Definitive Storage and Backup solution

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Txema, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Txema macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2014
    Hello, I'm looking for a definitive Storage and Backup solution.
    So far I've been looking on to Drobo 5D or N, LaCie 5big Thunderbolt™ 2, or LaCie 2big Thunderbolt™ 2.

    Networking would be a plus but not a must. I'm open for other suggestions and also wonder if these systems can be considered backup since they are ready for single or double disks failures.

  2. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    How much are you looking to store/back up?

    If you have a fast internet connection, have you considered online backup?
    Amazon and Google both have cheap storage, and may be suitable for you.
    If you are just backing up, then a thunderbolt equipped NAS may be overkill..all depends on your needs really.
  3. Txema thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2014
    4 Gig and rapidly growing online storage I think is not an option since I would like to brows rapidly my files, work on them and have the advanced search options of lightroom.

    In this case what would you recommend me?
  4. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    Is that 4TB or 4GB?

    As you mentioned backup usually you have your local fast accessed copy, and one (or more) copy archived safe somewhere.

    I don't use don't know I'm afraid.

    What I do (in aperture) is clone my disk so I have a local copy, have a backup vault on another USB hard disk and use backblaze to store in the cloud.

    For backup you really want two copies in two different locations.

    You seem to be wanting a duplicate that you can access quickly..would a usb3 drive not do the job? They are pretty cheap now.
  5. Txema thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2014
    Excuse me, yes 4 TB it is. Since I'll be buying a Mac I'm looking for a thunderbolt connection and SSD drives for stability and speed.
  6. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I don't use any of the online backup services. Instead of that I have several external hard drives with enclosures to store my photos, but a friend of mine who works at the University computer shop steered me in this direction:

    A USB3 SATA dock. While there are numerous out there, I chose the "Plugable USB3 SATA HDD Docking Station." Paid somewhere around $24.00 for it at Amazon, plus a couple of Seagate 3TB SATA Barracuda drives ($107.00 each). Not a hiccup with this setup, but when I am finished saving my photos I eject the drive icon, and turn the dock off until the next time I need it.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Networked storage (NAS) will not be as fast as local direct attached (USB3 or Thunderbolt) But if you want it Synthology is a good brand.

    Backup get harder because the only thing large enough to backup a large RAID system is another large RAID system. You can reduce the cost slightly by buying an expensive and fast one for primary storage then getting something slower and cheaper for a first-line backup. You likely DO want the backup to be networked so you can keep it in another room.

    Theft of the equipment is a leading cause of data loss. Keep the backup far way from the computer

    In addition to a local backup, you might subscribe to an on-line service. With so much data choose a service that allows you to mail them a full disk. That will save weeks and weeks of uploading. After you get started with the disk then you upload from then on.

    So at home: two RAID systems one primary, one a backup. You can use Time Machine to keep the backup RAID up to date
    And then for your off-site backup use Backblaze, CrashPlan, Carbonite or even Amazon's cloud service.


    That works fine if (1) the photos fit on one drive and (2) you rotate the drive to some far away location like your office at work. But the OP has way more than what will fit on one disk drive so if he used your system he would be ROTATING entire RAID systems to the office. You need two raid systems to avoid having all of them at home while you do the backup. The offsite serve is better if you have that much data.


    OK that is good for your primary storage but what about backups? Look into the Western Digital RED drives. This work well in RAID enclosures. If using Time Machine buy enough of those RED drives so TM has about 1.5 times that storage space as your primary storage. Or 2X if you are just starting out and plan to grow.

    TM is very good for this because it tries hard to never over write old data. Give it more space and it can keep more older version of your files. Do NOT use the backup device for ANY other purpose.
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    No, they are not backups. They do protect against some types of failures... but they also introduce new failure mechanisms that do not exist with single drives. It is a coin toss if they are better or worse than single drives regarding security.

    Your best bet is to just consider an array to have the same reliability as a single drive. Never put primary data of any type on the same drive array as your backup drives. Personally, I would not even share data and backups in an enclosure that contains independent backup and data volumes.

    Traditionally for consumers, RAID arrays have only have had two primary legitimate purposes:

    1) Needing a single volume that is larger than available HDDs
    2) Striping data to give more performance

    Now days... both of those reasons are nearly obsolete. Few people NEED a volume larger than the current size f 4TB drives. If you need it... then there is no other choice than use an array... so you are stuck needed an array.

    Striping HDD data for performance is now obsolete. SSDs out perform HDDs by such a margin that HDDs just do not make sense anymore for this usage.

    There are some other ways that people have foolishly used arrays. Some think they are more secure or some form of backup. Just not true. Others buy them because it gives them some kind of mental testosterone boost. Even more foolish.

  9. inplainview macrumors member

    May 3, 2014
    I use a 5 bay Drobo (5 x 2tb) that backs up to a 5 bay Synology (5 x 2tb). Perfect for me.
  10. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    While I agree almost completely with this, I have a somewhat different situation. My wife and I are on the road at least 6 months of the year in our RV. Space is at a premium, as are device connections. I have a 2 bay Synology set up with 2 mirrored 4tb drives. The drives are split between data storage and backup space. The data storage is used for media storage - movies, books, music, and archive files. These are backed up elsewhere. While on the road, we backup to the NAS as well as usb drives.

    My logic for this was to have something that could survive a 1 disk failure where I might have limited internet speed and couldn't get back to my other backups.
  11. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I've spent 30 years in the IT field, and I'd like to add some points.

    1. I've seen literally _hundreds_ of RAID failures where two or more drives went at the same time. Either to a power spike on the electrical bus, a power spike on the interface, environmental problems, physical disaster or mechanical drive issues. Therefore, most "protective" RAID setups should be thought of as as good as the last backup. Do NOT rely on RAID as your only backup strategy.

