Looking for a sane file storage/versioning system
October 2, 2013 11:26 AM   Subscribe

My company's current system for managing/versioning files/documents is horribly broken. Please point us toward sanity.

I work for an Internet marketing company with 20-odd employees. As you would expect, we deal with a lot of files/documents, and most of those go through multiple versions over the course of a project.

We have no real system for managing this. Stuff gets passed around via email attachments, attached to tickets in our task management system, uploaded to Google Drive, passed around on Dropbox, and circulated via thumbdrive. There is no central, canonical location where the current files for a given project can be found.

The results are what you would expect: it's hard to find files; when you do find a file, there's no way to be sure you're looking at the most recent version of it; documents get inadvertently and unknowingly forked; etc. It's chaos.

Recommend me a solution—a piece of hardware, a technology, a service, something—that can tame this beast.

Snowflake details:

— It should have high capacity: we deal with a lot of Photoshop and video files, so we need plenty of space.

— It should support versioning: some kind of built-in tools for tracking multiple versions of the same file.

— It should be scalable: we need to be able to add more capacity as it's needed.

— It should work for end users on both Windows and Mac workstations—we have both in the office.

— It should be easy for non-technical users to use—it should have a GUI interface that uses familiar idioms, as opposed to something like FTP or git (which, no matter how much you simplify it, is going to confuse and frustrate many of these users).

— It should be accessible from outside of our office, so folks can work from home and when they're on the road. (AFAIK, our network is not set up to allow people to RDC into their office desktops. We don't have a network/IT person—everything's just kind of shit-rigged—so I can't ask.)

— Ideally, it should allow us to share links/addresses to specific files or directories. So when Bob asks me where to find the wireframes for project XYZ, I can just send him a link to it.

We already have: Google Drive; a 1 TB NAS; Dropbox. Each of these addresses *some* of our needs, but none address *all* (or even *most*) of them.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated!
posted by escape from the potato planet to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You could buy a NAS that supports Dropbox style sync for speed and capacity over internet providers.

I have a Synology NAS and it has a companion sync app for Mac/Windows that supports versioning.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:06 PM on October 2, 2013

It should have high capacity: we deal with a lot of Photoshop and video files, so we need plenty of space

This would qualify as very challenging. Can you describe what's missing from the solutions you've tried?

Do you need multiple versions online, or would a backup scheme work (e.g., dropbox for active, everything archived to a NAS which is backed up to Crashplan or similar)?

This will also be pretty expensive via Box or DropBox (in fact, it may be significantly more expensive than, for example, setting up a VPN server to allow reachback to the office and/or boosting your internet connection).
posted by rr at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2013

Response by poster: We're piloting Box right now, with an initial pool of seven users. So far, everyone likes it and is excited about it. I'm told that we looked into it a couple of years ago and weren't impressed, but it seems that it's evolved significantly since then.

Thanks for the input! Fingers crossed that this will be the answer. All signs are positive so far.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:31 PM on December 2, 2013

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