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Archive 2012 · Offsite backup
  
 
Norman my love
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Offsite backup


Does anyone use offsite backup of their files? My external drives and computer drives are full and I am thinking about offsite backup for multiple external drives. How do those services work? Does it just monitor your computer and automatically figure out your new work, or do you manually copy a folder from each external drive after you connect it? I don't want to connect a drive, which shows up as F drive on my computer and have it back that up and then when I connect a different drive, have it also show up as F and have the backup change the info it first backed up, because both show up as F. I suppose I could get a hub, and hope I will have an F, G & H. Maybe I'm not understanding how it works.


Apr 12, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Offsite backup


Off site backup can be as simple as leaving a backup drive at a relative's place. It need not be a commercial service. If the drive is big enough then you may get away with copying whole smaller drives to individual folders on a new drive, but there is a risk of exceeding the allowable number of folders or the allowable length of drive/folder/file path names. I don't know if modern Windows systems have such limits but they were a problem for me years ago.

Believe it or not I once ran out of unique drive letters on a Windows system at work. All the different network drives, internal drives and external drives. Mind you, individual drives were then much smaller in capacity than modern drives (think MB instead of GB, and nobody had heard of TB). You can assign fixed drive letters to each physical drive but eventually there will come a time when you have to re-use a letter. Or more likely you will have a new computer before then or you'll combine smaller drives onto larger drives and you'll start to lose track of the original drive letters. This is even more likely if you follow the good practice of having backups of backups.

Backups are of little use if they contain corrupted files, so you need a way of establishing that file copies have worked correctly and that at some later date they are still correct. And you need a system that lets you make frequent backups but allows you time to find out about corruptions, user mistakes, etc., before the last healthy copy has been overwritten.

A healthy and useful backup strategy takes a lot of effort and discipline to keep it healthy and useful. Offsite backups are just a small part of that strategy.

- Alan



Apr 12, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Monito
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Offsite backup


Once a month I swap the bare backup drive for its twin in the safe deposit box at the bank.



Apr 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Norman my love
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Offsite backup


Thanks guys for your input. I definitely agree about the backup strategy taking a lot of effort and discipline. I think I might want to go with the service for $5 per month and if I can I would like to be able to just copy folders to it, but I'm not sure how it works and if once I do that would those folder names need to remain the same or would I risk overwriting if accidently I had two folders with the same name?

I'm really unclear about the corrupt file detection, etc. The reason I think copying by Folder is best is when my file system gets larger, then I would separate out by State. I had thought I would never want to use the cloud, but if I backup a twin external and put one away, all the changes would have to be copied every couple weeks or so and in the meantime, the new stuff would not be backed up. This is what I have run into now. The 1 TB has the 1 TB computer E drive backed up to it, which is full now and then I started using the computer C Drive, and now since I never put the backup away, but left it there, I think I saved some stuff to it also and everything is just screwed up. And there are duplicates saved on it.



Apr 12, 2012 at 02:59 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Offsite backup


I use two identical 500 GB external drives for backup. One is connected to my computer and I run a backup program every day that copies any changed files to the backup.

The other backup drive is at my friend's house, and once a week we swap drives.

It has worked well for more than two years so far.

<Chas>



Apr 12, 2012 at 03:38 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Offsite backup



cwebster wrote:
I use two identical 500 GB external drives for backup. One is connected to my computer and I run a backup program every day that copies any changed files to the backup.

The other backup drive is at my friend's house, and once a week we swap drives.

It has worked well for more than two years so far.

<Chas>


You only need 500GBs for your backup?!

brad



Apr 12, 2012 at 03:51 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Offsite backup


I use Carbonite and I'm happy with it. It automatically backs up stuff on your computer in the background and doesn't seem to slow anything down for me. You can access your files from your computer, a smartphone, etc.. You can download them all at once or you can select individual files. I feel like it's a good investment.

brad



Apr 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM
nguyencs
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Offsite backup


I'd go with Carbonite too. I currently use Crashplan which I love but they want professional photographers to use their business service which is 3x more than home. Carbonite let's small businesses use the home edition.


Apr 14, 2012 at 05:59 AM
mhayes5254
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Offsite backup


I used to use Mozy and it works well. These services work by pointing to the hard drive you want to backup and automatically copying new files as they are created. The nice thing is that backups are automatically done in the background without you having to do anything. I dropped it because they raised the prices from $5/month to about $180/month for the 400 GB I have.

How much data do you have to backup? Carbonite is not very practical if you have a lot of data. To do the initial backup of 400 GB with Mozy takes about 2 months (24h/day, 7 days/week). The inexpensive providers limit the upload speed. After that, keeping up is usually not a problem. Some of the services have the option of mailing them the initial backup on an external drive to get started. I am not sure which ones have that option. Carbonite will not backup external drives unless you get a more expensive plan.

When Mozy raised their prices I switched to keeping an external drive in a bank safe deposit box. I have two 2-TB drives. One is in the computer and I automatically backup to it with Apple Time machine software. Every 1-3 months, I take out the drive and swap it with the one in the bank.

