Photo Storage and Backup

Started Aug 1, 2012 | Discussions
James Pezzella
James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Photo Storage and Backup

I'm looking for ideas for storage and backup for both my photos, documents, and music.

Originally I had my photos, documents and itunes library on one desktop - which was backed up by carbonite.

When services such as Box.net became available - I moved many of my documents there, allowing me to share them across personal and work computers, and mobile devices.

My big problem has been my photos and music. In total there's just under 150gb of content. I moved them out to a NetGear ReadyNAS which provided RAID protected centralized access - BUT I haven't found a good backup solution.

Carbonite works fine for a local backup of my computers - but it won't backup any NAS drives.

I signed up to use iDrive for my NAS - but I've run out of space on the 150gb plan. so before I extend the iDrive plan - I would like to locate 1 solution which backs up everything in one place...

I could move the photos and music back to my main desktop - and carbonite would take care of backing up all the photos and music - but then I would lose centralized access for my other computers and mobile devices.

Any suggestions ?
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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,257
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Hi James. Even just from a simple security point of view - let alone time for uploading - nothing beats a USB hard drive - plenty around of 1 TB and 2 TB sizes for a small outlay. Far superior as then you have total control and can choose a backup programme to suit that will - essential in my opinion - permit single file retrieval. In addition, the USB drive can be removed to a safe offsite storage place (wall safe?) if away and another advantage could be using two drives to change daily, so as to have, in effect, a secondary "almost the same" backup as extra security for your files.

Online facilities are not really totally secure and can produce situations where the facility disappears overnight - or the server crashes and all is lost. It really has happened that way for quite a few people over the past couple of years. Uploading (time already mentioned) is also potentially fraught with errors. A USB HDD option can include checking/verification.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,244
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Everyone has their own backup procedure--I'm beginning to think there is no "best," but just procedures that work for individuals.

Personally, I use an external HD + DVD/Blu-ray + key individual files/images stored in the "cloud." I do not rely on cloud storage because, like a cloud, it tends to float away or disappear. In recent years we've seen servers getting hacked, failing, or the business being sold or going out of business.

My hard drives, though, are still working after 10-13 years! I leave them turned off when not in use. The optical backup disks are for "just in case" and I store them in standard file folders with my paperwork from assignments.

Other folks like RAID systems, but honestly 1. I do not understand the different RAID systems and 2. I've read posts of disasters to their RAID, too.

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James Pezzella
OP James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Thank you for your reply.

If I were to put in a USB drive - it would be used as a backup device, meaning that I'd still have to maintain the originals on my desktop.

The problem with that is that I lose the ability to share across my laptop(s), and mobile devices. Also, as long as I'm using a well known service such as Carbonite I'm willing to take the chance on online backup.

Zone8 wrote:

Hi James. Even just from a simple security point of view - let alone time for uploading - nothing beats a USB hard drive - plenty around of 1 TB and 2 TB sizes for a small outlay. Far superior as then you have total control and can choose a backup programme to suit that will - essential in my opinion - permit single file retrieval. In addition, the USB drive can be removed to a safe offsite storage place (wall safe?) if away and another advantage could be using two drives to change daily, so as to have, in effect, a secondary "almost the same" backup as extra security for your files.

Online facilities are not really totally secure and can produce situations where the facility disappears overnight - or the server crashes and all is lost. It really has happened that way for quite a few people over the past couple of years. Uploading (time already mentioned) is also potentially fraught with errors. A USB HDD option can include checking/verification.

-- hide signature --

Zone8: Although I am a handsome geniearse, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!

LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277

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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,257
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

hotdog321 wrote:

Other folks like RAID systems, but honestly 1. I do not understand the different RAID systems and 2. I've read posts of disasters to their RAID, too.

I can second that! Colleague bought new ton-up computer with RAID setup - failed somewhat dramatically after only 6 months.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome geniearse, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!

LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277

AikenMooney Senior Member • Posts: 1,630
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Yes, ask 10 people and get 10 or more answers. I have about 60,000 images on two 2tb h/d's in Raid 1 and do understand the risk. I have two ext USB 3 h/d's and backup every week or after an important trip or shoot. One ext remains in fireproof safe. When I was using USB 2 this was a long overnight process.

This system is about 3 weeks old and has 3 USB3 ports. I had it built locally and the store mgr really does not like to install drives larger than 1tb as they seem to have a much higher failure rate. I had almost 800gb on my 1 tb drives so there was little choice. I explained my backup procedure and he installed two 2tb WD drives.

I don't want to use the cloud as I might need the backups on a clear day. I also unerstand from what I have read and heard it is a very slow process.

It comes down to your comfort lever. Only thing important is to use a backup system and use it.

Good luck with your decision.

kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,197
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

James Pezzella wrote:

If I were to put in a USB drive - it would be used as a backup device, meaning that I'd still have to maintain the originals on my desktop.

The problem with that is that I lose the ability to share across my laptop(s), and mobile devices. Also, as long as I'm using a well known service such as Carbonite I'm willing to take the chance on online backup.

You always will need to have a local copy, even if your intent with the online service is more about shared cloud access than backup. Even with the major vendors, there is the possibility for data loss - I don't believe their SLAs guarantee against loss, just that you'll get a refund on service lost. An extended outage is an inconvenience as well.

I don't share the concerns about security, however. The better vendors are much more reliable than your USB drive at home that you occasionally drop off somewhere else.

James Pezzella
OP James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

kelpdiver wrote:

James Pezzella wrote:

If I were to put in a USB drive - it would be used as a backup device, meaning that I'd still have to maintain the originals on my desktop.

Thanks for the reply ! I'm not really looking for cloud access - I'm just looking for central, network accessible, storage across my laptops and mobile devices from my internal network. I would like to use the cloud (Carbonite, iDrive, etc...) for backup - the problem is the limitations to backing up network drives.

