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: 39

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

Karen Pederson posted a discussion

Ecommerce merchandise solution?

Hello,We are looking for a new third-party vendor to replace our current merchandise ecommerce platform.Here's our current site:http://www.marylhurstshop.com/Our bookstore manager thought cafepress.com might be a good solution.Can you recommend any others?Thank you,KarenSee More
15 minutes ago
Dan Bashaw replied to Michael Carpenter's discussion Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation 2014
"That concern makes"
2 hours ago
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats go out to Harper College on their 2014 ACUP awards for their print and online catalog! Well-deserved!"
21 hours ago
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Wondering why you should pick a CMS designed exclusively for higher ed? Find out in today's blog post! "
yesterday
Michael Carpenter replied to Michael Carpenter's discussion Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation 2014
"The discussion we've had around it so far concerns communications prior to as well as once the "business relationship" with the student has ceased, such as Recruitment and Alumni Relations activities. Since these activities occur in…"
yesterday
Dan Bashaw replied to Michael Carpenter's discussion Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation 2014
"Hi Michael -- Do you have any links to recent articles, posts, or PSE policy documents that put CASL in the PSE context? I find that when I discuss CASL with various departments, a common first reaction is that it 'doesn't mean us'.…"
yesterday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The OmniUpdate family just got bigger! We welcome San Diego Community College District to the OU Campus CMS user community!"
Tuesday
Michael Carpenter posted a discussion

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation 2014

How have Canadian post-secondary schools dealt with complying to CRTC's anti-spam legislation that is coming into effect this July? Are all out-going bulk messages managed centrally?Are all your list-servs centralized?What services are you using?Any social media implications, such as promoted posts through Facebook?Thanks.See More
Tuesday
Profile IconMichael Carpenter and Carl-Martin Nelson joined University Web Developers
Monday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Wondering how to create your own CMS gadget? Check out today's blog post! "
Apr 17
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another new customer! We welcome Clark College to the OmniUpdate family and OU Campus CMS user community!"
Apr 16
Profile IconAndy Long, Melba Acevedo and George Fullerton joined University Web Developers
Apr 15
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We warmly welcome Dillard University to the OmniUpdate family! We're excited to have them aboard the OU Campus CMS user train!"
Apr 14
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We welcome Reynolds Community College to the OU Campus CMS user community! We're excited to have them in the OmniUpdate family!"
Apr 11
Brian Richardson is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 10
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New post up on the blog! Tips from Higher Education Marketing's CEO Philippe Taza on Tackling Higher Ed Digital Marketing Challenges. Give it a read and comment on your top challenges!"
Apr 9
John Jackson commented on Debbie's blog post New ICANN TLDs
"We've identified the domains we want to follow, such as .education (released at the end of March), .college, .university, and .sucks (I'm serious on the last one). The last three listed are still in the evaluation phase.  Just today…"
Apr 9
Brett Sizemore posted a discussion

Interactive Designer

APPLY AT: https://jobs.pepperdine.eduThe Interactive Designer supports Pepperdine's integrated marketing communications efforts aimed at strengthening the brand, elevating national reputation, improving recruitment, and building engagement through creative design across media including web, mobile, broadcast, print, and events.DUTIES: Directly support the creative communications needs of the University through the development and execution of integrated…See More
Apr 8
Brett Sizemore is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 8
Heather Godwin joined Rik Williams's group
Thumbnail

Maps and Mapping

For the discussion of the Mapping of University campuses and facilities from static images to groovy Google mashups.
Apr 7

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

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service