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Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.
  
 
Nathan Padgett
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


It's nearly wedding season again and I'm in need of more hard drive space. I use a iMac 5k with a 500GB SSD (which is full at moment), 32gb ram, and it does have Thunderbolt 2.

As of now my plan has been simple. I use two external USB 3.0 5TB hard drives (Seagate backup+) per year. One for backup and one for working with photos. Once the year is over, I set those hard drives aside and get 2 more. Rinse and repeat. It's simple, cheap, and effective.

I like the thought of a Drobo or DAS and an all in one type of device. Kinda sick of all my hard drives and USB port. But would it speed anything up work wise? I also don't like the thought of the Drobo proprietary software crashing and leaving me stuck without my data. Perhaps a NAS for storing with a seperate HD for editing would be the way to go? Point me to the light good sirs! What do you guys do? What's the pros and cons?






Apr 01, 2017 at 05:40 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I wouldnt switch up a good system. I dont use a drobo or any of that other stuff.
I have a Gtech drive housing and have a main and backup drive. Once those are filled I just buy another set and switch them out.
The drives are labelled and can easily be swapped if I need to go to older stuff. Works well and no risk of auto backup failures.
USB 3 is fast but TB might be a little bit faster IMO.



Apr 01, 2017 at 05:48 PM
johnrg
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I have a Synology DiskStation and really like it. I have four 3TB drives in it and run its native RAID system. NAS is great if you need to access stuff from multiple computers/devices, plus it has apps that allow you to stream music and video as well as other cool features. I edit on a local hard drive then move stuff to the DiskStation, and have a USB drive for off site backup of critical files. Completed photos are up on Zenfolio as yet another layer of backup.


Apr 01, 2017 at 07:19 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


Drobo is a no. Too many failures. Your current system is perfect because of simplicity. I built a hackintosh this year and now run everything internally which is faster for me as I would go through 6-8 tbs a season x 2 for back up. I am no longer going to keep redundant back ups locally for delivered weddings and will wipe my internals every year once back ups are stored. I put my sidecar jpegs on a drive dedicated to backblaze so I have offline back up before I go to sleep.


Apr 01, 2017 at 10:50 PM
evertdoorn
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


LaCie 5Big in raid 5 for me. Works great.


Apr 03, 2017 at 11:06 AM
LivLif
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


Pegasus R4 in Raid 5 for me. I have two. One for event stuff the other for weddings.


Apr 03, 2017 at 02:51 PM
Chris Cooke
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I have 2 OWC Thunderbolt Elite Pro Dual boxes attached to my imac. Each box hold 2 drives. The first box is just my itunes and time machine backups. The second is my "Working" drive. This has all my RAW and Final files on it and its in a RAID configuration for redundancy. Then I have an OLD Drobo 4 bay that I use for my long term storage. I dont like to have my internal hard drive full of stuff cause it bogs it down and makes it run very slow. Plus if I have any drive failure or need to upgrade drives its a lot easier to do that to externals than internal.


Apr 03, 2017 at 03:50 PM
JanWill
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I got the Drobo 5d for a few years. It served me very well. Had never a problem with it. It is just so much easier than having several external hdd. You can work from it. It is faster than just a single external drive unless it is a ssd.



Apr 04, 2017 at 06:50 AM
ZachOly
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


On site backup is great and all, but won't account for squat in the event of a fire, flood, theft, power surge, ransonware, etc.

IMO, the cloud is a way better spot to store wedding photos




Apr 04, 2017 at 01:04 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


For those who use RAID 5, do some research and decide whether you want to stay with it. I had a system based on RAID 5. I was relatively safe from disk failure, but the RAID 5 controller died. Recovery was tedious and time consuming.

Nathan, your system sounds pretty good. I would suggest using a NAS plus external USB drives for offsite storage. You can determine how often you would want to bring in the drive from offsite and back up.

BTW, the motion picture industry has determined it is more expensive to archive the original camera capture for digital movies than for film stock.



Apr 04, 2017 at 01:24 PM
 

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flash
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


ZachOly wrote:
On site backup is great and all, but won't account for squat in the event of a fire, flood, theft, power surge, ransonware, etc.

IMO, the cloud is a way better spot to store wedding photos



Around here it would only take 12 years to recover the 10GB of images I store. Just as easy to have an off site backup which I rotate weekly. I use my Pegasus M4 for local storage with failure protection and a pair of 8 TB HDDs that I rotate for backup. The 8TB drives are only connected each day for doing the backup. My LR catalogue is stored on a separate 1TB portable SSD and backups go to the rotated drives. As far as fire/theft(ransomware?? How does that happen unless you do something stupid?) my machines main drive is only for OS/programs. I can rebuild it in a few hours. All working files are stored elsewhere.

