File Syncing & Sharing Solutions

DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
I'm a member of a design team in a large corporate environment. I'm looking for advice on solutions to sync and share files (sometimes very large files) between our team members.

It's a corporate environment so everything is Windows, except our team uses Macs (all running Snow Leopard). The IT department doesn't like this, but too bad for them. Even though I'm a designer I have fairly comprehensive knowledge of all things computers, from hardware to software, to proficiency with most any OS. I tend to like to use my own solutions rather than those provided by the company, because up to this point, they've been little help solving any problem. We all have Windows machines that would need access as well, but very rarely as we don't have licenses on them for our programs.

Two members, myself included, are onsite in one of our offices. The other two members are permanently remote, and connecting through any server we all have access to is often needlessly complicated, and too slow to be of any use.

I'm looking for a better solution. I got everyone using Dropbox and this has helped tremendously. We often share files this way, and even put some files on the public portion to just email a link to someone else to get the files they need. This beats the corporate FTP solution in every possible way.

But this could all be better. We've been trying to work with IT to get another solution for us, with little luck. I'm not sure if they don't know of the kind of technologies that would help, or are set in their ways and just want things left in place. I'm imagining something like Apple's iDisk, which uses WebDAV. Based on some quick research this protocol looks like it would benefit us more than FTP or SMB, which is what we currently use, and try to stay way from.

So what do we want? A large share or file server (at least 2TB) for our team. Either onsite or offsite. We can go through 3rd parties if we must, but obviously having something as part of the corporate network would please IT and help keep our budget down. We need all 4 members to be able to easily access this share, whether they are onsite or offsite, without using virtual connections, at most it should be a quick login, and even better if it's automatic (like Dropbox).

We would set up a proper hierarchy of our project files. Everyone would need to create and edit files directly off the share if possible. We currently all have fragmented folder structures on our own portable harddrives. This is neither safe or secure but to date has been the easiest method. It does get complicated, especially if one member has sole ownership of a project and forgot to share files through dropbox or something similar, and we can't access those and end up doing duplicate work.

Dropbox is awesome but maybe a little too simplistic, and syncs things, rather than remotely accesses them. If we have a 500GB directory, obviously I couldn't use that on my laptop with 160GB in the manner Dropbox does, plus they don't offer more than 100GB of space. The same seems to go for other, similar services.

Would a web server set up using WebDAV do what we want? Does anyone know of any other solution? Anyone is a similar situation with workarounds? I've thought of using the new Live Mesh to sync project folders but it requires a central computer, that we would use as a server, to be on all the time, and the possibility of file corruption exists according to some users. Again though, it syncs, not quite what we're looking for.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.

Wii U: DHS-Odium // Live: DHS Odium // PSN: DHSOdium // Steam: dhsykes // 3DS: 0318-6615-5294
DHS Odium on


  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I think there is/was Mac Client for Windows Live Mesh. Otherwise I would recommend a simple network share if possible.

    Dark Shroud on
  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    There is a Mac client and I have it, it's one of the options I've considered, we'd just need to throw it on any box hooked to the network and leave it on all the time. The one thing I'm not sure of if it will let us get files without constantly having a folder on our machines synced. Again, we'll have to have access to a large amount of data, and if it has to be synced ala Dropbox then it won't work with our individual machines drives.

    We're trying to go the network share route, but the one we were provided is very slow, and we can't really access it easily while offsite.

    DHS Odium on
    Wii U: DHS-Odium // Live: DHS Odium // PSN: DHSOdium // Steam: dhsykes // 3DS: 0318-6615-5294
  • AbracadanielAbracadaniel Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Check out

    Friend of mine started working for them a few months ago, might be what you're looking for.

    If you're looking for a more Dropbox-like experience, but with greater control over which files/folders sync, check out

    Abracadaniel on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'm going to add an obligatory plug for Unison. While probably not doing exactly what you want, it's very effective at working with cross-platform file shares where you need to keep things up-to-date while off-line from a network.

    electricitylikesme on
  • DritzDritz Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Could rsync suit your needs? I've always found it to be surprisingly versatile if not all that fancy.

    Dritz on
    There I was, 3DS: 2621-2671-9899 (Ekera), Wii U: LostCrescendo
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