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Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).
  
 
weezintrumpete
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p.1 #1 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


So I've found myself in a bit of a mess regarding file organization and hard drives.

I have 5 hard drives attached to my 2011 iMac (USB 2.0 + Thunderbolt) at this point. I've purchased them over the years when I've needed more space for photos and such and have ended up here. All of the hard drives have different capacities: 2 2tb, 1 3tb, 1 4tb and my internal. Everything is backed up using Crashplan. Here's how it's setup currently:

Internal: "Working" files (roughly half the year)
4tb Seagate Backup Plus USB 2.0: All photos (going back to 2007)
3tb Seagate Backup Plus USB 2.0: Partial backup of 4tb
2tb Seagate Backup Plus USB 2.0: Partial backup of 4tb
2tb Western Digital something or over USB 2.0: Music and videos

I currently have roughly 3.4tb of photo files at the moment and thats going up.

Its a mess. I can never keep track of where everything is. The 4tb will be full by the middle of next year (or sooner) so I'm going to have to figure something out then as well.

Here's what I'm looking for:
I want ALL of my photos somehow accessible via Lightroom.
I want my current "working" photos on my internal hard drive for speed purposes.
I want everything backed up twice (one of which is my crashplan setup).

What should I do here? I don't want to invest a ton of money here, but am open to options.



Oct 30, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #2 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


Before anything I would get my head clear and very carefully, yet judiciously, delete the rubbish images.

Take a couple of weeks and get busy weeding that garden.

It looks as if you are outgrowing the Seagate Backups so I'd look at 4-bay swappable enclosures and/or RAID 10 options.

Having Crashplan and a 4-drive (4x 2TB) RAID 10 enclosure might be best for you - although RAID 10 is costly.

Good luck.



Oct 31, 2013 at 03:38 AM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #3 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


consider looking at how much live storage you need at all times, that is, how many TB do you need spinning every time your computer is on. the more storage you need live, the more costly the solution.

lets say you want 8TB live with two backups. You will need a RAID array of some sort because there are no 8TB drives, and then you will need another one for the backup solution because again there's no 8TB drives.
The backup would be turned on as needed and a second one would be offsite.

You can guess this is very expensive already, but you're entering small business solutions territory.
Folks run this way with a network storage server for live storage instead of attached to a single PC as it can get expanded easier and there are some other benefits.


You can save on the live storage solution by paring it down and using drives as 'tapes', sorted maybe by year, and plugging in only the year you need. lightroom has a way to access hard drives that are offline as you connect them from what i recall.
the backups can be done cheaply by just having duplicate/triplicate copy of each drive on identical drives.



Problem is mainly in the amount of data you are using and you are outgrowing single HD sizes available today. From what I can gather you can either:

-use less data so you can fit on single HDD sizes
-use a filing system with 2/3/4TB HDDs whichever are economical, as 'tapes' sorted by year and/or data type-music/video/etc
-spend money on a raid solution with backups. backups being the pricey bit. consider tape backups?
-? ? ?




Oct 31, 2013 at 09:20 AM
BluesWest
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p.1 #4 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


Before anything I would get my head clear and very carefully, yet judiciously, delete the rubbish images.
+1. One of the biggest mistakes made by amateur photographers is not being ruthless in culling images. If you set your quality standard high enough, you will free up lots of hard drive space.

John



Oct 31, 2013 at 03:12 PM
cineski
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p.1 #5 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I learned something very important listening to Michael Grecco speak once. He made the whole audience gasp when describing his work flow. At the end, he stated when he's all finished he takes any images not being used and deletes them. I do this myself and I still have storage issues ;-).


Nov 02, 2013 at 03:19 PM
miccullen
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p.1 #6 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


BluesWest wrote:
+1. One of the biggest mistakes made by amateur photographers is not being ruthless in culling images. If you set your quality standard high enough, you will free up lots of hard drive space.


+100



Nov 03, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #7 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


You will probably get others chiming in from the Synergy side. I assume all your drive are starting to age. If a drive goes bad then the contents are toast. I would suggest something like the DROBO. You can throw any size drive at it and it has worked for years for me. Yes I have had a drive fail and all I do is hot swap a good drive. While it is building the file structure I still have access to work with files. For me it has been very reliable. I like DROBO because it is very simple to set up and maintain. None of them are a really cheap solution but if you lost all your files then where would you be. You have put this in the Pro section so you must be thinking on the lies of protection.

You could make a fresh start and offload everything on to the unit including your Music. It will work with Lightroom without a problem. I was impressed with them when on a demo, they started a move from a file on the unit. Someone selected a drive, it could be any drive, and just pulled it out. There was not one glitch from the movie at all. The unit is not cheap but the other option of losing everything makes the cost irrelevant. You can start small with just 2 drives and build from there. Expand all the way to 16TB over time.




