backup strategies

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
chironNYC
Senior MemberPosts: 1,366
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Re: backup strategies
In reply to Carbonman, Apr 14, 2013

Carbonman wrote:

Backups are a critical part of your plan and many overlook this critical function.  There are several major items that should be looked at in your planning:

1.) Backup software - you need good backup software because if you're going to rely on yourself to remember to the backups, they will soon be out of date.  I like Nova Backup because it's very feature rich, supports external and network drives and is easy to use.

I will take a good look at NovaBackup. It is a bit pricey, but is very well-reviewed and seems to be easy to use, which is important to me.

2.) Main storage - where are you going to store your originals?  What's the capacity and what is your expansion plan.  I prefer internal drives because of speed and you can still access them from other locations if needed, although the external access will certainly be slower.  My computer has 3 - 2TB drives for photo storage and another 2TB drive for the Lightoom catalog and other documents.

My current plan has been to store the originals on a 2TB external usb drive and have them also backed up on another 2TB external usb drive. The Lightroom catalog for the photos would also reside on the external drive. This would let edit them in Lightroom on various computers that I might be using.

I have a feeling that this storage solution would make you cringe. I may reconsider and go to a different arrangement. I am not a professional, so the amount of redundancy that makes sense is less than if my livelihood depended on the files.

3.) Backup media - what are you going to store on?  I like Network Attached Storage (NAS) because it allows me to place the backup drives away from the rest of the house and out of harms way.  I have a series of three NAS drives, each with 2-2TB drives and a quad drive with 4-2TB drives.  Each of the source drives does an incremental backup to one of the NAS drives.  There's also a weekly backup to a separate NAS drive.  That way each source disk is backed up daily to one NAS and weekly to another.  Finally, I keep an off-site backup to external USB drives.  Since two of my three internal drives are basically static (as they get close to capacity, I add an additional drive internally) the off-site backups are current.

If I don't go with the external drive storage option, I would probably create a tower system with three 2TB internal drives: One drive for photo originals; one drive for photo backups; the third drive for everything else I do on the computer, with my documents backed up to Skydrive and iDrive. I might add to this a NAS 3TB drive to back up the photographs on the network in addition to their location on the 2 internal drives. That all should be plenty for me.

4.) Expansion - To add more storage, I just add another internal drive, add another NAS (I use DLink Duos) and buy another external USB drive for the offsite storage.

It may sound like overkill (it costs about $600 to add 2TB of drive space with all the backup equipment) but it keeps things backed up very diligently and I don't sweat equipment failures and that cost is easy to absorb compared to a data loss scenario.

The only downfall I see is that everything on on magnetic media, but with image sizes and the size of modern storage, there's not really a good option these days.

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Carbonman
Flame alert: I wear Ztex underwear so if you flame me, not only don't I care, but you can't toast what matters.

Thanks so much for such a detailed and well-informed answer! It is very helpful.

Peter

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