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billtheia

G-Drive vs Dropbox for Project Sharing

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I'm using VW2017 for architectural projects and work with a drafting person who is not in my office.  We've started using g-drive to do project sharing but are having some trouble with the lag between saving and syncing as well as some sporadic other strange behavior.

 

Can anyone out there tell me if one cloud service is better than the other for VW project sharing?  I'd really appreciate any information or experience any of you have.

 

Thanks.

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If you were on the same local network, Dropbox has a "LAN sync" option that allows some peer-to-peer syncing instead of waiting for a changed file to go all the way out to the DB server and back again.

 

But, you said you're not. My belief (with no testing to back it up :) ) all 4 supported services are going to be about the same. There are some benchmarks out there, but they probably won't match your real-life experiences. Vectorworks re-writes the entire file every time you do a save (or commit), so it's the full file transfer cost every time.

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@billtheiaWe have tried both DropBox and Gdrive. DropBox has been very stable and consistent. No complaints (other than the full file transfer cost that @Rick Bergementions)

Gdrive has unfortunately been very unstable, causing almost consistent crashes for us. Anybody else have similar experience?

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We've been using Dropbox for more than 10 years to sync everything in our office. We have hundreds of files syncing on any given day and we have several terabytes stored in the cloud. We've scaled from two employees, to dozens, and back again, without any trouble. It's really easy sync select folders to specific people and devices, or to share select folders with outside consultants. We eliminated our local server ten years ago and run our business(s) entirely on Dropbox and Google Apps. I love being able to access any file, from any device, anywhere in the world.  

 

Team communication and file naming standards are really, really important. Files are not checked out or locked when in use, so we are very rigorous about (a) communicating with each other about who is working on what (we use Slack, Hangouts, and verbal communication) and (b) using clear, consistent file naming. Work is never lost, but you can get "conflicted copy" duplicates if multiple people work on the same file.

 

Our technology sister company has consulted many clients about workflow efficiency, which relates to people, technology, and standards. Google Apps are amazing for email, calendaring, contacts, and document collaboration, but Google Drive is not a reliable file repository. Every company I know—from single person boutiques to massive enterprise organizations—have regretted using Google Drive to store and sync files. Go with Dropbox.

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Rick, Jacob, and Threedot, thanks for your responses.

 

I was afraid that the general message was going to be that Dropbox was better.  I'm already paying for a google business account and get 1TB of space on g-drive.  Was just hoping to avoid having to pay yet another subscription (also paying microsoft monthly for the pleasure of using their apps) for data storage.  Not to mention that I'm sure my drafting contractors are going to balk at the prospect of having to upgrade to a paid dropbox account because we need way more than 2G of storage.

 

In the end, I guess you get what you pay for. 

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Yeah, totally. I've had this conversation with many people over the years. We have a Dropbox Business account, which costs about $800 per year for five users, 5TB of storage, unlimited history, granular control over users and security, priority tech support, et cetera. It's a drop in the hat for a service that is more critical than our physical office. We've had zero problems over the years and have not spent a single dollar on server hardware or support.

 

We issue Dropbox licenses to long-term consultants who require frequent access to shared project files. Users can simultaneously have Dropbox Business and Dropbox Personal accounts on the same machine while keeping each account completely separate from each other. We cover the cost of their Dropbox license, but that cost is negligible given the gain in efficiency. When the project is over, we give notice and revoke the license, which automatically removes files from their machine and frees up licenses for others. We do the same for summer interns, who are shared on a broad range of project and resource folders and are not asked to pay out of pocket to accommodate our huge folder sizes.

 

Similarly, we dropped Microsoft Office years ago. We use Google Docs and Sheets for all internal and external collaborative work. We run a Mac-based office and use Pages to format good-looking proposals and invoices our letterhead. Not only did we shed Microsoft expenses, but we also got much better at co-authoring and real-time collaboration.

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One word of advice/caution when using services like Dropbox, and even more when using Google Drive or Microsoft's OneDrive etc. for storing and exchanging files...  Always check with your client if they are ok with you using these services for their projects before you start using it. Even if it is only for internal use. If your client considers the information/documents to be (client) confidential they may not appreciate their files being stored on Dropbox etc.

 

I've heard/seen too many claims of a cloud service being very or perfectly safe to use for confidential information and when asked if they would be willing to sign a liability contract in case of a security breach/unauthorized access (not caused by us being sloppy with passwords etc) they said this would have to be discussed internally and I would never hear from them again.
it's the reason why we use our own on-premise fileserver for sharing (large) files.

Edited by Art V
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No experience with Box for model collaboration, but I have used it alongside other cloud storage offerings and consider it to be on par with Dropbox when it comes to stability, so given the comments about Dropbox stability/lack of problems compared to e.g. Gdrive it should work well enough for that.

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