File sync and storage issue.



  • A friend has a company that uses Office 365 Bus Premium for the office suite/email. It is a small company (10 to 15 users). Email and the office apps are working fine. They have field technicians that use tools to collect air quality data. This data gets loaded onto laptops/tablets that are Windows 10 and they put them in a OneDrive folder that syncs back to their main office. This worked "ok" for a short while when they first started but now have outgrown the 1Tb limit on OneDrive. Another issue is the 2-way syncing. It cripples them at their office because the WAN connection stays saturated with bi-directional OneDrive syncing. I don't know how this got set up or who set it up but it is far from ideal. Also, last year, the main account was removed from the O365 and they lost all the data. It was recovered from a backup but MS was ultimately at fault (MS support tech owned up to it after reviewing the logs). Took almost an entire day just to figure out what happened and a while for MS to admit to anything.

    They rely heavily on the syncing to get the data from the field to the office. The data ends up in a SQL db and generates reports. I would put file/folder syncing at the top of the priority list. Most of the field guys are using cellular to upload the data. 2-way syncs, again, are a huge problem due to bandwidth limitations.

    I was giving them a demo of Nextcloud and it seems to be a good fit. One problem I can think of is the number of issues I read about regarding syncing in NC. They need to upgrade storage soon and it would be the perfect time to implement a better solution. They will definitely keep O365 for mail and apps but need a beefier storage solution. A pair of large Synology boxes would be better than what is being done now.... Thoughts?



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    I was giving them a demo of Nextcloud and it seems to be a good fit. One problem I can think of is the number of issues I read about regarding syncing in NC.

    How many issues have you seen? I've seen very few. Most are people trying to use it in a way that no sync can be used and would affect OneDrive the same.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    A pair of large Synology boxes would be better than what is being done now.

    Nothing against Synology, but how does that address the need? That's just traditional storage, is it not? Just a generic SMB file server?



  • The issues with OneDrive as a whole are rare. The main problem is the 1Tb limit for the OneDrive account and the constant syncing. The Synology would become the main storage versus another Windows server and the associated licensing. OneDrive would not be the main data repository. From what I gather, they have to "archive" data in other OneDrive accounts to make space in the main account for "new" data. I know its a strange way to handle storage. A alternate sync client could be used to upload data and not then download to everyone else. One-way sync.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    The issues with OneDrive as a whole are rare. The main problem is the 1Tb limit for the OneDrive account and the constant syncing. The Synology would become the main storage versus another Windows server and the associated licensing. OneDrive would not be the main data repository. From what I gather, they have to "archive" data in other OneDrive accounts to make space in the main account for "new" data. I know its a strange way to handle storage. A alternate sync client could be used to upload data and not then download to everyone else. One-way sync.

    But what would it solve that NextCloud would not also solve?



  • Bandwidth is going to be an issue when you're syncing 1TB worth of files...

    Do they sync while out in the field, or do they sync before leaving and wait until they are back in the office for the next sync?
    [I know he said they use cellular to upload the data...not why I am asking]



  • An example now is User A, User B, and User C all have a OneDrive account and are also signed into [email protected]'s acount. The server is also signed in to [email protected]. User A places data in a folder monitored by OneDrive. It then Syncs to the server, at the same time syncing to User B and User C. They don't need the data from User A. Only the server does. It is a constant sync from different users and the WAN connection stays saturated on OneDrive transfers. The main office is in a rural location and limited bandwidth.



  • Two way sync for something like this is a horrible design.

    What they should use is a file drop method to upload files from the field and never download anything.

    The field techs have zero need for this data right? Make them use the web interface.

    Filedrop:
    e403bb99-3397-4f2f-bd94-23151cd250b4-image.png

    Or let them see/delete what they uploaded, but disable downloads:
    a0709419-5f0c-4afd-9c48-b1908bcf818e-image.png

    Then the office workers will MOVE the file to a different location when they process the file and put it into the database. So this keeps the field tech view clean.



  • @dafyre Data normally get stored locally on a device. They are usually in remote sites. They go to a hotel etc and connect to whatever is available. The sync begins. Meanwhile, the data from the day before has not finished and starts downloading to the users.



  • @JaredBusch I agree 100% The 2-way sync is the main issue. Storage limit is the second. Correct - The field techs do not need the data from the others.



