backup strategies

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Carbonman Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: backup strategies

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you need good backup software because if you're going to rely on yourself to remember to the backups, they will soon be out of date.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.

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.

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.

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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