Photography Article Background

A Complete Backup solution

Ok, you are out shooting everyday (well hopefully you are) and you get back home and download your photos.  You have them sorted and keyworded so you can easily find any photo at a moments notice.  But do you have them backed up?  I mean seriously backed up?

Let me share an experience with you.  We always assume we are doing a backup so that if our main hard drive fails we can always retrieve our data from our backup.  But can we?  A few years ago, when I was using an Apple iMac and a Lacie 1TB external backup device,  I would plug in my Lacie device on a regular basis to ensure that I had a backup of my iMac.

What happened next surprised me.  I grabbed my Lacie device to do a backup of my iMac only to find that my Lacie device had failed.  I tried numerous things including plugging it into other devices and run a diagnostic on it with no luck.  I was without a backup.  ARGHHH!

Needless to say, this situation made me very nervous.  The only copy of my images existed on only 1 drive, my iMac.

TODAY, however is a different story.  My photos exist on 5 different drives at any one time.  Let me lay out my computer setup.

MacPro – 2 x 2.66 Quad core processors, 4 x 1TB Hard drives.

  • Drive 1 – Operating systems and applications.
  • Drive 2/3 – Striped drives and contain only data.
  • Drive 4 – Bootable drive containing operating system and only critical applications; photo’s and Lightroom database.

So right out of the gate I have all my photos located in two locations, 1 on my primary data drives (2/3) and one on my bootable backup drive (4).

Now we’ll add a further backup solution.  I use a Drobo drive (www.drobo.com) with 4 x 1TB drives installed.  The Drobo allows for a hot swappable configuration and self maintenance.  The drobo device not only allows for a backup solution but also monitors the hard drives installed for healthy operation.  Should a drive show signs of failing the Drobo will tell you to replace the drive.

I have two complete sets of hard drives for my Drobo.  One set configured as “Drobo 1” and a second set as “Drobo 2”.  On a regular basis I will shut down my Drobo and remove all the drives and safely store them offsite in a Pelican case.  I then insert the second set of drives and I’m off to the races again.  The Drobo remains onsite but my drives are off site.

Add to this I do have a Lacie 2TB external hard drive unit for an additional backup solution that is more portable.

So I have my images in 5 locations:

  • MacPro – Striped hard drives (2/3)
  • MacPro – Backup drive (4)
  • External – “Drobo 1” set
  • External – “Drobo 2” set
  • External – Lacie external backup.

Where are you images stored?

Rule of Thirds Photography Article End

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