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Dropbox saved Newscape

July 25, 2019

Newscape Design is a landscape architecture firm located in Alexandria, Sydney. Their work ranges from private landscape projects to large-scale commercial and culturally significant projects for various government bodies.

John Newman, founder and director, was growing increasingly frustrated with their macOS file server. There were intractable issues with staff access to files.

Files would frequently be inaccessible due to old lock files, and permissions would become corrupted.

The situation was made worse by macOS 10.14's Server app losing key permission management functionality, leading to significant downtime in the business.

The Brief

Their Mac file server was growing increasingly difficult to use. Problems first appeared in macOS 10.12, and an upgrade to 10.14 did not fix the issues.

Staff often could not open files, either due to bad permissions or persistent lock files, even though they had been closed by the previous editor.

Sometimes the entire server would seize up completely, forcing a manual reboot.

As time went by the problems worsened, and it became clear another solution was needed.

The Solution

Tests showed that no hardware issues were apparent on the server, so a rebuild was considered, as well as a replacement.

We then discussed with John the numerous advantages Dropbox for Business has over traditional file servers. While initially reluctant, due to poor experiences with Google Drive, but we soon allayed John's concerns.

Dropbox was implemented quickly, and files were migrated over, with the most vital first.

The Outcome

Staff immediately realised the benefits of Dropbox for Business.

John and his team regained confidence in their shared files once more.

Staff could also now work anywhere, and didn't have to worry about copying files to and from the server.

Long term, the elimination of the physical server meant that they don't have to worry about possible hardware failure issues or migrating to a new server.

Into the future, when staff move to a new Mac everything is there, ready for them to work.

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