New iMac. Storage options for workflow?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gdourado, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    How are you?
    So, after much debate and indecision, I finally pulled the trigger on a beautifull 27 inch iMac. I was considering a macbook air plus ATD, but the cost of both, plus the kaeyboard and magic mouse, made pull the trigger on a great deal for an iMac.
    Now I'm faced with the question of how to set ip up... Mainly in regard to storage...
    The iMac is the version with a 1tb internal HDD.
    The first thing I did was to partition the drive in a 200gb partition for OS and Apps and a 800gb partition for data.
    I have a firewire 800 1tb external HDD already.
    So, based on this, what would be the best way to setup the machine and workflow?
    I was thinking about pulling the trigger on two 2.5 inch external fw800 1tb drives and do the following:

    - Internal drive: Pictures and data. Lightroom catalog.
    - External 1tb 3.5 drive: Mirror backup of internal.
    - External 1tb 2.5 drive: storage of raw pictures (store the raw and jpegs straight out of camera).
    - External 1tb 2.5 drive: mirror offsite backup of raw pictures.

    What do you think?
    Any better options?
    If you have an iMac, how do you have it set up?

  2. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    If you're concerned about speed Western Digital just announced a thunderbolt drive.
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Why did you partition the main drive? Is there some reason you need that?
  4. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    I use a Time Capsule and an external G-Tech G-Safe. I used to use to Crashplan as a cloud back-up but it took way to long to back everything up and I was routinely going over my 250GB/Mo ISP limit.
  5. torana355 macrumors 68040

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
  6. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I'm great, thanks!

    I think that the way you've got this set up would certainly work fine, but I wonder if there's a more straightforward way to go about it that wouldn't be any more expensive?

    For example, your lightroom catalog (the associated raw pictures and jpegs PLUS the actual edits), would seem to me to represent both the raw data and the substantial investment of time you've sunk into processing/sorting/working with your pictures. You can always recreate those edits from the original raw files as long as you have a backup copy of the raw files, but at a serious cost of your time. As such, I'd think that saving the catalog, which (depending on how you set it up) would include the raw files, would be important, too.

    If I were in your situation, which I sort of am, I think I'd be more inclined to just pick up cheaper USB2 3.5 inch 2 TB external drives and use them for time machine backups. That would give you multiple snapshots in time of your catalog and raw files so if it got corrupted at any point you can go back to an earlier snapshot. These are backups, so speed isn't important and USB2 is fine and much cheaper than FW. Rotate one of them offsite at all times.

    You could still use the 1 Tb disk you have for a full mirror, but having a bootable mirror may or may not be important to you in real-world situations. I used to stress about always having a bootable mirror, but at this point, there's no situation I can imagine where I wouldn't be able to fire up from a recovery partition and wait the few hours to restore to the most recent time machine backup. Your situation may be different (I'm not a professional photographer), but I was surprised to finally conclude that about my own needs.

    I still think about whether or not this sort of a setup has holes in it, as it's what I do myself, but I can't think of a situation where I'd end up losing many raw files or edits, unless I had simultaneous disk failures in multiple locations. Even then there are backups of the jpegs on smugmug, so it wouldn't be a total failure. The simplicity of this setup (let Time Machine do it's thing with big external drives, rotate the drives out regularly) won out for me over anything more complicated. If I'm missing something, I'd very much love to hear it from others.
  7. mac mac mac macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2008
    Bellevue, WA
    I used external hard drives to store my RAW files, but I keep running out of space, and my desk ended up with bunch of hard drives. So I got a Drobo just a few weeks ago. It gives me a piece of mine, and it's expandable so I'll just have one big drive instead of multiple little drives. So far it's working great for me. This is what I got:

    I've had so many problems with NAS with Lion that I wouldn't recommend any NAS. Just get a hard drive, Drobo, or any RAID system that's connected directly to the Mac. You'll have far fewer problems.

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