Aperture: Archiving, Backup & Management

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LERsince1991, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi, I have been using Aperture for years now and wanted to improve the way I manage, backup and archive my library.

    Intro & Management
    I now have about 250gb of photos.
    Using a macbook pro with 500gb hard drive.
    Plenty of space on external hard drives (6tb+).

    I leave Aperture to organise my library and store my photos ("managed" rather than "referenced" as its neater and then I don't lose files or references).

    Archiving
    I haven't got an organised system for this, normally I go along until my aperture library is too big and then I select the some old projects, export them as a new library, delete the the projects from my original library and move the old library to the external drives. (There are 2 ext. hdd's one is a clone of the other so its backed up anyway).

    Now the problem is that I just have a load of old libraries "Archive 1" etc... with no idea whats in them until I load them up.

    I was wondering how people archive old projects. Separated into a library for each project or a library for each month?!

    Backup
    I just use time machine for this. What is the vault and why would I use that as well as TM? TM backs up hourly to an external 1tb hard drive (dedicated to TM).

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. swordio777, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

    swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #2
    I don't mean to sound flippant, but the simplest answer would be to create a better naming convention for your archived projects/libraries than "archive 1" ;)

    Where do you store your exported projects when you archive them? You could also build a folder structure like you would if you were referencing your files - that way it should be easy to find an old job by going into, say, Sports>Hockey, or Portraits>Female, etc, as appropriate.

    Personally, I create a brand new managed library for every single job I do. While the job is live, I keep that library on my internal drive. As soon as the job is finished I just drag that managed library over to an external drive (both are backed up regularly). I have a folder structure on the external drive which lets me sort them by job type. I don't sort folders by year, because I include the date of the shoot in the library's file name.

    I can understand that this might drive a lot of people nuts, but personally I'd rather have fifty 5GB managed libraries than a single 250GB one. It means I can focus purely on the job in hand and can set up a small number of very simple smart folders that streamline my workflow for that job.

    As for backing up, I don't use vaults. IMHO they just over-complicate things. Instead I use SuperDuper to clone my internal & external drives - you can use the free version to do this, but if you buy the full version it allows incremental backups which can make the process much quicker (you're only updating 5-10GB at a time, rather than rewriting the whole disk).

    One of the great things about Aperture is how flexible it is - my workflow may not work for you, but I'm positive you'll be able to find a solution that exactly meets your needs :)
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    A few ideas..

    1) Do not remove images from the library. You can have them "off-line". That means "referenced" images that are on a disk drive that is not currently connected. This is kind of what yu are doing except this method needs the preview and meta data on the MacBook. You can make the previews small if you like to save space.

    Two rules to follow:
    1) Make sure data is on e minimum of three different physical media at all times, even during a backup (so if the backup d=software over rights old data you need four, not three.
    2) always have the dat in at least two different geographical locations. At least in different buildings so a fire, flood or theft of the equipment will not take out all copies. (theft of equipment is a major cause of lost data) Make sure this is true even while a backup is in progress, so your rotation of off site drives will never have all the data in one place even for a few minutes.

    Also rotate and test the drives. Never copy data to a drive then store it "forever". make sure at least every few months each drive is plugged in and used.

    You bested and newest disk drive should be the Time Machine drive so that it can hold several copies of all your data with versioning. The replace that drives with a bigger and newer drive ever couple years so it is never "old", recycle it as an offsite drive


    Eventually even the index for the Aperture library is to large. Then it's time to think if maybe you rely need all those photos.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4

    This is EXACTLY what a "vault" does. The Vault copies selected projects to a disk drive AND like the paid version of SuperDuper only writes out the differences required to make the disk up to date. But unlike SuperDuper the Vault "remembers" what is on the disk drive. Aperture keeps a log of what is stored on what vault. It works a bit better than Super Duper because of the log. But does about the same thing and it's free if you have aperture. If you use vaults aperture will tell you which disks are out of date wit the current library and be how much. You can see the "delta" without actually having to go and get the disk.