I could solve my proiblem by moving my photos and music back to my main desktop and just using Carbonites unlimited backup - but then I lose the access to all my portable devices...

The problem with that is that I lose the ability to share across my laptop(s), and mobile devices. Also, as long as I'm using a well known service such as Carbonite I'm willing to take the chance on online backup.

You always will need to have a local copy, even if your intent with the online service is more about shared cloud access than backup. Even with the major vendors, there is the possibility for data loss - I don't believe their SLAs guarantee against loss, just that you'll get a refund on service lost. An extended outage is an inconvenience as well.

I don't share the concerns about security, however. The better vendors are much more reliable than your USB drive at home that you occasionally drop off somewhere else.

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James Pezzella
OP James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

My NAS supports RAID - but I always felt that as long as I had a reliable backup (online) - that I would be adequately protected - I don't need the 24x7 support that RAID would provide.

I have two requirements

  • centralized access across my home network

  • easy RELIABLE, SECURE, inexpensive backup

I've got the first one nailed - every device in my home can access my NAS. I use carbonite to back up my desktop PC and it backed up my photos and music when i stored them locally. I lost that capability as soon as I moved them to a NAS. I found another service - iDrive - that backs up network file shares - but it's another expense, and I've just exhausted the available capacity (150gb).

I need to find another backup solution soon...

hotdog321 wrote:

Everyone has their own backup procedure--I'm beginning to think there is no "best," but just procedures that work for individuals.

Personally, I use an external HD + DVD/Blu-ray + key individual files/images stored in the "cloud." I do not rely on cloud storage because, like a cloud, it tends to float away or disappear. In recent years we've seen servers getting hacked, failing, or the business being sold or going out of business.

My hard drives, though, are still working after 10-13 years! I leave them turned off when not in use. The optical backup disks are for "just in case" and I store them in standard file folders with my paperwork from assignments.

Other folks like RAID systems, but honestly 1. I do not understand the different RAID systems and 2. I've read posts of disasters to their RAID, too.

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James Pezzella
OP James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Thanks for your reply... I just need a backup solution that is easy, reliable, and affordable. I had that with Carbonite when I kept all my files locally on my main desktop - and lost that capability when I moved my images and music to a NAS (Carbonite doesn't support network backups).

I may just have to move them back to my desktop and really look to see if my other devices (Win7 laptop, MacBook Pro, various tablets and smarthones) really need access...

Something's going to have to give and I suspect it's the ability to share across the network. If I move everything back Carbonite will back it all up ...

AikenMooney wrote:

Yes, ask 10 people and get 10 or more answers. I have about 60,000 images on two 2tb h/d's in Raid 1 and do understand the risk. I have two ext USB 3 h/d's and backup every week or after an important trip or shoot. One ext remains in fireproof safe. When I was using USB 2 this was a long overnight process.

This system is about 3 weeks old and has 3 USB3 ports. I had it built locally and the store mgr really does not like to install drives larger than 1tb as they seem to have a much higher failure rate. I had almost 800gb on my 1 tb drives so there was little choice. I explained my backup procedure and he installed two 2tb WD drives.

I don't want to use the cloud as I might need the backups on a clear day. I also unerstand from what I have read and heard it is a very slow process.

It comes down to your comfort lever. Only thing important is to use a backup system and use it.

Good luck with your decision.

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kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,197
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

James Pezzella wrote:

Thanks for your reply... I just need a backup solution that is easy, reliable, and affordable. I had that with Carbonite when I kept all my files locally on my main desktop - and lost that capability when I moved my images and music to a NAS (Carbonite doesn't support network backups).

Well, if that's all the only problem, slap in a big drive in your primary desktop and install an rsync routine that updates the entire contents of the NAS every day and Carbonite will happily back it up.

Or look to a less stupid arrangement than "unlimited sized backup, but with artificial constraints" like S3 or others. But then you will pay by the gigabyte (as they should be charging) and it probably won't be as cheap.

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,422
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

James Pezzella wrote:

My big problem has been my photos and music. In total there's just under 150gb of content. I moved them out to a NetGear ReadyNAS which provided RAID protected centralized access - BUT I haven't found a good backup solution.

Carbonite works fine for a local backup of my computers - but it won't backup any NAS drives.

Install the apt-get and EnableRootSSH extensions to the readynas. Then install the devio debian package using apt-get. Use the devio utility to export your disks to your machine running Carbonite. On that machine, use Imdisk to mount the exported disk. Imdisk works a bit differently than a network share, so it should be invisible to the Carbonite service. Carbonite should see the drive as a local machine drive. See if you can now add the files on the newly mounted disk to your Carbonite backup schedule.

http://www.readynas.com/?cat=36

http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/devio

http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

Thank you
Russell

James Pezzella
OP James Pezzella Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Photo Storage and Backup

Thank you very much - I'm going to try this!

Russell Evans wrote:

James Pezzella wrote:

My big problem has been my photos and music. In total there's just under 150gb of content. I moved them out to a NetGear ReadyNAS which provided RAID protected centralized access - BUT I haven't found a good backup solution.

Carbonite works fine for a local backup of my computers - but it won't backup any NAS drives.

Install the apt-get and EnableRootSSH extensions to the readynas. Then install the devio debian package using apt-get. Use the devio utility to export your disks to your machine running Carbonite. On that machine, use Imdisk to mount the exported disk. Imdisk works a bit differently than a network share, so it should be invisible to the Carbonite service. Carbonite should see the drive as a local machine drive. See if you can now add the files on the newly mounted disk to your Carbonite backup schedule.

http://www.readynas.com/?cat=36

http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/devio

http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

Thank you
Russell

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