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Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

SyberKnight
Explorer | Level 4

long-time Dropbox Basic user here (tho did the Pro for about a year once), along with my wife who continues to use Pro.

 

i'm getting tired of using "bandaid" solutions for our ever-growing data space needs. by that i mean, every year or two having to purchase bigger/multiple external hard drives for it all;

not to mention the hassel of having to have double the need for "backups"

plus tired of having drives fail & the hassel of fixing/replacing.

 

SO, i'm starting to research Cloud-based solutions. wondering if we can just finally do-away with all the external drives & just rely on a Cloud solution -

not only to store & have access to all the data that won't fit on our little MacBook & MacBook Pro SSD drives,

but to also rely on it's redundency/auto-backup in case something goes wrong in the Cloud with the primary access point.

 

yes, i know this would require Internet access any time we want/need to interact with our data - that's not a problem (for us).

 

after researching about ones like CrashPlan, BackBlaze, etc, & even straight up Amazon something'or'other, it dawned on me to look & see if Dropbox could accomodate our desires here. 

 

we've been using Dropbox already for years & have been very happy with it. it's been a smooth'n'seemless integration on our Mac's & iOS devices. but it's never been a place we've considered for "mass storage" because everything that's in our DB's is also synced & resides on our computers. 

 

then my wife discovered the "Selective Sync" feature in her Pro account, and that got me to wondering if it's possible to somehow send all our data (currently aprox 6TB) up to DB & use Selective Sync to make sure it's not ALL trying to sync with our computers. 

 

but in what i've read thus far, it's NOT possible to sync an external drive up to DB.

i've also read that DB will not provide a "seed" drive via the mail like others (CrashPlan) does.

 

so, before i start to strategize HOW to make this happen, i guess i need to know IF this is possible at all --> ???

 

seems to me that i should be able to subscribe to a Dropbox Business account that both my wife & i can be members of;

then i suppose i would have to little-by-little copy data from the external drives over to my Mac's DB sync folder.

then when i've used as much precious SSD space on my Mac as i can spare, turn on the Selective Sync option for all that;

then delete, rinse, & repeat until it's all up there.

 

another question comes to mind --> can't i create a "Symlink" of my Mac's DB folder to an external drive to save the steps'n'time of the above scenario???

 

next, regarding DB Business's "unlimited space" (a.k.a. "As much space as needed"), i read... https://www.dropbox.com/help/225

...that indicates my wife & i would only get 1 TB of space, then we'd have to contact DB for more!!!!! WTF is THAT all about?!?!

i don't want to have to contact support, sales, or anybody when i hit that 1tb limit (which i will, at least 6 times right off the bat).

if it's truly "unlimited" then it should just be unlimited.

am i misunderstanding something here???

 

additionally, i notice on the "Pricing" page, Business shows "$12.50 / user / month".

does that mean for my wife & i, it would be $25/mo?

what if we don't need any "teams" or "groups" nor any additional "spaces"?

we just need ONE dropbox location we can sync everything to so both of us have access to it.

but we'd need to keep our respective DB account areas that only sync to each of our Macs (mine for me + hers for her + one shared).

 

does that all make sense?

 

FYI, in case it's a perceived issue... both my wife & i work from home with our own businesses, so it would be "for business" more than personal use.

 

THANKS!!! :upside_down:

-jason.

2 Accepted Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

Dorothy_Jane
Dropboxer
Hi Jason,

So, I'm going to go in reverse here and start with your questions about Dropbox Business then work our way back up.

Re: Pricing-

Dropbox Business plans have a minimum of 5 users, the pricing page is showing you a break down of that per license cost. Presently there is not an option for a team of fewer than 5 licenses (please note theres no requirement that all licenses be occupied).

We do recommend that each individual have their own account/license since shared logins is not something we can support (from what I've read it sounds like you and your wife already have separate accounts so you should be fine here).

As for 'as much space as you need' Dropbox Business subscriptions, they start with a base quota thats calculated by adding 1TB per license on the team, so the standard 5 user base plan will have 5TBs. Since this subscription is calculated by how many user licenses you require, once a Team gets close to that 5TB quota they just need to email the support team to have this amount manually adjusted. Since we do have to have the server space on our end to match the quota allotment provided, this process helps us ensure that we're growing at the same rate our users are.

As for Symlinks, their usage is not advised or supported by the Dropbox team, as the Dropbox desktop app can get stuck attempting to access the files they point to and can cause issues such as high CPU usage, poor syncing performance, permissions issues and quota usage disparities (just to name a few).

As for getting the (approx) 6TB of external Drive onto the Dropbox Business subscription if you choose to go that route, I'd suggest checking out this article (technically for server migrations but still rings true here): https://www.dropbox.com/help/9116

Two main things to keep in mind for a large migration are:

1. If you've moved the Dropbox folder to an external drive, you want to ensure that your computer and that drive do not become disconnected. When the application loses connection to the syncing folder, the application will interpret this as you intentionally deleting that folder and it's content and it will sync those changes to your account.

