Little Red Schoolhouse
Jacob Farkas needed a solution Apple couldn’t provide him. The Director of Technology at New York City’s Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School manages hardware and software among 150 faculty and staff members at the school, and Apple had increasingly become less and less capable of keeping the district’s computers up-to-date.
Teachers needed a way to sync folders and lesson plans between work and home computers, and to share data with each other for collaborative projects; Administrators needed a way to share data between departments. And Farkas needed a way to update curriculum across all of the school’s devices, and to back up all of those computers’ data on a central server, accessible from anywhere.
Farkas considered Dropbox, where data is organized by accounts, requiring each others to set up their own account to access their files, amounting to a “per user tax,” as Farkas puts it. Dropbox also requires videos to be fully uploaded before they can be shared with others. Then he found a better solution: Sync, by San Francisco-based Resilio Inc., which charges its fees per user, not per device, and whose peer-to-peer technology skips the cloud and allows massive files to be shared much more quickly. “With Dropbox, you have to wait all day for a 10 gigabyte file,” Farkas says. “This is way faster for larger files. It’s a simple but powerful solution to meet our backup and sharing needs.”
Before any machine is provided to faculty or staff members, Farkas installs Sync on each of them, setting up the folder structure and software to automatically link to files shared between departments and syncing staff members’ data folders to the backup server.
“Teachers can do their work preps at home, put them in the sync folder, get in the classroom, open up the folder and all the files are there,” Farkas says.
Lose a laptop? All Farkas has to do is install Sync on a new device, link it to the server, and nothing is lost.
“Sync is invaluable to us,” Farkas says, “because it just works.”