Teach your Windows Server some new tricks with Google's Backup & Sync


If you're working to replace your file server with Google Drive, let us help! Google incentivizes us to help organizations of all shapes and sizes so we're often able to assist at not cost to you.

Google's 'consumer' Drive client is no slouch

Google's been on a roll with their cloud-based file server and collaboration services these past 12 months. It's hard to guess how many files clients have migrated to Drive, Team Drives and File Stream over the past 12 months - many terabytes for sure. The sources vary from other cloud-based services like Dropbox, Box, and even personal Google Drive accounts to more traditional file server configurations. Windows Server is the most common migration source by a wide margin. It's not that people hate Windows Server (well, some people do), it's just that Windows Server isn't built for today's actual working environment. The real world and Windows Server are no longer compatible. We work across all kinds of devices, networks, locations, and timezones. My answer to any question regarding a slow VPN connection ... is, "VPNs are slow." VPNs suck. If you're technical, like technical things, and have time to be technical - VPNs are amazing technology. That's not usually the case though. 

While Team Drives and File Stream are getting all the attention, Google's Backup and Sync client has some awesome tricks up its sleeve! 

What's cool about Backup and Sync

  • As a G Suite Administrator you can enable or block Backup and Sync for your domain. A nice hat tip from the Google team regarding the application's utility. 
  • Backup and Sync supports multiple Google Accounts. Want to sync your personal and work account with your PC or Mac ... well, now you can. (Also note that File Stream's Switch Account feature is amazing) 
  • Backup and Sync can be installed on Windows Server while Drive File Stream cannot.  
  • Backup folders created when configuring the Backup and Sync client can be synced to 'My Drive', can be shared, and sync bi-directionally bringing some of Drive's utility directly to your server. 

What's the use case? 

While Backup and Sync doesn't offer the transformative change enabled by replacing the file share with Team Drives and Files, it does offer some excellent benefits. Perhaps you manage multiple office locations with independent on-premises infrastructure. Sure Backup and Sync can backup your servers, but it can also give you access to content anywhere you authenticate to Drive. Changes you make at home will sync back to the server and vice versa. You can extend the sharing to other managers, consultants, etc. 

In effect, Backup and Sync can bridge the gap between your traditional, siloed infrastructures. This could be between facilities or simply checking report numbers at home. 

What's the catch? 

We view this as ideal for relatively limited access when the Windows Server(s) needs to stay in place for whatever reason. Although it could be scaled. You need to understand 'selective sync' or better yet, leverage our AODocs' Universal File Opener (UFO). The UFO allows you to launch local applications like Word and Excel directly from the web. You make your edits, hit save, and the edits automatically sync! This is important because your 'remote' access machine likely has limited hard drive space compared to your server(s) - you won't want to sync all the server content down to your machine. If you don't need to edit content, there's no reason to sync at all. You can just use the web. 

Google's Backup and Sync client can extend your Windows File server(s) and make life a bit more Google-y. Backup and Sync is an amazing service for consumers, but it's a handy utility in the enterprise as well. If you're working to replace your file server with Google Drive, let us help! Google incentivizes us to help organizations of all shapes and sizes so we're often able to assist at not cost to you.