DropBox and File Sharing over a Local Office Network

For quite a while, one of our clients complained that their ability to open files from the office file server had slowed to a crawl and sometimes didn’t open. Our techs went to work to resolve the problem.

First step was to make sure all drivers and system software were updated, which wasn’t the case. But updating those didn’t resolve the issue.

The problem was erratic. The client would call one day and say it’s all better (especially after we rebuilt the server index), and then complain that it was slow as mud the next.

Eventually I noticed a part of the Dropbox dox that mentioned this very important fact- that eventually, a fileserver being synced with Dropbox will get confused when it’s been given one version of reality from the cloud, and a different reality from files changed through interoffice file sharing.

You see the Dropbox folder only really works correctly when a user ON the server itself accesses Dropbox via the desktop app, while signed in. We had set up Dropbox as a service via the excellent software from AlwaysUp, in order to make sure it was running even after the machine updated itself and restarted.

Finally, we realized that with Dropbox, a central file server already existed- the cloud itself. We replaced the one office file server with a 1Tb in each workstation computer, dedicated to Dropbox and the problems have never returned.

In short- ask the question, “does my office even need an on site file server anymore?” With the advantages of Dropbox, the answer could be no. If you’ve had trouble with server issues, especially in connection with Dropbox, you might try this workaround.