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Can Dropbox Replace Our File Server?

Posted on 2014-12-07
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
We currently have a Windows 2012 file server. We have 1.1 million files that occupy about 4.5Tb. It has worked great for our small staff of nine people, but we are preparing to expand, and most of our new staff will be working remotely. We create a wide variety of files. Almost all of our files live on our server. The only exceptions are video productions and complex audio projects. Dropbox for Business offers attractive pricing and massive capacity. Can Dropbox be a legitimate alternative to our file server?
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Question by:TUMIhq
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 125 total points
ID: 40486142
That really depends on the types of files. You won't be running QuickBooks from dropbox. Nor is it well suited for organized projects with large files (architecture, photography, video editing, etc.)

But for smaller files, remote access, and reliable internet, cloud storage is certainly a viable option. Personally, I am not partial to dropbox specifically, because of their track record with data breaches and security, but that is something you should consider on a case by case basis when evaluating options.
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andreas earned 250 total points
ID: 40486197
It depends.

It depends upon the following facts:

1. Do you have critical filey there that shouldnt be accessed by 3rd parties? If dropbox gots breached your files are at risk, if they are not encrypted.
2. Read the smallprint of dropbox, especially regarding liability, are those conditions ok for you?
e.g. no liability if the service breaks suddenly beyond the amount you have paid to dropbox (refund only).
3. The risk the company gots bankrupt and shut down suddenly without warning, your files will be lost.
4. Its quite slow, compared to a local server qith a gigabit connection, especially uploads.
5. There is no service level agreement, if dropbiox is down, its down you have to wait until its fixed.

For us this all would pose toooo many IFs and whens. We would not replace our storage with any cloud service.
Using a cloud service additionally, e,g. for easy file distribution to home offices and mobiles is ok in some cases (no mission critical files that are confidential). As the sole storage we wont do it.

If locally something goes wrong you cloud hire experts to fix things if your own staff cant handle it anymore. But if the cloud service breaks you are out of options, you depend on the provider of the service.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 40486223
Your data is not secure on Dropbox. They hold the encryption keys and can decrypt it at will

And so also from Dropbox, under security, under their "Compliance with Laws and Law Enforcement" section, they said, "As set forth in our privacy policy, and in compliance with United States law, Dropbox cooperates with United States law enforcement when it receives valid legal process, which may require Dropbox to provide the contents of your private Dropbox. In these cases, Dropbox will remove Dropbox's encryption from the files before providing them to law enforcement." So I salute them for being clear, but it's clearly not providing anyone protection who wants that kind of protection.
https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-349.htm
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by:andreas
andreas earned 250 total points
ID: 40486261
Correct, provider supplied encryption can ALWAYS be removed by the provider, or by attackers if they can attack the systems there which handles the decryption.

So if you need encryption on your cloud storage you need to do it yourself on your client PCs, before uploading to the cloud services.

Encryption is only secure if you hold the keys yourself.
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