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: 63

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

Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us April 14-18 in Anaheim for our 2019 OmniUpdate User Training Conference! #OUTC19 "
yesterday
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A website redesign is about more than how your site looks; it should also take into consideration how your site engages visitors. #StartWithTheCMS "
Wednesday
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If you’re ready to make the redesign move, check out these 5 posts to help get you started"
Tuesday
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Jenny Slaughter from NewCity to learn about atomic design! "
Dec 7
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Being able to engage with prospective students however they access your website is the primary reason for going responsive, but there are several other important issues that a responsive site addresses. "
Dec 6
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"In a website redesign, if you take time to really evaluate existing content and your content plan up front, you’ll avoid mistakes that can cost you time and resources later on. "
Nov 29
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"According to the 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report, nothing turns off a potential student faster than a hard-to-navigate site or forms that take forever to fill out. "
Nov 27
Jessie Groll posted a discussion

Front End Web Developer, with Option for Flexible Work Arrangement, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is looking for a talented front-end web developer to join our growing team in the Marketing and Communications Division. This position offers the possibility of a flexible work arrangement with candidates being able to telecommute up to 3 days a week.The front-end Web Developer works to support and enhance the IUP website and other digital properties and communications. Using CSS, HTML, scripting languages, and other tools the web developer is responsible for…See More
Nov 27
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"According to the 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report, of the 67% of high school seniors and 68% of juniors who saw paid ads for colleges and universities, 41% of seniors and 45% of juniors actually CLICKED on the paid ads. "
Nov 20
Laura Peil is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 17
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Does customer service matter when choosing a CMS? Just ask Sherri Davis, webmaster at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida. #HurricaneMichael"
Nov 16
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"There’s no need to hire a pricey consultant to tell you if your college or university website is performing. Just ask your students. "
Nov 13
Jessie Groll posted a discussion

Thoughts on "part-time work from home" for a web developer?

This isn't a posting for a job (but hopefully that will be coming soon!)We are looking to hire a new web developer, and have gotten the OK from HR to offer this with the possibility of working from home a few days of the week, and in the office the other days. We're hoping to draw in some more candidates from outside of our local area. This is only the second position at our institution that is not fully on site, so we're in uncharted territory!I'm curious to know, does anyone work part-time…See More
Nov 12
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Stephen Fornal from Tarrant County College and learn how to simplify web layouts with CSS Grid and Flexbox! "
Nov 8
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Robin Oliver of Western Carolina University for being named the 2018 AMA Higher Education Marketer of the Year! "
Nov 7
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"There is a simple way to advise content contributors about writing content for your school’s website: “Go with the Flow.”"
Nov 6
Jon Shaw posted a discussion

The .app domain

Have any schools jumped on board the .app domain?See More
Nov 5
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out these 5 steps to conducting a successful website pilot content audit"
Nov 2
Profile IconHilary Knox, Anthony Vela and Tina Burnell joined University Web Developers
Nov 1

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

© 2018   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service