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Archive 2013 · Backup strategy ideas?
  
 
veeral
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p.1 #1 · Backup strategy ideas?


hi,

i was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on my backup strategy I am intending to implement. At the moment, I have a very crude backup methodology, essentially my photography work as floated across multiple portable drives of vary sizes. Each of the project's production files get uploaded to my photo-shelter account as means of keeping it offsite and yet accessible by myself and my clients.

Since I work from a notebook, I have finite storage and I am planning to purchase a 3TB external drive that will allow me to place all my projects onto a single drive. Essentially have it plugged into my notebook and add new projects or edit existing projects.

My confusion with external drives has been which one do I get? I have been reading that the enclosures for WD & Seagate external desktop drives have poor ventilation and some folks ended up cooking their drives. Lacie enclosures seem good but do drives get cooked in them as well ? Next is do I get USB3 or Thunderbolt connection port? At the moment my notebook has firewire 800 and USB2 but hopefully in the near future I might move to a new iMac.

Those who work in Lightroom connected to an external drive via USB3 or Thunderbolt, is it quick to work with?

Next part of the backup puzzle, is choosing a NAS type device. I looked at Drobo, QNAP, Synology and a HP Microserver running FreeNAS. Drobo as much as it makes life easy it does have its disadvantages and the initial cost, puts me off.

QNAP and Synology look good, they do offer great 4 and 5 bay options. I may have not done enough homework here but say if there is an internal malfunction which causes the motherboard to fry but the hard drives integrity remain intact, how do I recover my data ? Can I take these drives and put them inside another QNAP or Synology device or am I doomed ? How easy is it for me to plug my external drive to either QNAP or Synology device and sync changes across as well as push new data from external to NAS with the touch of a button.

I haven't quite fully embraced the cloud storage yet because my ADSL connection is quite terrible but hopefully in the future with NBN (aussie thing) it would nice to go from NAS to Amazon cloud seamlessly.

Also is there any option from QNAP/Synology NAS devices that allows you to autonomously backup to another external drive that you can keep offsite?

One of the things I can't seem to wrap my head around is requiring more and more storage space as the years go by. At the moment I can see that 3TB is enough space to see me through Mid 2014 whilst maintaing projects since 2011. Let's say its 2015 and I need to access one of my lightroom catalogs created in 2011, how difficult will it be to access that catalog from NAS device and make the relevant changes via lightroom and not get the lag feel while working via the network. Correct me if I'm wrong but from what I remember, you can't access lightroom catalogs over shared network volumes correct? If this is correct then how do you work around this ?

The HP Microserver option with FreeNAS can give me Drobo like functionality but I feel this may require some tinkering around with bash shell commands. However, microservers are cheap. Again, if the microserver fries it's motherboard, is my data doomed ?

If anyone can offer any suggestions, I'm ready to listen.

Thanks



Mar 02, 2013 at 02:49 AM
dan727
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p.1 #2 · Backup strategy ideas?


I can't comment on the various NAS solutions (although the HP microserver is not bad) but for the most part most have graphic based configuration options. Even FreeNAS has a GUI setup.

Best to check professional sites for reviews on particular models.

I will also not that if a NAS device is hardware based (as most are) the RAID information is stored on the hard drives itself. Although the hardware controls the RAID array, if for some reason a motherboard fried, if it were replaced with the same controller, no data would be lost.

You also touched on backing up to an offsite drive. This is always a good practice in terms of disaster recovery and is very easy with tools like Dropbox or Skydrive or whatever Mac equivalent there is. They are even workable with slow DSL connections. Just know the first initial sync will take a while. Of course you can always copy locally and store a drive offsite for quicker backups.



Mar 03, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Littleguy
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p.1 #3 · Backup strategy ideas?


Lots of questions in your post - some stuff which I am trying to deal with myself.

Here is what I got from my research:

NAS addresses some backup risks - but not all.

1) NAS using mirroring or RAID 5/6 addresses availability risks via redundancy of HDs.
2) It doesn't address risk of data corruption caused by Viruses or user error
3) It doesn't address risk of physical disasters

Risk 2 is addressed via multi-backups at different times but then you will need logging to keep track of when a backup was completed and investigating when the corruption occurred so you can go back to a backup before the corruption. Lots of work to implement properly and most people cannot trace back when a corruption occurred. One of the hardest risk to address.

Risk 3 can be addressed via Cloud solution / if you don't have a lot of data or using external HD or tapes and moving to offsite location if data volumes are large.

As for using NAS as your working volume not recommended if you want to use NAS as your backup media.
Working data should be copied from your backup source to your workstation, do what you need done on the data at the workstation, when work is completed, copy the data back to your NAS as a backup.

Regarding hardware failures (non-HD failures) on the NAS my understanding is that you will need to find the same manufacturer to get the RAID back up using the same HDs. The HD array is not portable across different manufacturers. NAS that have their own MB usually have an external eSATA or USB connector for external drives for one button backups.



Mar 04, 2013 at 04:49 PM
iamcdn
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p.1 #4 · Backup strategy ideas?


Thunderbolt is insanely fast, basically like having an internal HD.

I use Crashplan for backup. My main Photo directory is on a G-RAID Thunderbolt drive connected to my main computer. It is shared so if I am off site, when I return to my office I can combine the Lightroom library from my remote computer right to the main Photo directory and library on the G-RAID.

Crashplan backs up my G-RAID every 3 hours to a NAS (slower one running Windows Server 2011). Also every 24 hour I back up the G-RAID to the Crashplan online backup server. So I have 2 sets of backups (one local, and one on the cloud). Cloud storage costs me about $3/month for unlimited space.

