Running Aperture library on external redundant storage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by .mark., Aug 5, 2012.

  1. .mark. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    Jersey, C.I.
    I've run out of space on my MBP's internal drive and have been using a couple of external HD's to store my aperture library on, which I duplicate nightly using SuperDuper. I've only really ever seen this as an interim solution until I had time to look into something better.

    I had my eye on a Drobo. Their simplicity is a big selling point. Just chuck in some HDs and it will manage your storage for you. No need to worry about matching capacity/speeds etc. However, I'm reading quite a lot of negativity around both performance and reliability so I've gone cold on the idea.

    This lead me to reading up on QNAP and there NAS solutions. After sifting through their many many products I has settled on a 4 bay NAS enclosure (TS-419P II) but then I've since read that Aperture doesn't support storing your library on a NAS.

    This latest set back has swung me back round to Drobo (firewire) and I've also been looking into RAID DAS enclosures, specifically Startech ones.

    So, my question to you guys, is what solution would you advised I go for? What are others using? I want something which will protect me against drive failure where I can store my working Aperture library (not just vaults).

    To further add to my confusion I've also read a little about iSCSI and that it can present NAS as DAS. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    I should mention my MBP doesn't have thunderbolt.
  2. jammiefreerider macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2006
    The beauty of Raid is that its easily fixable. Drobo is its own workings of Raid which you cant be fixed when things go wrong. ( See Scott Kelby Drobo post ) So thats a "Oh Hell No!" from me!

    I travel a lot with my photos on a DAS (Iomega UltraMAX+ 2TB in Mirrored Raid config.) and I'm always looking at the drives after a flight/drive etc and its pretty simple to work out if they're working properly or not and easy enough to sort if it goes wrong. Things went wrong once for me but the Raid fixed itself...

    I don't know anything about iSCSI firewire works fine for me.
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Except RAID 0, in which case if it breaks, you're SOL.
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The problem is that many people mistake a Drobo which provides redundancy in case of drive failure as a backup solution in itself. If you think about a Drobo as an external hard drive, I don't see how a RAID is any better.

    Plus, there are lots of problems with RAIDs, too, they have the same single point of failure as the Drobo (the hardware RAID enclosure) and they are much less flexible.
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I know you said you wanted your entire library on the external, but have you thought about just relocating the masters to the external?

    That should put the bulk of the file size on the external, leaving the database, thumbnails and previews locally, which seems like it'd run much faster for you.

    For me, going from a MBP with a 7200-rpm internal to MBA with a SSD made soooo many beach balls in Aperture go away. I'd be afraid to see what network storage (for the entire library) does to it.
  6. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Apple applications that use highly structured data stores often end up with database corruption issues when run on remote filesystems like NFS, AFS, and SMB.

    One way to work around this is to store the Aperture Library on your local hard drive (or firewire/thunderbolt connected drive) and have the photo masters stored on NFS or AFS.

    If you want to keep your Aperture Library and photo masters on the same volume then the most stable way is to use iSCSI on the NAS. iSCSI can be used to make a section of the NAS storage to appear as a local disk on your Aperture machine. I have been using Aperture on an iSCSI LUN that is exported from my ReadyNAS Pro to store ~ 5000 images without corruption issues for a couple of years.
  7. LongSticks, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

    LongSticks macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2012
    Kent, UK
    Might be a possible solution when MBA SSD tops out and don't fancy NAS...
    I was using a 27"iMac with Aperture Lib on an external HDD and was forever getting beach balls from hell! Last weekend it finally topped out and it was replacement time. Really wanted Thunderbolt but didnt have the cash until...found this in the Apple Store at Bluewater, god bless em:

    Seagate 1TB GoFlex Limited Edition Ultra-portable Hard Drive for Mac with Firewire and USB 3.0 connectors - £120 & Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter for Portable Hard Drives - £100...I have rediscovered Aperture!!

    Now my library flies. Im already planning when I have the cash to change the 1tb Goflex drive for a 512gb SSD which looking on line works so well people are migrating there OSX boot external and leaving the HDD as storage. Only problem with the GoFlex is it is single port so no Daisy Chain.

    I have a HTS with Macmini thats going to get this upgrade as well - Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter for Desktop Hard Drives which is Daisy Chainable and will take much larger drives!!

    Lastly, for ultimate back up i use LiveDrive and leave it running in the background. I know that I always have redundancy from there! and with minimal uploads it doesn't take long to Sync!
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Glad to hear you like having thunderbolt drives. We plan to put of user subfolders (such as Pictures which will have our large Lightroom libraries) on thunderbolt RAID 1 sets.

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