Archiving your photos


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sabee

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Mar 12, 2009
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#1
Just curious how everyone else is archiving their pictures and hoping that I might pick up a tip or two that other photographers use.

Right now the options to me seem to be:

External HDD (synced) / NAS
Pros: Safe from failures of hardware like computer power supply failure
Cons: Comparatively expensive, limited lifespan, still prone to other failures like surges, faulty power adapter etc.

Another internal HDD (optionally in RAID1/RAID5)
Pros: Comparatively cheaper
Cons: Possible failure together with other internal drives

Online Archival
This is the one I'm interested in the most, I have a Flickr pro account that allows me to store my photos at full resolution - but I would not rely on any single service to keep my data 100% safe, perhaps there are other sites with huge storage (paid or free) that's great for archiving pictures... Please recommend! Hopefully they've been around for more than a few months as well so we know that they're not going to close down tomorrow after I've uploaded thousands of photos to it :p
 

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Reportage

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Nov 24, 2008
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#2
tape drive is the most safest in my opinion if you can afford the initial cost.
 

Jul 29, 2009
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#3
Picasa Web by google. It's quite reasonable like less than 5 USD per year for 21GB. The most expensive plan is 16TB for 4k USD.
Another 1 is carbonite.com, but that would be computer backup, not just online storage.

AFAIK, some of the more established storage company(google, obviously, and some others) do data backup on several(usually 2 or more) data farms across the world, so it is unlikely that there would be data loss.
 

Astin

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Mar 2, 2002
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#4
I make 2 backup, 1 on external HDD, 1 on DVD, there are pros and cons for both technologies, so I think using both together will complement the pros and eliminate the cons.
 

sl005073

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Dec 6, 2009
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#5
I have 2 copies on 2 separate HDD. 1 copy in PC for editing.

Everytime after shoot will copy to PC then transfer to 2 HDDs as backup.
 

Sivakis

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Sep 26, 2008
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#6
I have 1 editing copy in 1 HDD and another raw copy in a 2nd HDD. Every 2-4 months, I copy the contents of the 2nd HDD into DVDs. So in the event of any loss, I'd still have the raw files available somewhere (which is more important to me than th edited ones).
 

lem2674

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Dec 15, 2008
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#7
I have External HDDs, Backup into 2 DVDs and live copies in the PC Drive :)
 

twiki

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Oct 8, 2004
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#8
In selecting your archival/backup means, consider how long it would take to get you 'back in business' (the RTO, in industry parlance), should you need to retrieve some older files.

Putting gigabytes of data in Flickr or Picasa seems fine until you'll need to re-download all of it.
I would suggest MULTIPLE copies of anything physical (HDD, optical, tape), with one copy being OFF-SITE. There's no benefit to having a copy on HDD, optical, tape, when they're all in the same building that just might burn to the ground.

Tapes cost the least, per megabyte/gigabyte, but they are by no means foolproof. I've had StorageTek (Seagate) tape libraries (single drive, multiple slots) give me endless problems and require repeated replacement. This was, of course, at work and not a personal setup.
 

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dingaroo

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Dec 6, 2009
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#9
Although there are web storage, I really don't trust them, and I am the impatient sort, so can be hell to wait to download and upload the pics. However, I only upload the selected few to flickr to share with friends, nothing more.

Such, I backup my pics to 2 different locations - a QSnap NAS running RAID 5, and an external brick harddisk.

I trust the QSnap as I have experienced a harddisk failure, removed the failed drive, plug in a new one, and it rebuilds overnight. The result is as if nothing happened. You can still access your data while rebuild is going on, but will be slower, much slower due to the reassembling of data before transmitting to your computer. Also, I recommend to some of my clients who need network backup.

HTH.
 

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Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#10
Differentiate between backup and archiving. Backup is a copy of latest data for quick recovery to bring you back to working status (e.g. copy of latest pictures of project, work etc.). Archiving is a long-term storage of data that usually will not be changed anymore. That defines your media and storage locations.
Backups are easily done with external hard disks and some synchronization software. Just sync the entire folder structure at the end of the day.
Archiving needs a some more thoughts about: media, reading devices, data format (DNG versus camera-specific formats), storage conditions, storage location, read tests .. Again, hard disks can be a possible way, provided they are stored properly and don't drop down. Tapes and DVDs are also possible but require more care (temperature, humidity). Industrial solutions (WORM) will cost a lot. I saw Maxoptix still produces MO disks and drives but the capacity is not more than current DVD.
 

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