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Subversion as a File Server?

From: Bradley Holt <bradley.holt_at_foundline.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 18:50:58 -0400

We are a marketing, design, and development studio. We currently use SVN for
our web development projects. I am considering starting to using SVN for all
of our documents. This would include fairly large files such as Photoshop
and Illustrator files. I know that SVN is efficient at storing binary diffs
so I'm hoping that helps with the amount of storage needed for each
iteration of these files. I heard about SVN being used by the creators of
Elephants Dream<http://orange.blender.org/blog/version-control-in-the-studio>,
does anyone have any other examples of SVN being used for storing large
binary files? Here are the reasons I am considering using SVN for this

   - Ability to have a version history of files that users can access if
   they need to (we'd be using an SVN client, not autoversioning). I know there
   are versioning file systems available but I'm looking for something that is
   not proprietary and something I can feel confident I know how to use.
   - Ability to branch - this is useful for packaging (i.e. consumer
   packaged goods) files where you might have different packaging for different
   regions or different certifiers (e.g. USDA organic certification).
   - Ability to tag exactly what was released to a client or printer.
   - Ability to use svnsync to synchronize files over the internet for an
   offsite backup. The typical problem with synchronizing to an offsite backup
   over the Internet is the risk of synchronizing corrupted data in the case of
   a mistake or compromised file server. With svnsync, the worst that can
   happen is new junk commits but old data can't be overwritten (at least not
   without direct access to the mirrored SVN server).

Has anyone done this or have any advice in setting this up? How much extra
storage should I expect to use as compared to a plain old file server? Are
there any pitfalls I should look out for? Any particular hardware
considerations I should keep in mind? Any advice would be greatly


Bradley Holt
Received on 2008-06-06 00:51:30 CEST

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