Nov 06, 2013 at 09:04 PM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #8 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


Brit-007 wrote:
You will probably get others chiming in from the Synergy side. I assume all your drive are starting to age. If a drive goes bad then the contents are toast. I would suggest something like the DROBO. You can throw any size drive at it and it has worked for years for me. Yes I have had a drive fail and all I do is hot swap a good drive. While it is building the file structure I still have access to work with files. For me it has been very reliable. I like DROBO because it is very simple
...Show more


just a quick question: how do you deal with a backup of a 16TB drobo?




Nov 07, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Brit-007
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p.1 #9 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I have a second unit on the network that I automatically copy all my critical data to. For all my really important images I also have them backed up on line. The important thing to remember with a solution like the DROBO is that it puts the files on all the drives so that any single drive can fail and data is still there. Single drive solutions do not provide any protection.


Nov 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #10 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


understood, just curious how individuals tackle 16TB backups as opposed to large businesses that I deal with.




Nov 07, 2013 at 06:07 PM
 

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Brit-007
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p.1 #11 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I should say that I do not have 16TB of files. I currently have 9TB in drives but only just under 7TB available for storage. You lose space for overhead. When the drives are first set up the system sets up for 16TB which would be the maximum expandable the unit can handle. So it is give a slightly false picture in that respect. With the app that comes with the device, it does keep you in the loop as to how much free space and how much used is available.


Nov 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #12 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


A pro photographer friend of mine has 80TB backed up using Drobo arrays. He said when there is a problem, it takes 70 hrs to reconstruct 20TB.

Mark



Nov 07, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #13 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I was looking through one of the many mags I get and saw something that I'm considering and would jump on if the price was better its a hard drive enclosure that has 8 hot swappable bays. Price was 2kplus iirc


Nov 13, 2013 at 06:27 AM
macentropist
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p.1 #14 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I would highly recommend a Promise Technology Pegasus R6 device with 6 3TB drives, and then configure it for Raid 6. This will net you 12 TB usable space, and two drives can fail, and you are still golden. The read/write speed is very good, and when a drive starts acting up, you get an immediate email. I also keep a spare 3TB drive, so that when one drive fails, i can start the rebuild process in minutes.

The 18TB R6 can be had for less than 2600.00 at B&H Photo.



Nov 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #15 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


what do you guys do when the 18TB RAID catches on fire or gets flooded or stolen?


Nov 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM
TT1000
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p.1 #16 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


"what do you guys do when the 18TB RAID catches on fire or gets flooded or stolen?"

What will you do when you win the Powerball ?



Dec 04, 2013 at 03:41 AM
okephoto
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p.1 #17 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


msalvetti wrote:
A pro photographer friend of mine has 80TB backed up using Drobo arrays. He said when there is a problem, it takes 70 hrs to reconstruct 20TB.

Mark


This is very true. I'm dealing with an issue of 20TB plus backups right now and it will likely keep me busy for a week. I certainly understand the folks that say you should delete images to cut down on the amount of space but when you're shooting thousands of images per week this also is very time consuming, in many cases more so than finding the good images. I also rarely look closely at even 20% of what I shoot, the amazing images standout and the others are available if needed at a later date. My preference is to tag the good images that I require and ignore the others.

With the magazine and publishing work I do, I regularly pull out old images that I haven't even looked at previously and they make my clients very happy.

Yeah, it's a bummer. Presently I have 40TB of hard drives in my office, but... it's cheap these days. Also keeps me out of trouble.





Dec 06, 2013 at 04:05 AM
trevanian
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p.1 #18 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


My data is getting up there in TB but I don't have anywhere near the amount you guys have. I do however worry about a fire destroying my backups, which is why I keep external HDS in my daytime office and another one in my car. I know paranoia but it lets me sleep at night. My worry is I'm maxing out the data size for external HDs.


Jan 20, 2014 at 04:23 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #19 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


trevanian wrote:
My data is getting up there in TB but I don't have anywhere near the amount you guys have. I do however worry about a fire destroying my backups, which is why I keep external HDS in my daytime office and another one in my car. I know paranoia but it lets me sleep at night. My worry is I'm maxing out the data size for external HDs.


You are correct in having several backups, with at least one off site. As for running out of space, hard drives are getting cheaper every day with the sweet spot being 2TB these days. About $150 at Newegg.

<Chas>



Jan 21, 2014 at 02:55 AM
tcphoto
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p.1 #20 · Consolidating my hard drives (5 of them).


I may be a bit simplistic but I pair hard drives so they are redundant and another dedicated to Time Machine. The images are in folders by Client or subject matter and filed chronologically. I also only keep the selects and weed out the other images. Why use the space for unusable files? It's like having a portfolio review and getting busted for using old or subpar images. The same can be said for my film files, only the select transparencies are kept.


Jan 21, 2014 at 05:04 PM
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