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I'm planning to start working from home for less than a year, only a plan by now; I would like to study (prior taking any decision) what should I need there to work safely.
I know I'll need a UPS system, but I'm more worried about the version control system and the backups. Being at home I won't be able to use the tape system in my company neither I'll be able to use subversion.
What would you recommend me?
My work environment will be Visual Studio 2012... would a NAS be a good solution? in case it would, how would you interface it through a version control system and which one would you use? raid? of course the solution should not be expensive, I'm planning to work at home and send the job to the company each week (when I'll be there physically).
Best answer is to use your company's source control remotely, then you'll get all their backup technology for free. However you suggest that's not possible.
Set up a SVN server locally (either on the dev machine or, better, on another machine on your network). That will cover you for the 99.9% case of either nothing going wrong, or something going wrong with 1 out of 2 hard disks.
To get an off site backup, leaving a copy of your repository with your company once a week (could just be a USB stick with it on left in your desk) should be sufficient. You could arrange an automated backup-swap with a friend though (you back up their files, they yours) through SFTP.
Yes, that remote access would be the best (and in order to do that I would need only to set up a VPN to our server) but our internet connection is so slow that I would probably be faster sending trained pigeons to our company...
I'd use cloudForge.com (nothing in the recommendation for me- I'm just a happy user)
They do free hosting if your a lonely single user.
Assuming your internet is reasonably reliable and not stupidly slow (and you're not making huge file changes every day) it's a winner.
Locally I would just have a backup to some device you can take off site just in case - even if that is just a USB you can leave at a friends house every week, or even leave at the company you're going to each week.
worst case (you lose your home PC completely and couldForge aren't available) you have a week old backup.
If you are looking for cheap, secure off site backups then take several memory sticks and backup the system on Monday with one of them, put this memory stick in a self addressed envelope with the lowest possible postage and drop it in the mail. Tuesday perform the same and Wednesday again the same, keep doing this and by Friday/Saturday Mondays memory stick might be back with you. Depending on the postal services speed and rotation you should be able to achieve several off site backups with a daily retrieve rate with each mornings mail.
Some ISPs offer a cloud backup solution mine offers 50GB in the price which might be worth looking into.
I've been working from home for 20 years now. I use (and pay for) a dedicated server that hosts my SVN, which I use for personal projects and for projects where the client doesn't have an SVN (there's lots of those, because the client often isn't in the business of software development -- that's what they hire me for.)
That said, there's a lot of free version control hosting systems. Git, SVN, etc. I prefer SVN because of its simplicity, but I use Git for public projects and for certain clients that are already using Git. For one client, I've recently started using assembla[^] which offers a lot of other nice features, like task tracking.
Because I use version control for everything, I do work on both my desktop and laptop. Sometimes I like to work on the laptop because it's portable and I can work in whatever room I want.
I've never used a UPS. I am rather aggressive though about unplugging everything when a thunderstorm is coming my way - physically unplugging the power strip from which everything is attached and the ethernet cable attached to the DSL modem. My "UPS" is therefore my laptop if I need to be working.
Whatever you do I would go for a NAS. 2-disk Raid 1 boxes are now quite reasonably priced and the better ones have their own built-in "Time Machine". Stick to know makes such as Netgear, QNAP, Synology etc. and avoid cheap Chinese stuff like IcyBox etc.
I have just bought yet another Netgear ReadyNas RN31200 for 99€ (Amazon special offer) and plugged a couple of 4TB disks into it (far more expenssive than the box). It runs an open source Linux and as a result there is a plethora of free plug-ins including several SVN server solutions. Netgear also supply a (free) cloud-like service so you can access the data on your NAS when elsewhere.
I would get a UPS even if you are not in a stormy area, you never know when the electricity could fail or brown-out. For example, when our deep freeze gave up the ghost it tripped the main breaker. I have had reasonable service from APC and Belkin but by far the best has been Eaton (ex Merlin Gerin) - note that the batteries NEVER last the 5 years that they claim. Most domestic UPS use a pair of standard 12V 7Ah batteries that cost about 15€ each, usually quite easy to change.
The VPN solution proposed by others can be very useful for accessing something that you have forgotten, but unless both you and your employer have a decent upload speed (e.g. better that the standard 800 kb/s) it soon becomes a frustrating experience.
As far as actually working is concerned I have found it useful to have a distinct reserved space for my work computer (laptop) and physical files, your home computer can be a considerable source of distraction.
I'd strongly recommend that you invest in a pair of hardware VPN boxes - one for work, one at home - and use the company resources just like you would in the office. It's a little slower because of the crypto stuff, but it's secure. You'll also have to be very diligent about keeping anti-malware updated and running on the home machine in order to protect company assets. Go ahead and spend some money if you have to! You won't be needing to waste it on clothes or bathing or any of that personal hygiene stuff you need in the office, so you can afford to do it right.
I sometime do some work from home. Here are my personal preferences.
1. Either VPN to your companies Source Control system, or set up a free Bit-Bucket account online, and sync your files with your companies source when you can. Fortunately we use bit-bucket already, but I also have a personal account for private code.
2. Next you need to make sure you have a stable internet connection.
3. Peace and quiet. You need to make sure you have a environment that is not distracting. Spouse watching TV, Children making noise, Neighbors doing construction. All these can interrupt your productivity. Dogs Barking.
4. You need self dedication and control. Its easy to get distracted at home. So make sure you set yourself strict work schedules.
I hope this helps.
 Oh as as others have said, if you are on a laptop, and backup your source regularly (as you should!!!!) then a UPS isn't really necessary [/edit]
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 24-Jul-17 21:00