2. The performance of the Dropbox application may start to decline in certain tasks when you have more than 300,000 files in one account, so you'll want to keep an eye on your batch size for this migration (please note this is a file count limit, not file size). You can read more about this here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/39


I hope all this is useful! Let me know if you have any other questions here 🙂


Did you find my post helpful? If it answers your question, please mark 'Accept as Solution" below so other users can find it quickly! 🙂


View solution in original post

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

Alexis G.1
Super User

I understand you when I hear you are tired of having lot of hard drives, issues with disks, replacements, etc and you want to have it everything on the cloud.

 

The problem is Dropbox Pro don't allow you to have more than 1TB, you will need a Business account in order to have 5TB and then contact Support in order to allocate extra space for you. I believe a good feature in Dropbox Pro in the future is the option to purchase additional space in 1TB increments from current 1TB to 20 or more TB. But this is not possible now.

 

If you don't want do goes to the complex task of moving some files, use selective sync, delete the files, etc etc in order to upload all your 6TB to Dropbox, you can perhaps install a SATA 6TB or 8TB HDD internal into a PC, move all files there, install Dropbox and upload everything from there. But I don't know if this is possible for you because you have a Mac.

 

 

But I believe this is a weird and complex scenario. You need to backup your Dropbox content as well because if any of your devices are infected with ransomware and your Dropbox content (or part of it) is encrypted, yes, you can recover by using Extended Version History in Dropbox or by contacting support and opening a ticket regarding a deletion event, but this can take days due to the ammount of files you have and because Dropbox it's a mirror/sync service, not a backup service.

 

If I was you, I will get a Synology NAS with 2 x 6TB Red WD HDD disks in Raid 1 (or 4x 4TB disks in raid 10)... never ever use raid5 please... in order to get solid 6 or 8TB available space. If one disk fails, no problem, your data is still available, you can hot swap the damaged disk, insert a replacement and the Syno will rebuild the data. 

 

A 2nd 8TB hdd disk archive can help you as a backup.

 

Synology NAS have built-In Dropbox client, so you can have all your 6TB of data in your NAS backed up in Dropbox as well! Cool! no?

 

Another option:

 

Backing up your data with Carbonite, Crashplan, etc will be expensive! Perhaps you can get something like Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier. This is cheap, very cheap backup solution (You need to check the differences because Glacier is very very cheap but is pretty much designed as a write once, retrieve never - retrieve it only in case of disaster).

 

Please let me know if any of this options sounds good for you and we will discuss the details!

 

 

View solution in original post

4 Replies 4

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

Dorothy_Jane
Dropboxer
Hi Jason,

So, I'm going to go in reverse here and start with your questions about Dropbox Business then work our way back up.

Re: Pricing-

Dropbox Business plans have a minimum of 5 users, the pricing page is showing you a break down of that per license cost. Presently there is not an option for a team of fewer than 5 licenses (please note theres no requirement that all licenses be occupied).

We do recommend that each individual have their own account/license since shared logins is not something we can support (from what I've read it sounds like you and your wife already have separate accounts so you should be fine here).

As for 'as much space as you need' Dropbox Business subscriptions, they start with a base quota thats calculated by adding 1TB per license on the team, so the standard 5 user base plan will have 5TBs. Since this subscription is calculated by how many user licenses you require, once a Team gets close to that 5TB quota they just need to email the support team to have this amount manually adjusted. Since we do have to have the server space on our end to match the quota allotment provided, this process helps us ensure that we're growing at the same rate our users are.

As for Symlinks, their usage is not advised or supported by the Dropbox team, as the Dropbox desktop app can get stuck attempting to access the files they point to and can cause issues such as high CPU usage, poor syncing performance, permissions issues and quota usage disparities (just to name a few).

As for getting the (approx) 6TB of external Drive onto the Dropbox Business subscription if you choose to go that route, I'd suggest checking out this article (technically for server migrations but still rings true here): https://www.dropbox.com/help/9116

Two main things to keep in mind for a large migration are:

1. If you've moved the Dropbox folder to an external drive, you want to ensure that your computer and that drive do not become disconnected. When the application loses connection to the syncing folder, the application will interpret this as you intentionally deleting that folder and it's content and it will sync those changes to your account.

2. The performance of the Dropbox application may start to decline in certain tasks when you have more than 300,000 files in one account, so you'll want to keep an eye on your batch size for this migration (please note this is a file count limit, not file size). You can read more about this here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/39


I hope all this is useful! Let me know if you have any other questions here 🙂


Did you find my post helpful? If it answers your question, please mark 'Accept as Solution" below so other users can find it quickly! 🙂


View solution in original post

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

Alexis G.1
Super User

I understand you when I hear you are tired of having lot of hard drives, issues with disks, replacements, etc and you want to have it everything on the cloud.