    2. If your solution doesn't include off-site storage, it's not definitive. A fire, flood, earthquake, tornado... Pick a backup site in the cloud, pick a relative in a different geographic/potential disaster area...

    3. Smaller, cheaper drives are good- because then a single drive failure doesn't mean you lose the whole farm in one go, nor does it mean an extremely long recovery time.

    4. If you encrypt your data, ensure you back up the encryption keys somewhere too.

  12. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Excellent point about RAID. I use RAID 1 mirroring for higher availability in case one drive crashes...with luck the other is still available...but no 100% guarantee. But I would never do RAID 1 (or RAID 0) without Time Machine backups to another drive that is not part of the local Mac file system.

    Indeed for a much improved safety net, do an online backup and rotate portable drives to a safety deposit box in a bank. I don't do those as I have no income/business depending on the files surviving.
  13. Evans73 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2014
    If you looking for best backup and storage solution then try CloudBacko Software. My friend suggest me this backup software and till now I am stored all my data in this software. Have a look.
  14. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Since you are looking for Speed, then I would like at something that is directly attached via thunderbolt or USB 3. I would then look for an option to off load that data to a few different spots for back up.

    NAS boxes are good for storage, but I don't know if I would recommend using them as a device that stores the data and work on it at the same time. Most NAS devices are setup as back ups. Save your data to the NAS device, when you want to work on it, bring it to your primary machine and move it back when done. Not saying you can't do it, but they are generally not setup to do that. Now a SAN is built for that, but then again they are usually a heck of lot more expensive.

    I would work something into your work flow and setup some automation.

    Work on document locally or off the attached drive (thunderbolt or usb 3). Save to drive. Have software running in the background that saves the data to an offsite solution and to local solution that is attached via the network.

    Like others have said, if you are not saving it offsite you are not really backing up your data.

    You didn't give a budget, or I may have missed it, but that will also dictate what you will be able to get.
  15. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I have about 1 TB worth of Photos from the last 60 years (Some Belong to my Dad). The images for 10years back are all scanned images and the process took several years to complete so I do not want to lose them. My main storage is a 3TB WD my book hook up to a mac mini server, that disk get backup everynight to another WD 3TB drive using Superduper. I also have a crash plan account that runs 24/7. I have 2 WD my passport drives that I rotate for off site storage (keeping one at work the other in my computer bag) I back up the photos weekly using super duper. and finally 2 bare drives and a USB3 SATA dock which I keep one in the garage and the other in a detached shed. These are backed up once a month again using super duper.
  16. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    Here's my setup.

    Mac Mini with Timemachine backup. Automatically backs up periodically during the day.

    I come home from a photo shoot and copy the images onto the Mac Mini (and import them as referenced files into Aperture).

    I also copy the files to my NAS (it contains two disk drives, set up as individual drives i.e. not RAID).

    One of the disks I use for music, movies, and other general files I wish to keep.
    The second disk is my photography archive. I use a folder structure to keep everything organised.

    Both NAS drives backup in real time to external USB drives. This copies any new data to the USB drive once it is written to the NAS.

    Overnight the NAS automatically copies any new data (on either disk) to another similar NAS located at my parents.

    I edit the images in Aperture/Photoshop and save the final exported edited images in a separate folder.

    Once I've finished the edit I copy the edit folder to the NAS and let the auto backups on the NAS do their work.

    Once the client has signed off the images I remove the edit and original folders from my Mac Mini.

    It is possible to work opening the images from the NAS, but for more than a few images this will slow your workflow down. I only do this if I have to make adjustments to an image or two once I've archived it on the NAS. If adjustments are required on a few images it is often quicker/easier to copy the files back onto the Mac Mini, edit, then copy back to the NAS.

    Moving the originals from the Mac Mini means Aperture looses its reference to the original file. This doesn't concern me as revisiting originals once signed off is rare. I relocate the original on the NAS (or copy back the Mac Mini) if I need to re-edit the file in Aperture.

    This system works for me and once the initial hardware cost is paid, there are few further costs (the inevitable hard drive failure, electricity for the NAS/USB drives and internet connection fees).

    With the amount of data backed up overnight between the NAS drives, an uncapped data limit and reliable internet connection is essential. A faster upload/download speed is useful, but as you can set the transfer to occur overnight, a reliable connection is more important imo. The NAS transmitting data will retry to connect three times should the connection fail. After the third attempt, the NAS waits until the following sync time to try again.

    My parents live quite a long distance away, hence the local USB backup of the NAS drives. Should a NAS disk fail I can still access the data quickly and easily. I can access the NAS at my parents remotely, which would be fine for an occasional file transfer but to recover the entire contents of a drive or folder, a trip to their house would be required which takes a day. Hence I have the USB backup as 'just in case' scenario which would save me a day travelling to and back from my parent's as and when the inevitable drive failure occurs.

    One missing 'link' is a daily offsite backup of the Mac Mini. This would be useful, so if any one has a suggestion that is simple and affordable then please comment.

    I use QNAP NAS drives, I've not tried other brands just because QNAP was the first brand I tried and they have worked fine for me. There was a learning curve regarding setup, especially the overnight remote replication.

    Hope that helps someone with their backup solution.
  17. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Or just build yourself a server if you're tech savvy enough.

    But, as a lot of other people have said, that's just a storage option.

    I use an HP EX475, IIRC. It runs Windows Home Sever V1, which is an awesome operating system. It has 4 bays and WHS allows drive pooling which puts shows all your storage acting as one big drive. You can choose which folders it mirrors across the drives to help protect data in the event of a drive failure. It’s been great for me and works with OS X. Unfortunately MS completely did away with drive pooling in WHS V2, so when I move to a permanent home, I’ll be building my own system with a server and NAS attached.

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