Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our School-Wide Migration to Dropbox

As our school's technology access model continues to evolve(1:1 school) so must our infrastructure and strategy for backing up faculty and student work.  Prior to our 1:1 initiative, all faculty and student computers(labs/carts) were synchronized on our file server.  With the introduction of an additional 240+ computers to our campus, some changes to the file server were made to accommodate the increase in users and load but it came at a cost-synchronization was failing.  There was a work around but it required us to touch every single computer on the domain.  Needless to say, our tech department aka the tech squad was not happy with that option and a few faculty members were not pleased when some files were lost during the migration.  So the tech squad examined the options and we decided to recommend to the administration that we move to Dropbox.

Why Dropbox?

Recognizing that change is difficult, we focused on what the value adds were by going to Dropbox. The table below summarizes the differences between our file server and Dropbox and it is pretty clear what the value adds are.  See table below

Next Steps:
  • The tech squad provided instructions on how to install Dropbox and migrate files from the file server to their dropbox folder.
  • Referral strategies were encouraged/created so each teacher received a bit more than the allotted 2 GB.


The faculty loves Dropbox and all of the value adds it has over our local file server. It also provided many of our faculty and staff with additional access now that smart phones are becoming more prevalent on campus.

Summary of File Server versus Dropbox


Alex Inman said...

Did each Orson set up their own account?

Hiram Cuevas said...

H Alex,

Thanks for your comment. The many users setup their own accounts but for those that wanted some hand holding our tech department met with them 1:1 to assist as needed. I was also proactive with some users to make sure their files were backed up properly.

All in all a pretty painless process. I only wish Dropbox would seriously consider developing a educational pricing scheme with an API for SSO. It's an untapped market but I suspect they will make more $ by keeping it as is.

Hope you had a good holiday!