I am a little confused about your statement about your drives being full. What does that have to do with your backups? What are your external drives used for?




Apr 14, 2012 at 11:52 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Offsite backup


It's that initial 2 months of 24/7 activity to get the first backup done that bothers me. One, I'm not sure I want a program running in the b/g that long, slowing down other things, like LR and PS. And, I consider that period of time as being unprotected.

A local hard drive crash during that period would leave you unable to recover all your files. Copying to a local, external hard drive is much faster, and more immediate, leaving no long unprotected time period.

<Chas>



Apr 15, 2012 at 04:41 PM
 

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Monito
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Offsite backup


Cloud storage is a ridiculous waste of money and time for volume data like a library of photographs.

Cloud storage is good for companies that want to share bits of current data, like projects and living documents, with employees in the field and the office.

To backup a library of photographs use removable bare drives or external drives. Three copies, one off-site.



Apr 15, 2012 at 07:07 PM
miccullen
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Offsite backup


Crashplan is excellent, when used in conjunction with an offsite HDD.


Apr 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Offsite backup


Monito wrote:
Cloud storage is a ridiculous waste of money and time for volume data like a library of photographs.


Why? I pay a minimal fee per year to have my photos and everything else all backed up nice and safe. It doesn't interfere with the operation of my computer, it allows me to access any of my files from any computer anywhere if I ever need to and it protects my files if, say, my house burns down or someone broke in and stole my computer and my backup hard drive. Sounds like a good deal to me.

brad



Apr 16, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Offsite backup


DigMeTX wrote:
Why?



What is THEIR backup plan?

I think Monito's point is that we as photographers use up quite a bit of data. I know that I would use up more hard drive space online than what the hard drives cost - not to mention additional drives or tapes and staff for their backup/DR plan.

So lets say I'm paying $10/month, but using 1TB/year. That's effectively a great deal for me - not having to spend the money on additional drives.

But what happens when my data gets damaged/corrupted/lost on their server. They have to replace the drives, restore the backup, etc... That's going to cost them even MORE money to keep my service that isn't even paying for itself to begin with.

So, as a business, do you continue to provide service at a LOSS? As Monito said, they are in business for the masses who pay the monthly fee that store bits of data, not globs of it.

Take this example to an extreme - and they have a fire in their data center. ALL drives are lost. Need a new building, new servers, etc... Do you think they are going to invest in all that, or just close up shop?

IMO, use clouds while you can, as a convenience, while the bubble of them is still growing/evolving. But this business niche, like all other .com booms will burst, leaving a select few, charging appropriately to survive the challenges of growth, reliability and failover. But don't discount your OWN backup plan for when you get the email of them no longer providing service.



Apr 16, 2012 at 02:33 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Offsite backup


Don't use cloud backup because the company you're using MIGHT go out of business? Odd. If that happens then I'll form another backup plan.

What are they chances that Carbonite is going to have a data failure at the same time that my computer and my backup hard drive are going to have a data failures? Sure, it's possible but you could come up with all kinds of dreamy scenarios for ANY backup plan.

As it is paying $45 a year for unlimited offsite backup is an easy yes.

brad



Apr 16, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Monito
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Offsite backup


DigMeTX wrote:
As it is paying $45 a year for unlimited offsite backup is an easy yes.


Have you tried to get back a whole Terabyte of Raw photos? How long do you think that would take? Who would throttle your connection to a crawl? Your ISP or the backup service or both? That's what is meant by a waste of time.

Yes, there are people who have a high volume line at the office that is never throttled. Yes, sometimes the offsite backups do work. Yes, some companies offer to sell you your data on a hard drive, FedExed to you, if you need it in a hurry, at cost plus plus.

Who owns the company that owns the backup company? Who provides their security? Kinda nice to have whole libraries of photographs and data ripe for the plucking and reselling. Silent penetration and stealthy vacuuming by the second party or third parties unknown.

When they say "unlimited offsite backup", read the fine print and you will find that they have some gotchas to limit it.

Do you believe web hosting services that say unlimited bandwidth? Perhaps you do.



Apr 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Offsite backup


Carbonite, Mozy and similar low priced cloud backup companies are just useless for photographers with a lot of photos. The backup is so slow that even if you have the fastest internet connection that it takes forever to do the initial backup. It would take me years just to do the first backup and leaving the PC on 24 hours a day.


Apr 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Ambika
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Offsite backup


you should consider looking at services offered by Vembu Technologies, Get to this link (http://vembu.com/) Online Backup | Remote Backup | Offsite Backup | Cloud Content Management and explore the various offerings. StoreGrid", a backup software which can perform offsite backups added with plenty of useful features. You can check if one of its various editions (including an edition for webhosting providers) meets your requirement. You would definitely be highly satisfied just the way we are.


Apr 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Will Patterson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Offsite backup


I would do online backup in a heart beat if stupid Time Warner didn't cap my upload speed at a ridiculous 1.5 mb/s.

I'm now maxing out my 1 TB raid array so I will be buying a 1TB drive that I will be storing somewhere off site, either at my girlfriend's house or my parents.



Apr 19, 2012 at 01:30 PM





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