Recently my Mac Pro went down and was away for three weeks. It took me all of 10 minutes to have my laptop hooked up and running without losing a single image/LR catalogue etc... And that's with my laptop being Windows and my desktop being Mac.

Gordon



Apr 04, 2017 at 08:14 PM
t4haughton
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


It depends on how you want to work, but here's what I recommend:
- You need the fastest possible drive as a working drive (usually the internal flash storage). That's where everything lives as you're editing it.
- You also need some kind of rotational off-site backup (I use a pair of 4TB portable 2.5" externals. One goes to my wife's office after each shoot, she brings the other home).
- For your entire archive, you need something with massive storage, drive redundancy, but not necessarily speed. I now use a Synology NAS (used to be a Drobo. More on that below).
- I also suggest some kind of cloud backup service if you have fast, unlimited internet. The beauty of the Synology (and the main reason I bought it) is the CloudSync App which actually syncs THE ENTIRE contents of the NAS to Amazon Cloud Drive. I currently have 17TB sync'd to Amazon Cloud Drive and it costs just $59/year.
- I also use a Mac Pro server that I copy archived weddings whenever I get home to my parents.



Apr 05, 2017 at 06:22 AM
t4haughton
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I've owned every Drobo model going back to the original 4-bay through the current 5D thunderbolt version. The good thing about Drobo was how dead simple it was to setup. Feed drives in the toaster slots and you've got easily expandable storage. The first several were incredibly slow, but the newest Thunderbolt is decently speedy (400mb/s ish). My issue with Drobo ended up being their tech support.

I had a 5D enclosure fail (the drives were fine). I had my data safely backed up in the cloud and to a Mac Pro server at my parents house, so I was never at any risk of data loss, but I did have to wait several weeks to get a replacement unit. Because I was in peak book-making mode (with holiday deadlines approaching) I actually purchased another Drobo 5D from B&H to "rent" while Drobo support processed my RMA. I was able to literally remove the drives from the dead Drobo and put them in the new unit and everything worked fine. This was WITH the DroboCare plan that was almost $200/year. Once the replacement unit arrived I ordered a Synology NAS and sent back the Drobo to B&H. I put the RMA unit on eBay and have started migrating my friends to Synology NAS.



Apr 05, 2017 at 06:24 AM
t4haughton
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


I can access my entire photo archive from anywhere over the internet. It automatically downloads my TV shows via my custom RSS feed. It runs my Plex server. I have two other 4TB externals hooked up that I backup to via TimeMachine. Because it's a server it can run in the background and I don't need my MacBook on, or even in the house, for it to be syncing or running in the background.

Just today, I finished a shoot and immediately uploaded the selects (11GB) to they Synology over the internet. (I was at University so speed wasn't an issue. Within minutes I had a copy safely on my Synology and a few minutes later the Synology had sync'd to Amazon Cloud Drive. Had five copies of the files by the time I got home (Cards x 2, Laptop, Synology and ACD. Now, if only I could get Fiber in Chicago...



Apr 05, 2017 at 06:33 AM
InSanE
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


simple multiple hdds with docking station are the best fail safe solution
easy to replace
forget raid
and who the f needs to access old weddings remotely?
all this fancy tech is just aching for problems and overkill for image backup




Apr 05, 2017 at 09:35 AM
ZachOly
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


InSanE wrote:
simple multiple hdds with docking station are the best fail safe solution
easy to replace
forget raid
and who the f needs to access old weddings remotely?
all this fancy tech is just aching for problems and overkill for image backup



That's great until you have a folder corrupt

Or have one HD fail and hope that the backup drive doesn't fail while copying over data



Apr 05, 2017 at 12:19 PM
Jeff Simpson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


Prefer CCC over RAID any day


Apr 05, 2017 at 12:51 PM
InSanE
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


ZachOly wrote:
That's great until you have a folder corrupt

Or have one HD fail and hope that the backup drive doesn't fail while copying over data


Or have an impact event



Apr 05, 2017 at 01:57 PM
ai3x
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


Everyone is unique. My personal system:

Library exists on a portable SSD (easy to switch between laptop and desktop). Backed up to both the main machine and laptop

Images downloaded to Drobo
Drobo backed up to the cloud (currently have 17TB up there!)
2 portable hard drives for backup per year
1 portable is always at home in fire safe, 1 off site.
Rotate portable drives every Tuesday

I also shoot RAW to one card, JPG to the other. JPG cards hang around as a last resort for about 3 or 4 months before being wiped.



Apr 10, 2017 at 01:19 AM
ai3x
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Questions about External Hard Drives, DAS, Drobos, NAS, ect.


Should add, I really like having a decade of images at my finger tips on the drobo. I have to go and root back surprisingly often and it's useful not to have to dig out all the old drives.


Apr 10, 2017 at 01:20 AM
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