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EcoRick
6th of August 2007 (Mon), 18:10
I've recently purchased a 5D and started shooting in raw. Boy does it use a ton of storage! I currently have an IBM laptop with about 80GB of storage which is getting chewed up quickly. I've asked my IT person what is the safest and most effective way to store pictures on a seperate hard drive, as I use my computer for my business as well. He suggested looking into an external hard drive which offers redundancy within it so that if one drive goes down, the other has the data. He was going to do additional research, however he suggested Buffalo hard drives as a starting point. As my hard drive almost went down last year, I'm very sensitive to this. Any experience anyone has with this problem and how they solved it would be appreciated.

primoz
7th of August 2007 (Tue), 02:34
Backup disks are only way to go. CDs or DVDs are not all that safe as people imagine, especially after few years, so external hard disks are best option. Buffalo or something else doesn't really matter, since disks inside of box can be produced only by few hard drives manufacturer. If you want to be really safe, go with one of boxes which have 2 (or more) disks in it in mirror mode. And for that, Buffalo is one of cheapest options available.

vetkrazy
7th of August 2007 (Tue), 14:55
Hard drives are ridiculously low right now. Having had a hard drive melt down in the past has made me paranoid. I use two Seagate 500mm externals for mirrored backup besides an internal backup. I then burn to dvd just in case. I don't know anything about the Buffalos but get some backup in place.

cfcRebel
7th of August 2007 (Tue), 17:05
Here's a discussion on backups that contain some useful information.
Backup Solution (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=348641)

Dave Ringkor
8th of August 2007 (Wed), 00:53
EcoRick, your IT guy can build you a cheap backup server out of any old PC, a free OS such as Linux, which includes the RAID software to provide redundancy, and whatever hard disks you may have. This server can be put on the network and accessed from Windows PCs or Macs just like any other file server. Stick a DVD burner or tape drive in it and write a few scripts and you can have automated off-site archival storage too. Hey, I wonder if I should start a side business building and administering these servers & services for professional photographers who don't have IT guys...

EcoRick
8th of August 2007 (Wed), 07:29
Dave, If you can do whatever you said and it works, you certainly have a potential side business. I'm going to forward this to my IT guy and let him explain it to me.

Thanks for all the replies so far. I had no idea how quickly I'd chew up disk space with the 5D and Raw.

primoz
8th of August 2007 (Wed), 08:46
I agree Dave. It can be done, but unless you have a bit more then average knowledge (unfortunately nowadays it seems "normal" computer knowledge is limited to turning it on and off, at least for people who I normally meet :confused: ), it's too much trouble to go through. Especially since nowadays dedicated NAS systems aren't all that expensive anymore, as they were few years ago.

FrankRizzo
8th of August 2007 (Wed), 09:23
Dave, your suggestion would be great if you're technical enough to setup and maintain such a server. Even if you paid someone to do it for you, you'd still be left with a home-brew server and be dependent on someone indefinitely to maintain and repair it. If you're going to get your hands dirty with a white box, why not go all out and get an actual server with a server OS such as Small small business server. Then you'd have a single source for support and an all-encompassing warranty. Then lets look at redundant power supplies, dual processors, more memory, a nice big UPS system, maybe you'd get better performance with RAID10!

Yes I'm taking this all too far, but my point is that what is easy for you would not be easy for most people. For most, a dedicated "appliance" with a warranty and a simple configuration interface is best. It might not be the cheapest, and you might not get as much street cred, but the whole idea is to keep it simple and reliable. I for one don't want to learn how to manage linux in order to know that my images are safe and that other users on my home network cannot delete them.

tommykjensen
8th of August 2007 (Wed), 09:29
I agree Dave. It can be done, but unless you have a bit more then average knowledge (unfortunately nowadays it seems "normal" computer knowledge is limited to turning it on and off, at least for people who I normally meet :confused: ), it's too much trouble to go through. Especially since nowadays dedicated NAS systems aren't all that expensive anymore, as they were few years ago.

I agree. I do consider myself being pretty knowledgeable when it comes to pc's and I could easily build my own server with lots of storage on (at least if using windows I would probably have problems doing in with a *nix os).

But I have decided I want to go with ready made solutions. Right now I am using a Buffalo Link Station for backup and will later this year add a RAID5/6 unit for backup. But I will still make regular backups to DVD's and test them. You have a point that DVD's/CD's don't last for ever but I think if you regularly make new ones and remember to test them they are a fine backup combined with a RAID solution.

I would never use a RAID solution as the only backup.