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#1 ski3pin

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 11:40 PM

As I amass more and more GB's of photo files, I am curious what our photographers are doing for safe storage and recommendations you have.


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#2 MarkBC

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 11:47 PM

Hard drive space has become VERY inexpensive -- easy to find drives as cheap as 4ยข/GB or less.  Like $100 - $120 for 3TB druves -- on sale, at least.  I have several drives in my desktop and a 4TB external drive as back-up.

 

As for "back-up":  It depends on whether you're guarding against hard drive failure or fire-and-flood.  If it's the latter then backups need to be made or moved off-site -- somewhere other than your house.  I don't have any off-site back-up...but I've thought of occasionally putting/keeping a backed-up drive in my car or truck, which would go with me if/when I had to evacuate.

 

Of course, there are lots of "cloud storage" options, but with digital image files getting bigger and bigger it becomes a HUGE amount of data to upload to the cloud. 


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#3 MarkBC

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 11:50 PM

There are drive-docks that permit plugging a bare drive in to be filled with back-up files from your computer and then pulled out and stored somewhere off-site.

Such as one of these:

 

17-801-120-TS?$S300W$


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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:01 PM

As MarkBC mentioned, storage is dirt cheap anymore. I use external drives from Western Digital and Seagate to backup my files. I do store the backups off site. Costco has them on sale three or four times a year for between $70 and $100, depending on manufacturer and size, and which way the wind is blowing.

A bit of an aside... My first programming job was for a small health care company, using mini computers. Our drives were industry leading 474MB Fujitsu Eagles that formatted out to 400 megabytes. If memory serves me correctly, the drive and a controller was just under $20,000. Our system grew to four of them for a whopping 1.2 gigabytes. Each drive was about the size of a big box of oranges. Now a couple of terabytes fits in a shirt pocket.
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#5 MarkBC

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:36 PM

Thinking more about this...and primary storage and back-ups in an age when desktop computers are declining.

 

My desktop computer has enough drive bays and internal SATA connections that I have several internal hard drives.  And with 4 terabyte (TB) and larger drives becoming common and cheap that's room for a lot of storage and back-up for that storage.  Back-up against hard-drive failure -- not fire-and-flood.

 

But a lot of people don't have desktop computers anymore -- just laptops.

 

So with a laptop, the back-up drives will necessarily be external drives -- and the primary storage may need to be external, also.  Lots of options for external drives (I'm a long-time fan of Newegg.com).

And with 2.5-inch drives (the size found in laptops) increasingly available in larger capacity that option is small and portable and stowable.  Maybe a more convenient option for off-site storage, because of the smaller size.

I still prefer 3.5-inch drives -- more bang for the buck, even though you can't stick them in a shirt pocket.


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#6 Alley-Kat

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:36 PM

Hard drives will eventually fail.

Not an opinion, just a fact.

 

Some research into the concept of redundancy may be warranted.

I use a Raid system, "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks".

Some software is required to make it all automatic at the time of initial saving, however, simply manually duplicating one hard drive to another can sort of accomplish the same basic thing.

There's lots to say about RAID, so, I'll let everyone do their own research.

 

 

And, Mark has a good recommendation to also have an off-site back-up.

The cloud could be a good thing for non-personal, non-sensitive, "I don't care if anyone hacks it" storage.


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#7 MarkBC

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 02:43 PM

Hard drives will eventually fail.

Not an opinion, just a fact.

 

Though "eventually" can be a long time in the future.  I've never had a hard drive fail.

But it's true -- any mechanical device (and most other devices) will eventually fail... which is why backing up data -- photos -- on more than one device should be standard.


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#8 craig333

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 04:15 PM

I have seen them fail but it generally takes quite a long time. I really should be backing up my files. Not so much that my stuff is all that important, its just the annoyance factor of bringing a new drive up to speed. Even with a fast connection thats a lot of hours to re-download stuff and get it all patched up. Thanks for the reminder. I had a raid array on my old computer but I've been really slacking on this one. Maybe I'll go see the guys at ATC and stop by Fry's while I'm in the neighborhood.


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#9 Stalking Light

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:37 AM

I use G-RAID drives from G-Technology on my iMac and also have a couple of cheapo Seagate 2TB USB drives configured as a RAID array for my time machine backups on my MBP laptop.
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#10 pvstoy

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 02:24 AM

I have been down many different approaches and as your file size on disk grows it boils down to some factors of approach.

 

  • how important are my files to me?
  • how much tech savvy am I willing to learn?
  • what is the cost I'm willing to invest to protect my images? 

My gal had lost three months of images that was taken climbing peaks in the Sierras because I was to busy (lazy) to set up a second hard drive and click a button.  Hard lesson to learn when it is somebody's else's images!  I vowed to never do that again!!  Plus we had to the following year climb many of the Sierra peaks again.

 

Our files are Important to us.  They show details and memories of past trip and adventures that may never be repeated.  Images captured can be printed, shared, or entered into photo contest. They are a record as to where you been and could aid in behavior detail for Audubon or technical papers.

 

So being IMPORTANT how many copies?  We have three.  One is the working drives, one is the backup that is at the other end of the house and the last in in a safe deposit box. Fire flood, theft, there is always a copy off site.   That one off site is only as good as when you had backed it up last.

 

Tech savvy.  Could be as simple as cloning hard drive or letting some canned software do it for you, to writing batch commands and having the operating software run a timed back up.  Further up the line is having multiple raid boxes attached by LAN through a switch.

 

Like said hard drives will fail from day one to whenever.  Many factors that cause failures from power sags - spikes to hard drives being too full.  Some have one year warranty to some up to 5 years.  Search out good quality drives that have good reviews with venders such as Newegg. 

 

I'm setting up a NAS system using three Synology 1815+ external box. They hold eight drives. Working box I have 7 - 6 TB drives configured in a raid 6 ( two drive protection)  Disk volume size is 27 TB.  We have close to 16 tb worth of images, yikes!  The box is attached to a switch.  All lines are going through the switch (LAN) and not the router to each other.  At the moment a second box has 6 - 4 tb and 2 - 2 tb drives in a SHR raid and 4 tb protection.  It will take three days to make a copy and will be taken off site , can you guess how long that would take going up to a cloud?.  And when that is done a third copy will be generated.  It gets complicated and I still need to learn more about this to make it run faster.  Muscling through with a sledge hammer! 

 

I have a shelf of smaller drives and miscellaneous boxes that I have used and since expanded to larger.

 

A back up is only as good as when you did it and if you have protected it.


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