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Our organisation has three sites; a head office, where the master copies of company files are stored, plus two branch offices using only workstations and a NAS or two. Currently we're talking about <10GB.

At the main office, we have no admin access to the file server, as this is entirely controlled by the larger institution where we are located. For the same reason, we have no VPN remote access to this network. Instead, we simply have access to a network share using over a Novell LAN.

Question: how can we share files between offices in way that minimises latency, i.e. that gives us a mirror of the main network share at each site? (There is little likelihood of concurrent editing, and we can live with the odd file conflict now and again).

Up to now branch office staff have had to use GotoMyPC-type solutions to remotely access files held at the main office. Or email.

I was hoping to use Google Drive on a dedicated workstation at each office to sync the contents of the network share (head office) or NAS (branch offices) via the cloud, but at my last attempt (29 Jun '12), the Google Drive installer would not allow me to designate the remote network share as the "target" folder.

(I chose Google Drive over Drobbox et al. as we already use GMail for corporate mail)

The next idea was to use a designated workstation at head office to mirror the network share to a local drive, then use Google Drive to push that to the cloud. This seems a step too far. Nor do I have any good ideas about how to achieve this network/local mirroring, as we can't, for example, install the rsync daemon on the server.

I do not want to use Google Drive locally on each workstation as this will inconvenience users, and more importantly, move files off the backed-up, well-maintained (UPS, RAID etc) network share at head office.

Our budget is only in the £100's.

Should we perhaps just ditch the head office server and use something like JungleDisk? At least this presents the user with what appears to be a mapped drive.

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Your main office is managed by another entity that won't work with you to create a VPN connection among sites? And/or mirror data to remote servers? For your own business? Just making sure I understand that... –  Bart Silverstrim Jul 2 '12 at 16:07
    
So I've been told. We're a small commercial spin-off embedded in a larger, government-funded research institute. But your incredulity does remind me that we could try pushing back at them a little harder. Thanks! –  perlyking Jul 3 '12 at 12:08

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