  • @scottalanmiller I think NC would solve a lot of their headaches. @JaredBusch The file drop method is what they NEED to be doing. That would avoid the sync client. The last time I used it, you could select one-way sync but it always seemed to fail and I quit trying to use it. It has been a while and may be improved by now. I was just using it for a My Pictures folder on Win 7.



  • I am going to assume that the SQL server would use webdav to get the files from NC to process them if they replaced the method now with NC or have the sync client on the server to pull the files into a local folder.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    @scottalanmiller I think NC would solve a lot of their headaches. @JaredBusch The file drop method is what they NEED to be doing. That would avoid the sync client. The last time I used it, you could select one-way sync but it always seemed to fail and I quit trying to use it. It has been a while and may be improved by now. I was just using it for a My Pictures folder on Win 7.

    You have to configure longer timeouts and larger file sizes manually.

    Maybe I'll write a how to 😛



  • @JaredBusch I have been wanted to upgrade my NC server (the hardware) for a while and cannot decide if I want to use KVM or Hyper-V. Worse than choosing what restaurant to eat at with my wife! At least that is what it feels like to me!



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    An example now is User A, User B, and User C all have a OneDrive account and are also signed into [email protected]'s acount. The server is also signed in to [email protected]. User A places data in a folder monitored by OneDrive. It then Syncs to the server, at the same time syncing to User B and User C. They don't need the data from User A. Only the server does. It is a constant sync from different users and the WAN connection stays saturated on OneDrive transfers. The main office is in a rural location and limited bandwidth.

    This is exactly what OneDrive is NOT designed for.

    Also, there may even be some licensing violations involved with multiple users sharing a single account.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    @JaredBusch I have been wanted to upgrade my NC server (the hardware) for a while and cannot decide if I want to use KVM or Hyper-V. Worse than choosing what restaurant to eat at with my wife! At least that is what it feels like to me!

    Why does the hypervisor matter if you're just going to setup a VM for the workload. Use what you're familiar with, and unless there is a good reason don't switch.

    Example: Hyper-V is a pain to manage without Hyper-V Manager or some third party solution, hence I'm looking at KVM.

    Would be a reason I'd accept.



  • @Obsolesce said in File sync and storage issue.:

    @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    An example now is User A, User B, and User C all have a OneDrive account and are also signed into [email protected]'s acount. The server is also signed in to [email protected]. User A places data in a folder monitored by OneDrive. It then Syncs to the server, at the same time syncing to User B and User C. They don't need the data from User A. Only the server does. It is a constant sync from different users and the WAN connection stays saturated on OneDrive transfers. The main office is in a rural location and limited bandwidth.

    This is exactly what OneDrive is NOT designed for.

    Also, there may even be some licensing violations involved with multiple users sharing a single account.

    If you wanted to stick with OneDrive for Business - could you not create a folder under UserA, UserB, UserC and grant rights to those folders to use [email protected]? Then main from the server could extra that data and delete it from the user folders after it extracts/copies it?

    This way the users each only see their own stuff and it should all sync between the server and each user.

    All that said - I like the manual push command better as I rarely see sync work well.



  • @DustinB3403 I use both. I have been using Hyper-V longer and it has been really stable for me for both Linux and Windows VMs. Managing Hyper-V is a pain sometimes but most of the hosts I manage are domain joined. I have a KVM host at home (Fedora) and manage it from a Fedora workstation as I don't have a laptop with Linux. I want to move my NC to a colo but can't decide on which hypervisor I want to use on a new server.



  • @Dashrender It would most likely work but I think there is too much room for mistakes and losing files and folders. Seems simple but users may get confused.



  • @Obsolesce That is the reason they want to use it the "normal" way and have a better solution for the long term. As for the licensing, I agree. I honestly feel that they have no clue about the licensing and are not purposely violating the TOS.



  • @Obsolesce Your guide to managing HV from a non-domain joined host works perfect. I have done it many times over the years but had unnecessary steps. Your method works great. Thanks for putting it together.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    @Dashrender It would most likely work but I think there is too much room for mistakes and losing files and folders. Seems simple but users may get confused.

    What users? users shouldn't ever see files, besides their own. You're the one who should see all the files on the server.



  • @brandon220 said in File sync and storage issue.:

    I am going to assume that the SQL server would use webdav to get the files from NC to process them if they replaced the method now with NC or have the sync client on the server to pull the files into a local folder.

    Reasonably, yes.


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