structure your repository well, people will even have an easier time finding project assets than they probably do now.

Git and Mercurial are two other alternatives, but these are fairly non-intuitive and I think you'll have difficulty rolling them out to an organization that does not already compulsively use version control. One feature in of these (local commits) however would make them pretty nice for designers working with large multimedia projects. They also would need a central repository to have get the benefits of an off-machine backup.

Once folks are committing their projects regularly to the repository, a simple server backup is all you need.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Change is inevitable, and you want to make sure your content is still consistent after you reorganize your site. Check out the importance of using dependency tags in OU Campus to make sure both your site visitors and search engines can still find…"
Thursday
Allison Howard is now a member of University Web Developers
May 19
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Planning a dream kitchen is like redesigning a website. It's easy to change the colors, but if the content doesn't provide what users need, your site visitors will not find value. So where do you start?"
May 12
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"When thinking about valuable content for your higher ed site, try testimonials and quotes to attract prospective students. Download the latest E-Expectations report today. "
May 11
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out more of these stats by downloading our latest E-Expectations Report today!"
May 4
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your website’s voice helps drive your brand and deliver consistency across your site. In our latest blog post, Jim Heiney from Lock Haven University shows how to keep that consistency using OU Campus."
May 2
Fabio posted a discussion

Top 200 Universities in Facebook

Just a brief note to inform all University developers that we have just published a new ranking of the top 200 Universities in Facebook based on the number of likes (fans count) each Facebook page has. Visit http://www.4icu.org/top-universities-facebook/For the US listing of all Universities in Facebook and their fans count popularity please visit…See More
May 2
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New blog post! Find out what prospective students are wanting to find on your website."
Apr 28
Kathy Nix posted a discussion

user levels

Is there anyway you can edit a user level?  We have level 8 users and want to add "Add to Dictionary" without opening every user and clicking on the Add to Dictionary box.See More
Apr 26
Doug Thompson posted a discussion

Solution for deluge of daily emails?

So way back in "the day" (eight or so years ago), our employee/student email inboxes were routinely deluged with 40+ individual email messages per day due to the "campus-wide" email lists being open for anyone here to send messages to.Enough people eventually decried the situation, so we came up with an email/website "publication" that was basically akin to a "daily digest email" of what were originally individual messages.This was highly successful and took a large part of the burden off of…See More
Apr 21
Andrew Soderberg replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The UWEBD Social Network Will Live On
"Mark, Just a suggestion regarding a sustainable future for UWEBD (software platform). When I was at OmniUpdate we migrated from Ning to SocialEngine. SE has a Ning 2 import tool: http://get.socialengine.com/ning/ The process was pretty smooth for…"
Apr 21
Christopher Snizik is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 18
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our 2017 OmniUpdate User Training Conference was a huge success! For a recap of the event, head over to our blog. "
Apr 17
Profile IconChris Amelung and Derek Pasnick joined University Web Developers
Apr 10
Barb Iannucci replied to Dean Hartman's discussion Best CMS option
"I'm interested in this as well..."
Apr 4
Dean Hartman posted a discussion

Best CMS option

It's time for us to move away from our current CMS, and I was wondered what is working best for others: a pre-packaged solution, or building your own with WordPress, Drupal or ...?See More
Apr 4
Cindy is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 1
Profile IconDean Hartman and Laura T joined University Web Developers
Mar 28
Tarekegn Nibret is now a member of University Web Developers
Mar 15
Scott Dailey is now a member of University Web Developers
Mar 10

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2017   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service