Backup : Day Two

western-digital-hard-drivesLet's start with some ideas and feedback from yesterday, shall we? (Which if you've not read, maybe you should first?) So - The general idea was "You have LOADS of stuff" ..In my case, digital images and you need to store them somewhere! Where? How?

The comments that came back were as follows... (In short)

Carlo is going to have a look at "The Cloud" - The cloud is a big bucket of space in the sky that you pay for and can upload to and download from, different companies, different prices. I am going to try out after they contacted me via twitter and told me about their free trial. I have signed up and am currently sending my D: drive to "outer space" - All 65gb of it, mostly rubbish, just to test.

Andras (Howdy!) was also interested in the "Online" version of things - I have started my LiveDrive trial as above and am also in touch with another company to try their offering.

Jools is hightek! Raids, Servers and lots of backing up between boxes - Not a bad idea, and, if you're tech savvy - great! Also, you'll need a bit of space for servers (just like a pc, but usually a bit gutsier and with larger disk space options.)

Rob is all about the second gen Drobo - A lovely device but potentially very expensive (isn't everything?) and with multiple reports of failure - I will stay clear of that one for now.

Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green

Jason is more in line with what I was thinking, disks - multiple, hard, disks... Fill one, duplicate it, put the backup away / post it to your granny, get another disk. Trudi is almost in the same sort of boat - using her Mac to star, sifting through the crap (of which there ain't much, have you seen this girl's work!) and then dumping off to external disks..

melted-serverSo, What do we make of all this? Well - if you have a lot of money, you can most likely just say, OK - I'll have two Drobos and a DroboShare... Or you might start yourself a small server farm, me, I have not much cash but need a solution. What I have chosen to look at is to get a dedicated LOCAL backup drive for images where everything is stored locally on a QUICK FW800 / USB2 drive - External, 1.5TB and then back that up to "The Cloud" via one of the services I plan on using. But it's going to get tricky... So, that means another diagram!


So then, that's my plan - Some disks (And I'll use the G-Tech as I have them already) and an online account (£99.00 unlimited - IF it works out and is good and functional)

Tonight, I start my trial and organise my disks... Tell me, what do you think is the right way to organise my image above (The amazing diagram!) if that is ALL you have... Three drives (Or, let's call it two x 1.5TB drives and a "Cloud" account?...

Till Tomorrow,


Flickr CC Images used in this post from here and here - Thanks!

Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green

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.