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Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

New member | Level 2

What isn't clear is whether all linked dropbox folders in all devices are symmetric, or if there is a home-base folder on the computer that is a 'master', and which is treated differently... or if the server copy in the cloud is the master, and treated differently (suspect the latter).

Regardless, what I want is to put the master copy in the cloud/dropbox server, and then select, using smart sync, which of the server files are fully present on which devices, and which only have place holders. I'm running out of space on my computer & cell, have 5 times the free space in the cloud - expect this is the purpose for which smart sync was created.  Problem perhaps is that I need to use the cloud as the master, and turn off sync before I upload any more, since I am out of space on the linked devices.  SOO....How do I set up a folder in the cloud to NOT sync full files to devices until asked by a linked device that needs to open a full copy of a file in that folder?  Can I set 'free space' boundaries, so that I don't accidently overload one linked device when I upload a large folder of files to my (larger capacity) dropbox in the cloud?

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Re: Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

Super User II

Hi @DrMarkToo 

No device/service is a master. They are all treated equally. The way Dropbox works is it compares the times and dates of changes to files within its own internal database to work out which files are sent to the Dropbox cloud and which need to come down from the cloud.

I'm afraid what you are asking is not possible. What you can do, however, is set each individual device (note - no master anywhere) to 'online only' for new files via the preferences menu in Dropbox.


 


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Re: Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

New member | Level 2

I think the ability to "pause" syncing while I upload and consolidate files to the cloud/server, together with the ability to set each linked device to "Cloud only", and then to "open" and thereby re-download the files to devices that have capacity and on which I want to have local (and off-line usable) copies, I may have what I need.  Giving it a try.

Thanks; very clarifying to know the model is a symmetric one for all devices; suspect however that  the cloud server IS the master, and that you are supporting a "star" topology with your dropbox server standing between any other two devices, rather than n-way peer-to-peer links between n devices...?

 

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Re: Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

New member | Level 2

Also: this video WAS quite useful.... I'd not viewed it before posting my query...

https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/smart-sync

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Re: Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

Super User II

The star logic is accurate, yes, but, that doesnt make the cloud the master in terms of syncing. None of them 'over rule' another as it were.

I usually describe Dropbox as like a mirror - what happens on one happens to the next. And then to make it a tad more accurate 'a mirror with a timeline' so that changes are done on other devices from the last moment they were connected to Dropbox's servers right up to the present time by following this 'timeline' through for all changes.


 


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Re: Smart Sync Implementation, existing folders, across devices

New member | Level 2

It is your product and terminology, so I can't argue much about what you call it and how you describe the parts... but I'm understanding it better, and thanks for that.  But it does seem that the mirroring process always goes via the cloud server, and can't happen peer-to-peer without it, so perhaps there is some sense in which it is the master... even though I must also agree that the master VERSION is on which-ever linked (and not paused) copy is most recently revised (your timeline point).  So the master copy is on whichever device was last edited, ...but the master CONTROL for the sync process is in the cloud, and in the cloud's DB of which device's file copy has the last edit timestamp ... provided that device is linked...  Is this fair?

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