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U of I Box, File Server Migration Guide and FAQs
Should I migrate my file server to the cloud? What changes for my users? How long will uploading my data take? What's the best way to upload the files? Can I store lots of data in Box?
Should I migrate my file server to the cloud?
Cloud storage provides a few benefits over traditional file servers:
- Sharing and collaboration features
- Apps for Android and iOS
- No VPN connection necessary
- No infrastructure or licenses to manage
- Manage your content with APIs
Local file storage has these benefits over cloud:
- Higher bandwidth and doesn't go over the Internet
- Complex permissions
What changes for my users?
Most users install a client application that makes your cloud files available in Windows and MacOS.
With Box, that application is called Box Drive. Box Drive creates a folder mapped to your Box account in Windows Explorer and MacOS Finder. From that folder, you open your files in your desktop applications.
Box Drive intelligently caches the files you use most and streams other files from Box on demand. The first time opening a large file, it may take a few seconds to download from the cloud.
Mark folders "Make Available Offline" and you can view and edit offline and upload changes later automatically.
Our Getting Started with Box guide has useful information for new and experienced Box users.
What's the best way to upload the files?
FTP is best for transferring large amounts of data.
FTP has less overhead and can be configured to give detailed output on the progress of your transfer.
Box Web, Drive, and Sync are not recommended for uploading thousands of files or more than 10GB at once.
How long will uploading my data take?
In ideal conditions, we consistently measure over 50MB/sec throughput while uploading to Box, and higher when downloading.
Every file uploaded requires several processes, like allocating space, committing each file chunk, and calculating a hash to verify the transfer completed successfully. The time needed for those overhead processes is much more apparent when sending small files than when sending large files.
In tests, uploading 10 Megabytes in 1600 small files takes much longer than 15 Gigabytes in 8 files on both Box and Windows file share. On both platforms, when dealing with many small files, the number of files to upload is much more a bottleneck than the available bandwidth. When archiving folders with thousands of small files, you can save much overhead by zipping the files before uploading.
Can I store lots of data in the cloud?
We have unlimited online storage available from Box.
Box can be used to store and collaborate on many kinds of data, including, but not limited to:
media libraries, research data, data collected from instruments, application data, machine data, logs, documents, code, student data, and any other business data.
Box should not be used for long term storage of system images or workstation/server backups.
Files in Box are limited to a maximum file size of 15GB each.