Backup : Day One

If I lost my digital photo library, there is no question - I would die "the end" A lot of the time when I start Lightroom, I will just skip over the "backup now" mainly because I am either not at my desk with my laptop and therefore not connected to my main backup drives, or I am flat out of space (which is currently the case!)

More after the break...

To give you an idea what I'm talking about when I say photo library, let's look at my typical habits for shooting. I'm a pro music photographer, in that I (sometimes) get paid for taking photos of bands, live or otherwise. So, a typical night shooting for me is "three songs, no flash"- U2, 461 images, 9.83 gb of images in that three minute shoot... So - yes, a lot of file per shoot...

I am currently set up as follows.. G-Tech (500gb g-raid mini) to G-Tech (G-Drive2 1.5tb) to G-Tech (G-Safe 1tb) ...err, let me draw you a diagram... So, yes, all these attached drives are full, and, more worringly, they're all (aside of the G-Safe) making some VERY weird noises - I have a theory on hard drives.. They're either Dying or Dead - only two states. The 1.5tb is about to die and the mini is from time to time giving me "the click of death"

diagSo, what do I do? My backup drive (Which is actually on loan from G-Tech and a review model) is the only drive working AND I need to give it back... I have 3tb of data, plus the contents of my MacBook Pro (Another 320gb of which there is only 50gb available) that has to go some place.

No, I've painted you a picture - I have a hose, constantly running and I have a tank that is SO full it's splashing over the top.. Now, let me add an extra element for you - "M" - That's right, my better half... She's a PC user and me, I'm mostly on the Mac these days... So - the storage has to be shared between PC and Mac, has to be solidly backed up daily and has to be large.

Disks, they're cheap! 1.5tb for about £65 if you shop around - but then you either need a caddy or a computer to host them. But then, you have disks, they fill up and you're back in the same spot... So, you need disks that can be added to a volume? - See, it can get complicated VERY fast.

Someone mentioned yesterday - get a tape drive, well, I'm OK with that, but it's space - literally, where I live, here in London, a one bed flat has about enough space to .. well... do nothing in! I have my printer balanced on top of our bookcase, let alone another backup drive.

So - I buy a caddy and disks and they need A: backing up and B: storing somewhere safe - your flat, heaven forbid, burns down and you're left with nothing (Unless you're using an ioSafe, right Rhonda?) you could even get a caddy like THIS one and you'd have (If you bought 4 disks) 4tb of space on hand... BUT, you have to BACK THAT UP!

So - what have we learned today? Disks die, expensive disks STILL die, the more disks you have, the more backups you need to run. Tomorrow we decide on a solution and build on that solution to suit our needs.