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: 43

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

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate is proud to present, in cooperation with our business partners, the OmniUpdate Concierge Program! Learn more about it on our blog. "
4 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Did you miss our latest webex on OU Search? See it now and find out why it's a better and faster search solution!"
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Excited to welcome Rosemont College​ into the OU Campus user community!"
Friday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Guest blogger Michael Stoner of mStoner shares tips on how to incorporate social media on your college or university website! "
Thursday
John PArdavila is now a member of University Web Developers
Mar 26
Sherry Nelson joined Arlen Johnson's group
Thumbnail

Calendars

Discuss event calendars and calendaring - identify products, solutions, and needs
Mar 25
Ken Pooley posted discussions
Mar 25
Profile IconSherry Nelson and Angela French joined University Web Developers
Mar 24
Chris Paddock posted a discussion

Senior Web Developer

Apply at https://jobs.wheatoncollege.edu/PRIMARY PURPOSE:The Senior Web Developer serves as the technology lead for Wheaton’s Web Strategy team. This person will guide the implementation and support of our digital channels, working with the team and other stakeholders across campus to define, create, and implement digital projects. The incumbent is responsible for managing the technical resources that support the college’s primary websites and…See More
Mar 23
Natalie Semmler commented on Cal Anderson's group Terminal Four Site Manager
"At the time we had 2 full-time employees and a temp on the web team. We had over 150 users trained to do the migration; some departments assigned more than others. Each department was required to assign someone. As far as I know only a few had any…"
Mar 20
Giovanni V. Diorio posted a group
Mar 20
Giovanni V. Diorio posted a blog post

Sanmita Has New CMS Bundle: AcademicsWeb. Designed and Developed for Educational Institutions

The more I learned about Sanmita, the more I was convinced of an incredibly capable, intelligent, and fully featured web firm, with design, development, and hosting all available. Sites with great flexibility, yet with sensible navigation... fully scalable, all with painless content management after launch. I tested sites they developed on my iPhone, and they automatically adjust (responsive)... no need for an app version. I'm specifically focused on a brilliant new CMS bundle, AcademicsWeb,…See More
Mar 20
Giovanni V. Diorio is now a member of University Web Developers
Mar 20
Jay Massey commented on Cal Anderson's group Terminal Four Site Manager
"Debbie, It was a process, but yes. Once we had approval from leadership to pursue a new website, we presented to our idea for a CMS to the Web Advisor Committee to get their buy-in. We further presented to the executive committee, provost and deans,…"
Mar 20
Natalie Semmler commented on Cal Anderson's group Terminal Four Site Manager
"For us 'buy-in' came from the top-down. All websites are required to be in T4. That being said we conducted over 100 training sessions including using T4, writing for the web, how-to migrate content, and migration workshops. We conducted…"
Mar 20
Jay Massey commented on Cal Anderson's group Terminal Four Site Manager
"We finalized our conversation from a 50,000-page, static, Dreamweaver-maintained site into a T4 CMS-driven site in 2014. We trained 250 campus staff as content providers. We also trained the content providers how to migrate their own content. We now…"
Mar 20
Katie Ryan Lambert joined John Wilson's group
Thumbnail

SharePoint

Share your knowledge about MOSS 2007!
Mar 20
Katie Ryan Lambert joined Inas Hamam's group
Thumbnail

Sharepoint CMS users

For universities using Microsoft Sharepoint
Mar 20
Katie Ryan Lambert commented on Cal Anderson's group Terminal Four Site Manager
"Hi all - we implemented T4 in November 2014. So far the tool is working very well for us. I recently trained 21 people across different departments and they're now empowered to update their own content. The tool was relatively easy for most to…"
Mar 20
Sara Clark posted a discussion

Missouri State University seeks full stack developer/engineer

Missouri State University is accepting applications for a full stack developer/engineer.Position comes with superior benefits, including group health insurance, life insurance, retirement, tuition waivers, wellness programs and professional development opportunities. Learn more about benefits.ResponsibilitiesServes as technical lead to guide Web applications…See More
Mar 20

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

© 2015   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service