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adamhanlon

Backup strategies

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Hi all,

 

In the light of a bunch of recent posts on other forums/blogs about Drobos becoming unreliable, and when they do, the proprietary Droboshare files being useless unless you buy another Drobo, I'm thinking of another backup strategy.

 

I currently back everything up via Crashplan onto a Drobo. I will keep this for non critical information backups via Time Machine. I plan to get a new RAID drive to back up critical information, probably using Cronosync to mirror my main working internal RAID drive.

 

I am also interested in online back ups, as they are off-site and hence are not affected by fire/flood etc.

 

I came across Mosiac which seems like a pretty good solution. Access from Finder/Lightroom, automatic backups, non-proprietary format etc.

 

Has anyone used them? They do seem quite expensive, I would be paying $430/year to back up my files. Does anyone else use any other solutions, and if so, which? My photo library is about 1.5TB.

 

Many thanks

 

Adam

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My photo library is about 1.5TB.

 

Many thanks

 

Adam

 

That's a massive library. I would be heading that way too if I didn't go through my collections a few years ago and delete all the images that were not 5 stars. ( others will disagree )This removed plenty of space on various hard drives which they were stored on. I now back up using external hard drives, and also use Dropbox which I think is £100 per year. It's also a great tool for file sharing. An example of deleting as you go, I just returned from a really good trip from Egypt and out of 500 images taken, I saved only the 30 best images.

 

Stew

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I too have a heap of junk but it amazes me that so many art directors want junk. As I always think, if you wanna buy shit, I've got tonnes of it!

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In the light of a bunch of recent posts on other forums/blogs about Drobos becoming unreliable, and when they do, the proprietary Droboshare files being useless unless you buy another Drobo, I'm thinking of another backup strategy.

 

 

I have a couple of Drobos, more so as a general holder and something that I can use older hard drives with. Never got great performance/speeds. But just one aspect of back-ups I do. I also have things like the the Mercury Elite Pro Qx2. Supports different RAID configurations. Pretty decent speeds, even on RAID 5. Not necessarily the quietest unit, but not bad. Has a FW port so you can move it further away, especially if just for back-up. After the initial back-up, incremental back-ups aren't bad. Wiebetech also has some nice units. The newer 2 Bay RTXs are REAL quiet. They have various configurations/connections and different RAID Levels. The rebuilds times are pretty good.

 

I usually use Carbon Copy Cloner to do back ups once a day for my drives, schedule for late at night. The first time will take longer, incremental quick.

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Has anyone used them? They do seem quite expensive, I would be paying $430/year to back up my files. Does anyone else use any other solutions, and if so, which? My photo library is about 1.5TB.

 

I came up with what I believe is an extremely reliable yet simple back-up plan. My Mac Pro (which currently holds about 3.2 TB including photos, music, and other stuff) has data stored on 1 system drive plus 2 RAIDed drives. Throughout the day Time Machine backs up everything to RAID drives on a LaCie 4big Quadra. This way everything, including Lightroom, Photoshop, all their catalogs and libraries, etc., as well as the system software to run it all is backed up in one easy-to-use, easy-to-recover, place.

 

My husband, who is a software engineer with experience in large-scale data storage, is in the process of developing an off-site storage system for us. The idea is our on-site backups would periodically push to an off-site location for redundancy in case of a fire or disaster here at the house. For his system he is renting rack space at a colo, but this part could easily be done by an existing online provider.

 

Some thoughts/concerns we had include:

The initial backup of multiple GBs to an online/off-site service would take *days* over the Internet. We are going to "seed" our off-site backup by doing the first one here at home before the machine moves to the colo. Subsequent incremental backups shouldn't be a problem, but make sure your DSL connection is robust enough to handle it.

 

Security when using cloud storage is an issue because you never know who might have access at the hosting company, or who may gain access via hacking. My husband, who is a security nut, is dealing with this by handling/building everything himself, but of course that isn't a viable solution for most people. Personally I am a lot more worried about sensitive information being stolen rather than photographs, but make sure to consider that element of risk when using cloud storage.

 

We currently have two of the aforementioned LaCie disk arrays here in the house, and they've been up and running for several years now, no problem. A few months ago one of the disks in my machine died and I used Time Machine to restore everything from the LaCie, and it worked flawlessly. Props to Apple for this software!

 

I hope this is of some help to you.

 

-Gina

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I backup all RAW files to a hot swappable local hard drive. Then, I upload full-sized JPEGs to Flickr. The great thing about Flickr is that for $25/yr you get unlimited photo storage. The downside is that Flickr can't store raw files. But I figure that's an okay trade off for backup in the event my house burns down. I've probably got at least 1TB of storage at flickr.

Several people have mentioned using RAID for backup. RAID isn't a backup system. It provides physical storage resiliency and/or IO performance, but it won't prevent data loss or corruption. I learned that the hard way as several years of photos were gradually corrupted by a RAID system.

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Security when using cloud storage is an issue because you never know who might have access at the hosting company, or who may gain access via hacking. My husband, who is a security nut, is dealing with this by handling/building everything himself, but of course that isn't a viable solution for most people. Personally I am a lot more worried about sensitive information being stolen rather than photographs, but make sure to consider that element of risk when using cloud storage.

Security at "cloud" companies is better than most businesses and residences. They are much bigger targets so they need to invest more in security infrastructure. Staff at cloud companies are generally screened before employment. That being said, any confidential data should be encrypted before stored in the cloud. The same thing goes for confidential data in your basement.

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Several people have mentioned using RAID for backup. RAID isn't a backup system. It provides physical storage resiliency and/or IO performance, but it won't prevent data loss or corruption. I learned that the hard way as several years of photos were gradually corrupted by a RAID system.

 

True, RAID is not a backup system, but it gives a measure of safety via redundancy. Without RAID if your drive goes bad then you've lost it for good (not counting backups). With RAID there is a very good chance that you can lose a drive and still retain all of your data.

 

Storing data and backups on RAIDed drives combines a couple layers of redundancy, which is all the better when looking to preserve data.

 

-Gina

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Security at "cloud" companies is better than most businesses and residences. They are much bigger targets so they need to invest more in security infrastructure. Staff at cloud companies are generally screened before employment. That being said, any confidential data should be encrypted before stored in the cloud. The same thing goes for confidential data in your basement.

 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the importance of encryption in there. And although employees at a cloud company may be screened and trustable, hacking may occur at some point between your computer and the cloud; with the prevalence of wireless connections and the degree to which many are not secured that may be the point where someone might try to intercept data as it's moving around.

 

-Gina

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