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Thread: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

  1. #1

    Default Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    Calling Mac iPhoto Users, anyone store their photo library on external HDD with RAID 1?
    Thanks.

    Thinking of migrating my photo library into an external HDD with redundancy in case the internal HDD breakdown. Don't want to lose all my photos.

    Anyone has experience? got any recommendation. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    what i do is to do a time machine backup

  3. #3

    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky99 View Post
    Calling Mac iPhoto Users, anyone store their photo library on external HDD with RAID 1?
    Thanks.

    Thinking of migrating my photo library into an external HDD with redundancy in case the internal HDD breakdown. Don't want to lose all my photos.

    Anyone has experience? got any recommendation. Thanks.
    While there are numerous way to setup redundant storage system. The following are what that is possible

    1) Create an internal redundant storage using either Software RAID or Hardware RAID, can be either RAID 1, 5, or 6 in your usage. Mac OS X provide S/W RAID via the Disk Utility and is recognize by the OS. You can then move your iPhoto Library following the instruction found here http://basics4mac.com/article.php/move_iphoto_lib

    2) You can also procure an external eSATA or Firewire storage which you can mount on boot up and move your iPhoto Library there.

    3) Consider one of the NAS such as Synology, or QNAP. Mount as iSCSI target and move your iPhone Library there.

    Personally I'm not using iPhoto as my primary way to view my photos, hence NAS solution is what i have chosen along with a APC UPS to ensure full uptime 24by7 and low electrical cost all year round.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    thanks bros for the replies. time machine seems the easiest. wonder if it allows backup of external HDDs. my internal HDD is running out of space.

    NAS seems like a good option as it allows files to be opened from other computers. Any idea if Mac OS is compatible with RAID 1 on the NAS?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky99
    thanks bros for the replies. time machine seems the easiest. wonder if it allows backup of external HDDs. my internal HDD is running out of space.

    NAS seems like a good option as it allows files to be opened from other computers. Any idea if Mac OS is compatible with RAID 1 on the NAS?
    When a NAS is accessed from another system, it is just another volume. It doesn't know it is raided. Also this method is not suitable for iPhoto. iPhoto works on HFS+, NAS volume is not in HFS+. That is why I mentioned iSCSI target for NAS. Not a lot of NAS offers iSCSI target

    Also take note: Time Machine is not the same as offloading your contents to an external storage device. You need the same amount of space to store in your local space as you would need more in the time machine device to store the changes. While the changes are incremental, there are space overhead required to create those snapshots behaviour. My personal opinion is time machine is not recommended for large contents like pictures, more suitable for documents. If your space is dedicated for images, then just let it be a repository for such.

    A good NAS with redundancy will serve you well for a much longer period as you put more eggs into the same basket, except these eggs are duplicated.

    A piece of advice is while redundancy gives you more headroom for disaster, it is certainly not a backup plan. If you corrupt your NAS, all contents can potentially vanish instantly. Archival is always your best friend against real disaster. If you would like to know more, I can explain further what are the options available to you with a price tag of course. Which most people just choose to live with their luck.

    Hence if you choose to go it the right way, then there is cost involved. If you choose not to, then live with luck. Doing halfway is just pure fallacy, wasting money, which all you did is you managed to convince yourself that you are safe when you are not, then I suppose luck is cheaper. (^.^)
    Last edited by David Kwok; 21st March 2012 at 01:23 PM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Seems like setting up a proper NAS of photo library can be quite complex.

    Think i will 1st try and experiment with Time Machine backup of my photos stored in the external HDD connected to my Macbook. Will be good if such a config is possible for cos

    1. The whole OS, registry, doc files and photos are backed up in Time Machine
    - either time machine or my ext HDD fail, i won't lose my photos
    2. Regular Autoupdating
    3. Lower cost - buy ext HDD only, my Airport Extreme is on 24/7 anyway


    btw how is time machine not suitable for photos?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky99 View Post
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Seems like setting up a proper NAS of photo library can be quite complex.

    Think i will 1st try and experiment with Time Machine backup of my photos stored in the external HDD connected to my Macbook. Will be good if such a config is possible for cos

    1. The whole OS, registry, doc files and photos are backed up in Time Machine
    - either time machine or my ext HDD fail, i won't lose my photos
    2. Regular Autoupdating
    3. Lower cost - buy ext HDD only, my Airport Extreme is on 24/7 anyway


    btw how is time machine not suitable for photos?
    If you are using NAS, I wouldn't recommend you use iPhoto. Try using Adobe Lightroom or similar Photos Management software which can just treat each photos as-is and they managed by cataloging where you can tag the photos and perform processing at the same time. Because they store the catalogue pertaining to the software and not mixed with the photos, it makes it easier to store the photos elsewhere. Time machine can also be configured on NAS such as Synology, which is what I used, so you get network accessed Time Machine for your system and also file based storage of your photos.

    Time Machine makes it easy for you to restore your system, but what time machine sell is not the restore part. Time machine sells incremental backup. When you add photo, incremental comes in as extra storage, which is the same as adding new photos into a storage, but of course, you get the extra tagging in Time machine on when they are added. But the benefits in this is minimal. Time machine promises you can revert to any time line in the past for each specific document or items based not the implementation of the application. When you restore your system, you don't need to restore back all the photos. As long as you know they are safely somewhere, it's good enough.

    Cost is relevant to durability, so if you want it cheap, it doesn't come safe. That's all I have to say, you decide

    Time Machine in my opinion is not suitable for photos generally is based on my understanding of deduplication process. It comes in file based and block base. Should Time Machine operates in file base, then each time you change a photo, it's a complete file upload into the time machine which is costly in time and space. You change 10 times your photo, you end up with 10 times the size of each iteration of the same photo stored. Meaning it's no difference in terms of space wise versus you store each photo differently with different filenames. But of course, you normally wouldn't. Should it be operating in block based, you will find for JPEG that is what normally users use, a bit of change in one area of the photo has so much effect on the binary representation of the file which is spread across the whole file. Effectively if you just change 5% of the photo, you end up having probably 50% of the photo looking different from the perspective of binary representation. Time machine deduplication is not going to perform full length analysis of diff to comes up with the smallest changes. Such technique are computational intensive and will be too taxing on a consumer system. You end up almost halve the file uploaded, should it operates in block-based deduplication. This is the basis on my argument that Time Machine makes bad deduplication system for images.
    On the other hand, text documents, or text markup documents such as Word, Powerpoint, or other relevant documents makes good candidate for Time Machine because their changes are localize. You change the title of the document, it wouldn't effect the same binary for all other 999 pages in the same document, which makes deduplication very effective in space and time.

    You can go try with Time Machine. I used it too on my external firewire hard disk and also have tried over the network to my NAS. It is slow when you have large changes. I don't store my photos in the very same computer I use, I store them in my NAS which I can access them everywhere in the world, because it's externally accessible over the ISP's fibre network
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
    www.flickr.com/photos/davidktw

  8. #8

    Default Re: Calling Mac iPhoto Users

    Thanks bro for the insightful indepth comparison. Agree that protecting our photos cannot come cheap. Just like our defense budget.

    As a double safety backup, I never reuse/delete my memory cards but store them in the dry cabinet as last layer backup. This is possible as flash memory is so much cheaper these days. 8GB SD only costs as much as a roll of film + developing charges.

    NAS if need to troubleshoot might be too complex for someone like me w/o IT background. Seems like TM backup of ext HDD will fit my usage better at this point as I don't do editing other than cleaning up dust spots on my travel photos. Will try out this setup as I'm more familiar with TM. Hope that it will be able to restore all my photos back to the exact same state if ever needed.

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