What's the best photo storage solution?

Started Dec 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
OP motion Contributing Member • Posts: 789

I still haven't decided on which storage solution to go for but I have given the subject some more thought.

The idea of removable drive bays sounds appealing. How about a 4-bay rack system with JBOD (I assume this means that I really have 4 separate drives that just happen to share the same enclosure, power supply and Firewire interface) where 2 of the drives are for data storage and the other 2 for backing up those first drives? I would regularly back up everything to those drives.

Once in a while I would remove the two backup drives and put in a second set of backup drives. In case of theft, fire, flood or whatever I would at least have a backup of most of my files, even if the most recent ones would be lost. I would store those two extra backup drives at a friend's house or something.

I hear a lot of people talking about RAID systems, which would of course fully automate backing it all up, but wouldn't that make it more difficult to make that extra backup set for my friend's house? I would probably have to buy two separate rack units then -one for my working system, the other for backups.

In any case I'd go for the biggest possible drives available, but I'm sure that after a while even that would fill up. But if I organize my drives by date (e.g. one drive contains everything done in 2008/2009) I probably wouldn't need to have access to it every day. It would contain old jobs with customers' photos etc. At the same time I would need access to some data all the time (e.g. a Photoshop composite library I'm building which contains structure, background etc.), so that would have to be on one of the "original data" hard drives.

NAS systems have been mentioned in the thread, but I have no need for networking my data (I'm the only person working on my photos), and I believe Firewire 800 will be faster than sending across a network.

Just thinking out loud here -having understood my needs and ideas, is my approach a good one, or are there better ways?

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