Storage Solution for Large Photo Collection

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Carey Brown
Carey Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,942
700,000 = 20TB

BillyBobSenna wrote:

Carey Brown wrote:

BillyBobSenna wrote:

Does anyone have a good storage recommendation for a large photo collection?

I have a higher end PC with a Lightroom catalog of about 700,000 photos spread across 5 internal hard drives. In addition, I have a Drobo 5C that serves as my backup for the 5 internal drives. I have no offsite backup.

I was thinking of moving my Lightroom catalog from the 5 internal drives to an external system and continuing to use the Drobo as a backup. I was hoping to have an external array device that appeared as 1 volume and was easier to expand as my collection grows.

Any recommendations?

700,000 photos is a heck of a lot of photos? Are you a professional?

Depends on your definition. I am paid for some events and at other times I shoot for clients in exchange for media access to events. Photography is not how I support myself.

You might want to do some ruthless culling to get that to a more manageable size.

Tell me about it. I do cull however I agree with your comment. Not enough time in the day.

How many giga-bytes of storage does it take up?

Approaching 20 TB

Ok, I'm impressed. (I'll never whine about my increasing storage requirements again.) So, if you don't have time to cull them when you import them then when do you have time to keyword, search, view, or edit them?

Do you keep both a raw and jpg or tiff version? Any duplication? Do all files need to be backed up with the same priority?

For me, I always want my entire collections of original photos and video on a single drive. Western Digital has drives all the way up to 10TB. I can't imagine your collection taking that much.

Larger internal drives may be the answer. WD actually has drives that are 12TB+.

A NAS can be 'a' backup but shouldn't be treated as 'the' backup (this assumes that all of your originals are on an internal drive). A power surge or fire could take out the entire unit. Additionally, if you have an 'oops' and accidentally delete a file, that deletion will probably be duplicated leaving you with no recoverable copy. It doesn't address the need for an off-site backup.

As a wild-ass suggestion:

You could buy two NAS boxes with a lot of storage and find a (very) good friend or relative to house the other one. I think some of the brands support cross backups using the internet, presuming that both you and they have high speed internet and can tolerate hours of updates in the wee hours of the morning. In return, they could backup to their box and let it be copied to yours. Might require a commercial grade internet connection. On the other hand, how the hell would you tell that it''s working correctly?

At this point any solution will involve $e+4. What is it worth to you?

Sounds like 2x 12TB disks would be a way to start the process. Internal drives are relatively quick to access compared to NAS or other options.

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