    One more thing. Buy a few water proof fire safes. Keep all out off-line drives in the safe and keep the safe far from the computer. Keep another safe in some other place like your office at work.

    I also use Crashplan but I think I like Backblaze too. CP is more sophisticated but they throttle uploads (they claim otherwise) back blaze is much faster. I found they can handle off site storage cheeper than I can.

    If you are really worried about backup use Amazon's "glacier" storage. It is designed to withstand two simultaneous nuclear explosions with no data loss.
     
  5. Cheese&Apple, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

    Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Sorry Chris, I'm bitting my tongue so hard it's starting to bleed and I have to stop...

    Fire, theft, flood, four different backups, two different locations, fire and water proof safes, simultaneous nuclear explosions...!!! :eek: What and who's photos are being protected? :confused:

    How do you protect against the disgruntled wife who wants to grab all and take off to Bermuda with the tennis pro?
     
  6. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #6
    I realise that, but there are also other photographs on my external drive that are not inside a managed library and therefore would not be part of a vault. I'd therefore need to use some other form of cloner anyway (not to mention needing one for my 2nd off-site backup).

    This is what I meant when I said it over-complicates things - if I used vaults it would not mean I can stop using SuperDuper. I'd just end up using two backup solutions per HDD rather than one.

    If vaults work for you, that's great. Not suggesting my way is "right", but it works for me so I thought the OP may find the info useful.

    Best regards.
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    I have also stopped using Aperture's vault system and just clone the entire library.

    Your system of creating a new project for each "job" works great for a professional who has multiple clients without sharing photos across clients. Others, like myself who are enthusiast consumers... part of the appeal of a program like A3 is the photo organization across "my life". Hence, a single large project is better.

    As you said in your earlier post (if I remember right)... A3's flexibility in serving different types of workflows is one of its main benefits.

    /Jim
     
  8. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies!

    I will ignore the vault then since I already use time machine and carbon copy cloner for my external hard drive backups.

    I found out when I was trying to open an aperture library on an external that it was formatted to exfat and I couldn't open the libraries... So I had to wipe a drive format to mac then clone the data back (2.5tb!) then repeat the process for its clone!

    I am not pro and therefore a new library for each job is not possible. The way I see it I have three options, what's the best?

    1 - split up the archives into projects and name/ organise. Downside to this is that I couldn't just browse the archive library I would have to switch each time for a new project.

    2 - consolidate the archives into one massive archive library. Would be easy to look through but could the oversized library be a problem? This would be preferred as long as there isn't a problem with size.

    3 - same as 2 but consolidate all the projects into an external folder organised by myself but with a single aperture library using referenced files so the library isn't oversized. More effort

    I guess the new question is, does it matter if an aperture library is large? Say 250gb with 50.000 photos or so and growing? As long as the external drive has space?
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    My aperture library is 400GB and it works just fine. When I bought my latest iMac (2012) I got the 768GB SSD specifically so that I could keep it managed. Aperture runs "instant" for nearly everything. An absolute joy.

    Every night at 3am... I clone my A3 library to my Pegasus R4. This gives me a second local copy of my entire A3 library, so that if anything happened to my iMac... I could instantly connect my Pegasus to another computer and just keep on working. The Pegasus actually runs Aperture pretty well, but not quite as instant as the internal SSD.

    The other option I considered was getting a smaller SSD, and use a referenced A3 library with the originals stored on the Pegasus. I am convinced this would have worked just fine, and for all practical purposes would have been "as instant" as going full SSD for most operations. However, I do like the simplicity of using a managed library... especially as I mentioned above... I automatically clone it nightly (plus manually to drives I take offsite)... and having it be managed offers a very simple and elegant solution to using it on a spare computer should that be necessary.

    /Jim
     
  10. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Cheers,

    I've merged all my archives into one large one which makes it much better.
    Sorted.

    Luke
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    Make sure the wife can't get the photos that are stored offsite?

    And yse more than 1 backup is good idea as backup drives do fail. And keeping a backup offsite is also good as fires do happen.

    And as for what photos. For some for family memories are important. For a photography business you are protecting your business. Etc.
     

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