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  1. #1
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    What personal cloud sync/share/backup do you use?

    I would like to know what most people use for their cloud syn / share / backup system....

    I have been using a programme that I consider perfect for my needs, called AeroFS Hybrid Cloud. It does exactly what I want, because the synced files are stored on a local machine (no storage volume issues) and are easily accessed in case of failure. They recently decided that they are going to end this Hybrid Cloud system, and make users migrate to a Private Cloud system using the "same" technology. After a lot of effort to get their appliance installed and configured, and all my data migrated across to the new system, I uncovered a major bug for them...... there is an incompatibility with saving Excel files. When saving a file,Excel makes a copy of the updated file with a random generated filename, then deletes the old file and renames the randomly named file to that of the original. This results in the sync not working, and a whole lot of randomly named files appearing. This is not a new phenomenon, because web searches have shown it has been around for years (normally associated with anti-virus programmes).

    I cannot afford to lose data (I have already been compromised with client spreadsheets), so I am looking around to find what other people use.

    I am not too keen on Dropbox or other major commercial cloud backup clients because your data migrates to who knows where.... and you have to have a fast internet connection to keep it synced or to recover data. Owncloud similarly requires quite a bit of configuration, and whilst it can be setup on your own machines locally, it becomes a challenge to synchronise if you're not at the office!

    I have around 100Gb of data to sync with several of those folders needing to be shared between co-workers. AeroFS is a great model, nad I would gladly stick to it, barring the Excel problem...

    Any suggestions gratefully received..........

  2. #2
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    Doesn't the sync also delete files if the original is removed?
    Can you set it to leave longer gaps between sync checks?
    Can you run a clean up utility after hours?

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Hi Paul
    Thanks for the response -- I have been discussing the problem with the AeroFS vendor, and they have indicated that this is a problem with their sync methods, and will require either a rewrite of Excel (unlikely) or their sync clients (which will take a long time).

    I am looking for something similar to AeroFS, and the usual cloud suspects such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and more will do what I am looking for, but with the restriction of disk space, cost and the fact that the data is not at my premises. If I have to sync and download 100Gb, it will take me weeks on my lowly 2Mb ADSL line..... :-(

    Owncloud is another option, which is identical to those others, except that I need to set it up at a location that is always available, such as a hosted dedicated server (with sufficient space to hold my data). That comes at a cost, whilst I also need to download all my data if I have a problem.

    AeroFS is great, because it works across the local network first before syncing to a remote location, so you're pretty certain your data is intact (quick local sync) and available across the internet (as long as one of the machines it is copied to is connected to the internet = no hosting required!)

    I just want to find out which cloud provider is being used by the majority of people, so I can get a better idea of what to avoid!

  4. #4
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    I think you've covered everything in your initial post and there really isn't anything that will do a better job for you - which is why I suggested fixes.

    The Excel file save "issue" is actually standard "File Transaction" behaviour and should be used by all software for small file writes as it guarantees that a file is either written correctly or not written at all.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    I have used two different solutions that may work for you.

    First one was Cubby. It can sync both locally and on their cloud. Works reasonably well, I ditched it because the cost is not justifiable - around 90 USD / year for 100 GB.

    The cost was the main factor to change to OneDrive. For $99, you have OneTerabyte of storage, plus Office and 60 mins of Skype. The problem with this is that the OneDrive app is not usable in the way I want it (fixed locations, etc). So to couple with the OneDrive storage, I use GoodSync. GoodSync can also sync with a local computer. To have it sync with both a local computer and OneDrive, the configuration is slightly more complex than with Cubby, but it works.

    Syncing apps are not error free, especially when you can change files in more than one computer. In spite of that, I can say that I have a good impression of the syncing abilities of both apps, although there are some quirks - GoodSync won't sync OneNote files for some stupid reason their stupid support can't handle - therein lies the weak point of GoodSync - they have rude morons working as support people, I have never met a ruder bunch, so much so that I always feel angry when I think about it.

    In any case, now I use OneDrive and GoodSync. Works well enough and hopefully my interaction with their support is restricted to the most absolute minimum. I liked Cubby, I just can't justify the cost and the much better support doesn't justify it, either.

    Neither app had issues with Excel files.
    Rui
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  6. #6
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    Hi Rui!
    Thanks for your response- how do you use the two together..... that is another solution I have been trying to work out.

    Do you use Goodsync to sync all changes to OneDrive on the basis of when changed, or are you syncing to a central location that uses the OneDrive sync app?