 

The problem is Dropbox Pro don't allow you to have more than 1TB, you will need a Business account in order to have 5TB and then contact Support in order to allocate extra space for you. I believe a good feature in Dropbox Pro in the future is the option to purchase additional space in 1TB increments from current 1TB to 20 or more TB. But this is not possible now.

 

If you don't want do goes to the complex task of moving some files, use selective sync, delete the files, etc etc in order to upload all your 6TB to Dropbox, you can perhaps install a SATA 6TB or 8TB HDD internal into a PC, move all files there, install Dropbox and upload everything from there. But I don't know if this is possible for you because you have a Mac.

 

 

But I believe this is a weird and complex scenario. You need to backup your Dropbox content as well because if any of your devices are infected with ransomware and your Dropbox content (or part of it) is encrypted, yes, you can recover by using Extended Version History in Dropbox or by contacting support and opening a ticket regarding a deletion event, but this can take days due to the ammount of files you have and because Dropbox it's a mirror/sync service, not a backup service.

 

If I was you, I will get a Synology NAS with 2 x 6TB Red WD HDD disks in Raid 1 (or 4x 4TB disks in raid 10)... never ever use raid5 please... in order to get solid 6 or 8TB available space. If one disk fails, no problem, your data is still available, you can hot swap the damaged disk, insert a replacement and the Syno will rebuild the data. 

 

A 2nd 8TB hdd disk archive can help you as a backup.

 

Synology NAS have built-In Dropbox client, so you can have all your 6TB of data in your NAS backed up in Dropbox as well! Cool! no?

 

Another option:

 

Backing up your data with Carbonite, Crashplan, etc will be expensive! Perhaps you can get something like Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier. This is cheap, very cheap backup solution (You need to check the differences because Glacier is very very cheap but is pretty much designed as a write once, retrieve never - retrieve it only in case of disaster).

 

Please let me know if any of this options sounds good for you and we will discuss the details!

 

 

View solution in original post

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

SyberKnight
Explorer | Level 4
hi @Dorothy_Jane,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your thoughtful reply! my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

so, after reading your reply & the links you shared, i'm starting to feel like Dropbox Business is NOT the way to go for my situation/goals.

looks like there's just too many complexities & risks, & wouldn't be as smooth of a daily working process as i had envisioned. ergh.

Alexis, below, brought up the idea of a NAS - which i wasn't really aware of before now. yeah, it's "another" hard drive to deal with, but it looks like it has some options i need to research.

thanks again for your time!!!
.:peace:.

Re: Need Strategy Advice on how to get TB's of data from external drives to DB Biz Unlimited

SyberKnight
Explorer | Level 4
hello @Alexis G.1,

thank you also so much for your thoughtful reply!!! much appreciated!!! any my apologies as well for my tardy response.

regarding your SATA suggestion... yeah, we've only got MacBook Pro laptops, so no options for internal addons like that.

as i mentioned in my reply to Dorothy_Jane above, i'm starting to think Dropbox Business isn't the way to go for us. we would have no option but to use an external drive & according to her & those links, the risk of loss is too great/easy. plus now with what you said about infection & restoration... i think that seals the deal with a disappointing 'no'.

BUT, you bring up an interesting option i'd not thought of before with the NAS solution...

i get so confused between all the RAID options/configurations, so i'll need to look that up (again), but the one where there's multiple drives & they mirror/backup internally sounds perfect (since i'd have to deal with more hard drives anyways, that's a good idea to minimize my efforts when one dies).

do you know if there are any RAID's that use SSD drives rather than HDD drives? do you have any opinions about that?

a few more questions, if you don't mind...

we use an Apple Airport Extreme as our wifi router & it has an option to plug in a USB hard drive to act as a network drive. is that the same thing as a NAS?

you mentioned that the Synology NAS has a built-in Dropbox client. how does that work? wouldn't that be just as risky as using an external drive attached to the computer? also, what would be the point in getting Dropbox Biz if we use this NAS anyways? having the NAS replaces the need for DB Biz (i think). am i missing something?

regarding other companies... we 'do' have CrashPlan. have had it for the past few years (got a deal on it, so it hasn't cost must up until now). but, to be honest, i HATE the Crashplan Mac app. it's not userfriendly nor easy to manage the files (IMO).

lastly, i did a brief cursory google on NAS & Mac & it looks like the Drobo might be a tad better than Synology, but at a higher pricetag. seems like Synology might be the most popular.

here's a Macworld article from last month that reviews several...
http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/5-best-nas-drives-for-mac-best-mac-nas-devices-3647768

so i'm open to hearing your (& others) thoughts on this. what might be the 'best' solution for our situation. ideally, the chosen solution should "just work" without a lot of tinkering & complexity.

thanks again for your time!!!
.:peace:.
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