Practice Management Member Conversations

  • 1.  Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-20-2021 01:15 PM
    Our firm recently had a catastrophic loss of all our server equipment and we are looking into whether it is feasible to migrate to a fully cloud based data storage scenario rather than rebuilding the same hardware intensive configuration. Our current IT consultant is not supportive of this idea and we are interested in hearing from others that might have done this. All of our software is either run locally on laptops or is cloud based. We are a small firm with 8-10 employees typically. Thanks in advance.

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    Moira McClintock
    Ford 3 Architects, LLC
    Lambertville, NJ
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  • 2.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-21-2021 05:45 PM
    We had a run with FileCloud but had to go back to on-site servers because there were file locking and over-writing issues for a few non-Office file types. That said, we are looking at other cloud-based options and will make that switch soon. It was much faster and more reliable than the vpn.

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    Sam Watkins AIA
    Director of Architecture - Texas
    BKV Group
    Dallas TX
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  • 3.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-22-2021 05:28 PM
    After a disastrous rollout with Dropbox, and trying to understand Azzure, we switched to Egnyte and have been extremely happy. We have 20 users all remote or in office. There is no difference.
    It behaves like a local server so file locking is the same. It has an app which behaves just like another icon on your desktop so it's entirely transparent to open and save files. The browser interface allows you create external links in no time. It keeps the trash for all the users for a selectable period of time. Our local windows server did not have network trash at all. It keeps a selectable number of versions of each and every file. You can access each day that the file was modified. This alone is a gift from above. Because of its robustness we now have the entire history of files on the cloud without having to access separate disks for backups or old projects. I could go on and on.

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    Guillermo Monter-Cervano AIA
    Architect
    Klawiter & Associates
    Santa Monica CA
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  • 4.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-22-2021 08:41 AM
    Edited by Anthony F. Majc AIA 10-22-2021 08:42 AM
    We use a NAS, check it out. Its cost effective and you get infinite control of your data and how you use it.
    What is NAS
    Synology remove preview
    What is NAS
    NAS (Network Attached Storage) is an intelligent storage device connected to your home or office network. You can store all your family and colleagues' files on the NAS, from important documents to precious photos, music and video collections. By using a web browser or mobile apps, you can access files and use various services provided by the NAS via the Internet.
    View this on Synology >


    Anthony F. Majc, AIA NCARB
    RSA|Architects
     



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  • 5.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-22-2021 01:43 PM
    I am a solo firm and I store my files locally on my desktop PC and its also backed up in MS One Drive, which is accessible online anytime I need to check for a file remotely. I also have it backed up on a local USB drive just in case. I will have to check out NAS. Thanks Anthony for that recommendation.

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    Daniel Guich, AIA, LEED ap, CDT
    Studio Converge
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  • 6.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-22-2021 07:31 PM
    Hi Moira - sorry to hear about your onsite server. We are also a nine person practice and we have been on a heck of a ride the last year and a half. When our IT guy told us it was time to get a new server we made the jump to 100% cloud based. We are working towards having a 500 SF office space instead of 1,800 SF and will be ready by the time the current lease expires. We work primarily in Revit and some AutoCAD. Here is what we did:

    Since the principals all were using various personal Dropbox accounts, we signed up for a Corporate account and merged everything. We modified our folder and file naming conventions which needed cleaning up anyway.

    If you work in Revit, be aware that you cannot share a central file in Dropbox like you can with a local network. We added Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro to our Autodesk Suite of software. Projects that require teamwork reside there.

    We also started using Monograph for time management and reporting and Slack for project and team communication, eliminating inter-office emails completely.

    I always thought we did a good job of "keeping up with the times" but we have been on a steep learning curve in the last year. I can report that the staff, working from home, are all very happy with the changes. We have not lost any productivity from the in-office days, I would say even some improvement. For the time being staff can come in and work from here but we just have workstations here to get to the cloud and folks come in when they have distractions at home (kind of funny).

    So good luck with your adventure to the future!

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    William Amador AIA
    Amador Whittle Architects, Inc.
    Agoura Hills CA
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  • 7.  RE: Cloud Based Data Storage vs. Traditional Server

    Posted 10-25-2021 05:42 PM
    Edited by Matthew T. Green AIA 10-25-2021 05:43 PM
    ....we are a small firm the same size as yours and use Google Drive for 100% of all our shared 'network' files. 

    It is $10 / month per employee for unlimited storage, perpetual backup, and email addresses (if you want them to host your email domain), as well as unlimited access to google apps for word docs, spreadsheets, and 'powerpoint' slides, so u don't need Microsoft Office. 

    I love it and we never have to worry about hard drive failures or ransomware. 


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    Matthew Green AIA
    Principal
    Urban Bobcat Architects, PC
    Fort Worth TX
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