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Box Drive: data backup question

I have used Box Sync for a year or two and been fairly happy with it. I am reading about Box Drive and testing it now. The concept sounds good but I can see two potential pitfalls-

1.) If internet is out - critical data is inaccessible and some business stops

        a more interesting question I would like to raise in this post is

2.) How do I backup my company data stored in the cloud?

 

Some might think, why on earth would I want to do that?  Well, I can think of two reasons-

1. I don't trust Box, (or any company) enough to think they should be the sole repository of my company data.

2. What if someone purposely or accidentally deleted all the data on the Box drive?

How would I recover from a comprehensive deletion scenario?

 

Trusted Contributor

Re: Box Drive: data backup question

For your first question, at this time using Box Drive, if you lose network connectivity, you can't get to your files.  One of the top enhancements on the Box Drive roadmap is offline file access, which we should see sometime in the first half of this year.

 

For your second question, that's a bit of a more of a discussion.  Start with your second question first, if your users delete files from Box Drive, just like deleting files from the Box web app, they will follow the Trash rules that you have set up for your Box environment.  The deleter, owner or Box Admin could recover those files at any time within the retention period.  Not to discount the possibility, but we have never had a rogue user delete files maliciously; accidentally, yes, and usually only one or two files.  Our Service Desk points out the Trash feature, and in most cases, the user restores the files themselves without any further action on IT's part.  Getting off track a little bit, in the old "IT runs the servers" world, IT would have to get involved in every accidental file delete case.  Maybe it didn't take alot of time, but it was one more thing on their plate that Box has relieved them of.

 

Your point about not trusting Box.........that's more philosophical and I don't think I will sway you if you have strong feelings in that direction.  But, I'll still keep typing.  It depends on many factors, what kind of data you have (i.e. is it regulated, business-critical, etc.), your personal or corporate past experiences with vendors (and with you own IT), your general outlook on your business and your leadership's outlook.  Is your mis-trust based on thinking that Box could be malicious or just not competent or experienced or concerned enough to safeguard your data?  There are contract provisions spelling out how they must safeguard our (yours, mine and other customers') data and penalties spelled out if they don't.  As far as their fitness to safeguard our data, our IT does not have the resources to have many data centers, as much redundancy, the number of full-time security staff and operations center staff as Box.  If there is some data that you think is so critical, then by all means keep it backed up on site, but do you need every piece of content that your company produces backed up on-site?  If so, by all means spend the money to build out your infrastructure.

 

So I lied, I did try to sway you.  We have over 100,000 users and many hundreds of TB; we have no institutional desire to back that up here on-site.  We are, however, like many higher ed. institutions, highly decentralized and there are some individual units who do duplicate effort and back up their users' Box data on-site.  They've made the value judgement that it's worth it.  I would encourage you to have a discussion with your CSM to learn about how Box safeguards user data; we did, when we were starting out and it was a very enlightening conversation.

 

--Kurt Baker

Penn State University

 

 

Box Certified Professional

Re: Box Drive: data backup question

@durango,

 

+1 to all of @KurtBaker's comments. I'll add one thing. There is no difference between Box Sync and Box Drive when it comes to deletion. If a user accidentally or intentionally deletes files from Sync it deletes them on Box and, as Kurt explains, it comes down to the trash retention policies of your Box instance.

 

The functional differences between Sync and Drive, as of this writing are:

  • Sync has offline access, Drive doesn't. (As Kurt states, that is on the near-term roadmap.)
  • Drive automatically lists all of your Box content, Sync doesn't. You must manually select folders you want to show up in Sync.
  • Sync brings local copies of your content down to your machine, using local disk space. Drive will cap local space usage to its cache folder.
  • Drive is intended for everyday interaction with Box through a mapped-drive experience from your computer. Sync is intended for offline access of specific content or local availability for frequently accessed content, not your full Box account.
  • If you over/misuse Sync you are setting yourself up for technical problems. Among other things if your Box account has unlimited storage and you overuse Sync you are on the road to a lot of computer problems.
  • If you are on an always-connected machine there are few, if any, reasons to use Sync.

 

If you wish to create copies of all your Box content elsewhere, you might explore tools like SkySync or Tervela's Cloud FastPath.

 

Best of luck,

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
New Contributor

Re: Box Drive: data backup question

I would like to thank you for the thoughtful and and informative nature of your reply. I think you did a fine job of addressing my two concerns in a detailed manner and I learned a lot. We all come from a unique experience and therefore see these questions from our own perspective. You work at a large institution whereas I generally work at the other end. So, I do find value in your alternative viewpoint. Part of my job is to imagine what could go wrong. And given the state of the world today I need to keep in mind the varying risks and threats that exist.  

 

I meant no disrespect to BOX.  As a person who reads the tech press daily I believe that no company is impenetrable and no company is immune to catastrophic events. I am actually choosing BOX because I like the product but I know very little about what is happening on the back end.

 

You have given me a lot to think about and encouraged me to take my concerns directly to BOX. I am more intrigued by the questions and the answers now.  So, I will continue to test, read, ask questions and look forward to seeing new features in Drive.  Best Regards

New Contributor

Re: Box Drive: data backup question

@BobFlynn-IU

 

Just a quick note to thank you for your valuable input. You have provided some detailed thoughts on the key differences between Sync and Drive.  This is super helpful because it gives me a better feel for the strengths and weakness of each product and where Drive is headed too. Although Drive is still in beta I can see the promise and that is why I uninstalled Sync and I am here. Thanks for the cautions and also the additional tools. I will check them out. Cheers!

Box Certified Professional

Re: Box Drive: data backup question

@durango,

 

Happy to help.

 

Regards,

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services