Lightroom Backup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tazdaman, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Tazdaman macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2007
    Hi All,

    I use photographer using an iMac, MacBook Pro and Lightroom and am going through at least 2TBs every 6 months of external hard drives. I need a decent setup so a) I have enough storage space for the next few years and b) I have redundancy in place so I don't loose any data.

    I sometimes edit on my iMac and sometimes on my Macbook pro and would like a solution where the files are backed up from one system in one location and if something were to happen the files could be recovered.

    Can anybody help me on this one? I have a budget of around £600 Thanks
  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    To really do what you say you want to do, and within the constraints of your budget, I really think your only option is to build something yourself. Even then, I think it's either going to bust your budget, or you are going to have to resign yourself to building something from free parts.

    At 4TB a year, building something that will last for a few years is going to require a server with ~20TB of storage. Duplication means building two of them. Now any old computer stuffed in a big case off the shelf can build such a system, but you are still looking at 14 3TB hard drives, at ~$150USD each. You are then still left to design, build, and maintain that server on your own. Unless you are really into this, I don't think this is such a good idea.

    Instead, I'd suggest buying two identical off-the-shelf NAS'es and filling them with drives that will meet your capacity needs for the next couple of years, and then upgrading the drives over time. Many current NAS'es have a pooling option that allows you to upgrade disks individually to larger sizes over time. This won't net you as much space up front, but will get you new equipment and transfer responsibility for making it work to the manufacturer.

    A 4-bay Synology starts at about $370, or a 4 bay Drobo at about $500. Add 8 total 3TB drives and you are about two grand USD give or take.

    The other option is to start saving less data or investing in backup software that can de-duplicate, which will save you some money on storage space (but is generally expensive to license).

    Edit: And the above answer is the 'non-professional' 'forum' answer. If this is really your core business and this data is very important to you, then I'd recommend something else entirely based on professional hardware and likely doing off-site backups. That's many times your stated budget in cost, however.
  3. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I know this isn't quite what you're asking for but its another level of backup. We use Zenfolio to create client galleries for weddings and portraits. The nice thing is that we can upload the original high resolution photos and it stores them and we can download them in the future or order prints, etc. We only pay $100 a year and we have unlimited space which is great.

    Just throwing that out there. We currently just purchase a ton of hard drives to back everything up on as well which sounds like what you're doing. Not very simple and elegant, but it works.
  4. PS9 macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2012
    What you currently do is probably the cheapest way to store the data.

    As a more redundant solution I'd purchase a NAS or two, fill it with drives, and cycle them out when full. Basically the same as your current solution but rather than USB drives you're using a NAS and at least two drives in mirrored RAID. Buy the drives when you need them as the cost always goes down.

    If you're doing archives and don't need to access the data very often once it's stored then you could look at LTO-5 tape backup or something similar. 1.5TB/3.0TB (compressed) tapes run about $40. Issue being the drive itself would be over budget. Tape is great for extremely large archives as the per TB cost is lower but the drives are expensive. You could use an older type like LTO-3 (400/800gb) to meet the budget.

    Synchronization between the systems, you could use CrashPlan. The free version lets you backup between systems you own. You can also use CrashPlan to backup the data, unlimited I think was $3 a month or something and it's supposed to be true unlimited. However I would still keep local backups and depending on your internet upload speed (or if there's a bandwidth cap) this might not be a great option.

    What do I do around here? Dell PowerVault autoloader tape drives stores every photo I have and hard drives loaded into a NAS store only the images I sell as prints because I need access to them.

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