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03/25/2012 09:41:20 PM · #1
I've decided to finally make the switch to continuously using hard drives for storage and backup of my photo files. In the past, after some time, I would take all of my photos and store them on DVD-Rs to free up space on my hard drive. Unfortunately this leaves them in a state where I can no longer catalog them efficiently in Lightroom. So I'm ready to start using multiple external hard drives for storage and backup duplicate copies. Now the question I have for people that are already doing this is, do you buy one size, say 2TB, fill it up, and then start using another 2TB drive, or do you wait until you fill it up, and by then they may have a 5TB drive, so you transfer everything over to that and then continue with the remaining 3TB? I would just like to start getting a little more updated and make it so my Lightroom catalog is always usable.

Thanks,

Scott
03/25/2012 10:03:43 PM · #2
My MO has been to update my external drive(s) as required to meet the need. My strategy is to keep the main data drive as an internal drive, and my primary backup as an external. I'm currently using a 1.5TB USB 3.0 external which is plenty fast, especially since backups are unattended. This works for me, but I don't have multiple terabytes of data as some might.
03/25/2012 10:16:26 PM · #3
i use my my main drive as storage and run a mirror backup nightly. i haven't run out or space yet and i don't know what i will do then.
03/25/2012 10:22:25 PM · #4
Originally posted by mike_311:

...i haven't run out or space yet and i don't know what i will do then.


Buy bigger, faster drives of course!
Seriously, I find that if I buy about three to four times the capacity I need today, then by the time I get close to filling the drive, it's old enough that I should consider it to be near end of life anyway. And also by that time my needs for read/write performance have probably changed. So I buy something bigger and faster. And so the cycle repeats.
03/26/2012 05:33:51 AM · #5
Need to store data will surely increase in future.The HDD which came with your PC is not enough to store data, USB drive is a better option with large data storage.The only thing to notice is that there are lots of options available in the market so choose only branded and faster one.
03/26/2012 07:36:46 AM · #6
I've been faced with the same thing and my strategy has evolved recently.

For a long while, I was taking mostly JPEG (3.7 MB) and shooting RAW (7.4 MB) occasionally. Recently, partly when I realized that JPEG files will still fill up the drive, and partly because I was shooting things where RAW was a benefit, I switch to solely shooting RAW. On a 20D, I use up space twice as fast.

Previous Strategy
Store all photos on mirrored internal drive, read only tag.
Backup #1 - 4G DVDs
Backup #2 - External hard drive
Backup #3 - Included within full system backup (Paragon) to external drive

New Strategy
Store all photos on an external hard drive, read only tag.
Backup #1 - Copy of images on a second external hard drive
Backup #2 - 4G DVDs

All backups verified against original with Beyond Compare. Images are not erased from cards until a DVD backup has been performed.
03/26/2012 09:18:13 PM · #7
I currently have three external drives and two internal drives that are backups. Two externals are full, one external is still empty, one internal is full, and one internal is the current backup. All of this is backed up off site via Backblaze. When I run out of USB ports. I simply pull that external hard drive and put it on a shelf with the others. I currently have about 3TB stored in full hard drives, and the rest is still accessible on my computer.

I have a backup script that takes stuff I download onto my main drive and it backs it up to the "current backup drive" each night at 12:37 it runs. Backblaze continually finds new stuff on any drive attached to the computer and backs it up online.

Matt
03/26/2012 11:24:24 PM · #8
I keep all my images on an external hard drive and back them up to a second external hard drive. I like to keep my internal drive as empty as possible. If my external drives get full I'll buy another pair of drives. Remember, no matter where your images are, if you imported them using LR the LR catalog will contain all your images. So, when I fill up my first set of drives (primary and backup) I can unplug them and store them away and just add two more drives. LR will still have the images from the old, disconnected drives in it's catalog, I just won't be able to work on them until I reconnect the old drives. I don't expect to work on two and three year old images very much. If I like them that much I can export the finished product to my internal drive or a DVD. This is my story.
03/26/2012 11:34:13 PM · #9
Originally posted by stevenov:

I keep all my images on an external hard drive and back them up to a second external hard drive. I like to keep my internal drive as empty as possible. If my external drives get full I'll buy another pair of drives. Remember, no matter where your images are, if you imported them using LR the LR catalog will contain all your images. So, when I fill up my first set of drives (primary and backup) I can unplug them and store them away and just add two more drives. LR will still have the images from the old, disconnected drives in it's catalog, I just won't be able to work on them until I reconnect the old drives. I don't expect to work on two and three year old images very much. If I like them that much I can export the finished product to my internal drive or a DVD. This is my story.


The dual Externals is what I did for a long time, until one day I realized, that if I had a fire, or if I had any other type of damage to the house I would still loose all of my images. That is why I now backup online as well. I think it's $50 a year for unlimited backup. So I have one copy here, and one copy online that is off site.
03/26/2012 11:54:26 PM · #10
Originally posted by MattO:

The dual Externals is what I did for a long time, until one day I realized, that if I had a fire, or if I had any other type of damage to the house I would still loose all of my images. That is why I now backup online as well. I think it's $50 a year for unlimited backup. So I have one copy here, and one copy online that is off site.

While you can retrieve important files from an online service, can you imagine trying to recover an entire failed hard drive over the internet? What happens if they go out of business?

Why not just keep your second hard drive at work, or a friend/relative's?

If you know how to set up an FTP server, Timbuktu, or other file-transfer software, you can have a second (cheap) computer at a friend/relative/work with a hard drive, and back up to your own private "online backup" service. If your main drive fails, you can just pick up the other one instead of having to download a couple of terabytes ...