Crashplan also lets you backup to a friends computer or drive remotely. So if you have a friend close by, give them a remote drive to attach to their backup computer, you both run Crashplan, and your computer will backup to their computer.

I agree not to use your NAS as a working volume, frankly most NAS drives are too slow, and the really fast ones are more expensive than a good quality fast external drive system.

I do store movies on my NAS and play them back over my network, but other than that, the NAS is solely for Network backup.




Mar 05, 2013 at 02:55 PM
veeral
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p.1 #5 · Backup strategy ideas?


Thanks for all the responses since I had written the original post I had time to contemplate a good solution. I agree in terms of a NAS device, its going to be slow and buy 4-5 hard drives and a NAS device is going to cost significant $$$.

Since my current image collection is hovering around 2TB, I will invest in three 3TB drives and three separate enclosures. Essentially keep one as my master and the remaining two will be backups. The remaining two drives; keep one in an off-site location and the second one stays with my master.

Buy a copy of Chronosync since I can daisy chain the three drives via FireWire, I can let Chronosync perform the synchronisation changes from the Master to the two backup drives.

Albeit this solution is a bit cumbersome it is a cheaper solution but only for a short term since my collection is under 3TB.

My other thought regarding cloud is say your NAS drive one day explodes in a million pieces of glitter and all you have is your cloud storage, downloading a 1GB catalog is going to be a pain if you need data immediately. Imagine you have 10TB of data, how long would that take to download? Then again backup is better than no backup even over a slow broadband connection to the cloud. :-)

Once again thank you for all your suggestions and input.



Mar 06, 2013 at 11:19 PM
iamcdn
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p.1 #6 · Backup strategy ideas?


cloud backup is really a last defence against total loss. in my case I have a 36Mb connection so downloading 1TB would not be all that bad, maybe a day, two at the most. Most Cloud system lets you selectively backup. With Crashplan, I can actually recove any specific file i need. I have needed files while off site, and just logged in with my ipad, grabbed the files I needed and downloaded them right to my ipad.

Over all having 3 3TB drives should work well, keep one local, one off site, you should be good. good call going with firewire, will make backing soo much faster.




Mar 07, 2013 at 03:06 AM
GoGo
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p.1 #7 · Backup strategy ideas?


Veeral,

In addition to what has been mentioned above. You should also be backing up files to DVD 's of each individual assignment/job!

Use the best DVD media you can buy/find, something like this is great.

Verbatim UltraLife Gold Archival Grade Storage Media.



Mar 07, 2013 at 09:52 PM
 

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veeral
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p.1 #8 · Backup strategy ideas?


GoGo wrote:
In addition to what has been mentioned above. You should also be backing up files to DVD 's of each individual assignment/job!


I definitely can see the value in doing this for smaller assignments but some of my larger ones that go on for three weeks and capture inexcess of 300GB it starts becoming infeasible to burn DVDs.



Mar 07, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Corojo
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p.1 #9 · Backup strategy ideas?


sounds like you have done alot of research - my only coment would be to have your original files dupped to externals (agree, 300 GB way to much to burn to discs) off site. We keep our RAW file backups down the street at a neighbors. Years ago had a RAID set-up on custom, high end computer and the Raid card (top of line) went bad -lost both HDs.


Mar 08, 2013 at 10:06 PM
GoGo
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p.1 #10 · Backup strategy ideas?


veeral wrote:
I definitely can see the value in doing this for smaller assignments but some of my larger ones that go on for three weeks and capture inexcess of 300GB it starts becoming infeasible to burn DVDs.


You should still burn a DVD of your selections, you can't have too many copies!
INXS isn't that a band?



Mar 09, 2013 at 06:38 PM
jcmedeiros
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p.1 #11 · Backup strategy ideas?


I have a QNAP TS-409 Pro NAS that I've used for several years. It is now a dinosaur relative to what is available but is still functional. I only use it to backup my total photo archive as I complete each new shoot. I would also recommend an assignment/job based backup to DVDs or a complete archive backup to an external drive which should be stored offsite.

I am currently investigating cloud based storage strategies since the prices for these seem to have gotten a bit more reasonable lately.

Regards,
Jay Medeiros



Mar 12, 2013 at 07:50 PM
ventieldopje
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p.1 #12 · Backup strategy ideas?


I have a custom built NAS which I built around an ASUS C60M1 board (with onboard dualcore x86_64 64bit CPU), 8GB of ram, 4x 1TB Western Digital Green drives in RAID 5 for data, 1x 250GB drive for OS (Arch Linux 64bit).

The reason I chose for this setup is because it allows me to backup my stuff straight from my NAS to CrashPlan PRO-E (through CeeJay.net for UK storage) as Crashplan has linux based software as well.

Works very well as you can keep track of the backup progress through an web interface for all your devices. Initial backup might take a while it's well worth it!

You get unlimited 448 bit encrypted storage and unlimited retention so if you wish you could keep every version of a file and it's not even that expensive!



Mar 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM
pipspeak
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p.1 #13 · Backup strategy ideas?


I'm a crashplan fan, but the beauty of crashplan is not only the unlimited cloud storage but also the fact that the software can be used to back up to another computer/drive, which could be anywhere in the world. Being able to automate the "offsite' HDD backup is something I've not yet played with but I intend to. Triple redudancy.... mirrored RAID at home, auto nightly backup to offsite HDD (potentially another mirrored RAID NAS unit) and cloud

I stopped burning DVDs years ago... magnetic/cloud storage is so cheap and easy now that DVDs are somewhat pointless in my workflow, but obviously YMMV



Mar 18, 2013 at 02:53 AM





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