    I have not tried syncing with OneDrive using Goodsync yet.... any tips there?

  7. #7
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    I use two sync jobs, one to sync my desktop with my laptop and another to sync my desktop with one drive. I have sync configured to run only when I want to, but you can configure to run when any of the files changes.

    Syncing with OneDrive is easy - just choose the adequate type of location to sync with and provide the details. Currently there are two types of locations that you can use - SkyDrive or OneDrive. I am using SkyDrive, but can't really remember why.

    You will need to authorize connecting to OneDrive in your browser, which is not that good. Latest versions do open the browser automatically and you need not to provide input. Previous versions required repeated authorization, so that has improved.

    The solution is not perfect, but it's a good value solution. It sure beats Cubby on price, although not in ease of use.
    Rui
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  8. #8
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    Hi Rui
    Thanks for the insight.....
    Is there a reason why you don't use the Windows native One Drive for Business sync app?

    I have Goodsync (and even GoodSync Server for server backup) so I am good to go with that app.

    I have another question, that might be of interest - I have a work email and connection with MS, so that OneDrive is the main one I would use. I also have a OneDrive for my personal emails that I have with MS as I have my personal emails syncing with Exchange Online - I guess that GoodSync can discern between them since its the profile setup that dictates where the Sync goes to.

    Do you have any suggestion on how I can keep OneDrive and the office server synced with all our info, whilst the work is being done on a laptop both in the office and remotely....?

  9. #9
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    I don't like the OneDrive app (I don't think I have the Business one). I like to keep my own folder organization. The simple fact that I would be forced to keep files under their own stupid folder is enough for me to ditch it. Plus, the app doesn't work, either - it's been stuck for ages, as I supposedly have files that violate some filename length rule.

    GoodSync will use the OneDrive for the details you specify when you setup the syncing job.

    To sync with two different destinations you simply need two sync jobs based on the same origin folder. Not sure if this was the question, though...
    Rui
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  10. #10
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    Thanks Rui - that makes total sense......
    I will probably set up GoodSync to copy to the server at the Office using their GSTP protocol.... that means that I don't have to be connected to the LAN, but can do that remotely, and if I am on the LAN, it will simply be faster!

    From there, I might consider a scheduled daily job to backup to OneDrive. That can then be the backup, rather than the sync.... this means that I have setup a similar architecture, just a manual setup required on the Goodsync installs. Thanks for helping think it through.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photorer View Post
    Thanks Rui - that makes total sense......
    I will probably set up GoodSync to copy to the server at the Office using their GSTP protocol.... that means that I don't have to be connected to the LAN, but can do that remotely, and if I am on the LAN, it will simply be faster!

    From there, I might consider a scheduled daily job to backup to OneDrive. That can then be the backup, rather than the sync.... this means that I have setup a similar architecture, just a manual setup required on the Goodsync installs. Thanks for helping think it through.
    For the backup I simply keep a top Backup folder and from then on I simply have one folder per job. It's simple enough to manage and easy enough to know from where I need to get the backed up files, when I need to.
    Rui
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  12. #12
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    Here is a "for instance": For backup I use TeraByte's Image For Windows. I dual boot Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 10 Pro. I have two 1TB SSHD disks and a single 2TB disk in the box. The 1TB drives have multiple partitions. The 2TB is a single partition for drive images, only. The process is quicker from disk-to-disk in the box, and I can then transfer those image files to a NAS for added security at my convenience.

    I use RoboCopy in a scheduled task in Task Scheduler to copy my data nightly from the partition where it resides to another partition on the other 1TB hard drive, which is my OneDrive folder. Robocopy only copies changes in my data, and the OneDrive folder syncs with the cloud automatically. From the cloud, OneDrive also syncs automatically with a OneDrive folder on my Windows 10 NAS.

    Last week I had a glitch with Office 365 and it became un-activated. I piddled with that for a while trying to get everything sorted out, and in all of that I managed to pooch my Windows 10 in some minor fashion, and it wouldn't boot. After a couple of goes at that, I decided to just pack it and booted into Windows 8.1. From there I used Image For Windows to restore my Windows 10 image to the other drive. That took 5:21 to complete. And, what with the Office 365 hassles, I went ahead and restored my Users image to its partition, 4:44, and since I was at it, I restored my Programs image to its partition as well, 5:27.

    I booted into Windows 10, grabbed my data copies from the OneDrive partition on the other drive to bring them up to date. So, in roughly 25 or 30 minutes, I'm whole again. Now I'm making fresh up-to-date drive images of those same three partitions.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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