Message edited by author 2012-03-26 23:55:17.
03/27/2012 12:01:03 AM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by MattO:

The dual Externals is what I did for a long time, until one day I realized, that if I had a fire, or if I had any other type of damage to the house I would still loose all of my images. That is why I now backup online as well. I think it's $50 a year for unlimited backup. So I have one copy here, and one copy online that is off site.

While you can retrieve important files from an online service, can you imagine trying to recover an entire failed hard drive over the internet? What happens if they go out of business?

Why not just keep your second hard drive at work, or a friend/relative's?

If you know how to set up an FTP server, Timbuktu, or other file-transfer software, you can have a second (cheap) computer at a friend/relative/work with a hard drive, and back up to your own private "online backup" service. If your main drive fails, you can just pick up the other one instead of having to download a couple of terabytes ...


If I have a failure of my system and need to recover my files, they send me a USB external hard drive large enough to handle my current file load. If they go out of business it's like anything else, they go out of business. Just like if my "friend or families" house has a fire or robbery and my backup is taken.

Matt
03/27/2012 01:25:57 AM · #12
How do you do that at a friends/family house? Don't you need to run a server for that? Most ISPs balk at home servers.

Originally posted by GeneralE:



Why not just keep your second hard drive at work, or a friend/relative's?

If you know how to set up an FTP server, Timbuktu, or other file-transfer software, you can have a second (cheap) computer at a friend/relative/work with a hard drive, and back up to your own private "online backup" service. If your main drive fails, you can just pick up the other one instead of having to download a couple of terabytes ...
03/27/2012 08:38:29 AM · #13
Originally posted by PGerst:

How do you do that at a friends/family house? Don't you need to run a server for that? Most ISPs balk at home servers.

It's easier if the remote computer has been assigned a static IP address, but not impossible if you can make a quick phone call and find out the CURRENT IP address. It's not that hard to set up a FTP server, and Timbuktu is (was?) available for both Macs and Windows, and allows you to control another computer remotely, as well as transfer files.
03/27/2012 09:33:09 AM · #14
Originally posted by PGerst:

Most ISPs balk at home servers.


That certainly used to be true, but they are typically more relaxed than they used to be, as long as you are not running a commercial web server. Almost all of them allow you to run services that allow remote access, and IP addresses are often "quasi-static," changing only occasionally.
The more mundane way is the old sneakernet. Get two externals, keep one off-site and once a month swap them. There is slightly more risk this way, since you could conceivably lose a month's data, but that risk is quite small.
03/27/2012 10:42:31 AM · #15
Hmm...that's good to know. I figured softwares such as LogMeIn and Skype would be allowed, but I didn't think one could run an Apache server.

Originally posted by kirbic:


That certainly used to be true, but they are typically more relaxed than they used to be, as long as you are not running a commercial web server. Almost all of them allow you to run services that allow remote access, and IP addresses are often "quasi-static," .
03/27/2012 12:34:32 PM · #16
My current setup for photography.

1x 1TB External Hard Drive
1x 320GB External Hard Drive
1x Desktop
1x Laptop
1x Webserver
Will be purchasing an additional 1tb or 2tb external HD to be kept offsite.

Whenever I sit down to start looking at photos off the card/s, I first copy the entire contents to my Laptop which is using dropbox so I then have dual copy on both my laptop and desktop.

I then copy the entire contents again to my 1TB Hard Drive which serves as my main Backup. My main 1tb will be backed up weekly once I get another drive.

I then go through all my pictures, deleting, categorizing etc until the card is empty.

Once the card is empty and all the pictures are sorted into their appropriate folders. I then backup my entire collection to my 1TBHD and the 320GBHD.

I occasionally upload certain folders to my web server for additonal backups as needed.

This is all just for photography. You should see what else I've got up in my attic and at my office data center.
03/27/2012 02:09:20 PM · #17
Originally posted by PGerst:

Hmm...that's good to know. I figured softwares such as LogMeIn and Skype would be allowed, but I didn't think one could run an Apache server.

Originally posted by kirbic:


That certainly used to be true, but they are typically more relaxed than they used to be, as long as you are not running a commercial web server. Almost all of them allow you to run services that allow remote access, and IP addresses are often "quasi-static," .


You wouldn't necessarily need to be running something like Apache to create remote access to a drive, although that's one option.
03/27/2012 03:47:05 PM · #18
I'm completely with 21.gif MattO. Online copy at home and one at Backblaze (started recently, so still busy with the initial backup). I was at Mozy, but they raised the prices with 1600% (for me). Somewhat above my budget. I prefer the ease of use of online backup. I'm just too lazy to switch a disk every day (or month).
03/27/2012 08:35:10 PM · #19
For now I have all my files in external hard drives.

2x 1TB
2x 1.5 TB
2x 360GB

My pc harddrive is just for the programs right know. The 2x is beause each external hard drive is an exact copy of the other. I keep the backup cincronised with SyncBack. it's free and very efficient.

The main problem with this configuration is that is becoming very slow and dificult to run. My discs are about 80% full and my Lightroom catalogue as about 200.000 files, and is very slow. As USB speed is variable and dependent to system resources, when everything is on I have about 2 MB/sec of wrigting speed.

On the plus side is that the backup is an exact copy of the drive I'm working, and by any chance it goes down I just need to go to change the letter of the unit and keep working as usual. And belive me the external hard drives do die on you.

In a few days I'll be buying an internal SSD drive to put the OS and software and use the main drive as the atual drive for files, and use the external just for the backup.
03/27/2012 11:04:44 PM · #20
Right now I have

2x 2TB drives

One is a fast internal drive that I point lightroom at. All my editing is done on this drive.
The other is a slow USB external mirror. It also serves up movies to the TV so my main drive doesn't slow down when the kids watch stuff.

I plan in getting a second external at some point so I can store it at a friends house.
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