Stand alone storage

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Fax Ayres
Fax Ayres's picture
Stand alone storage

I am curious to know how people store, and backup, their photographs. Does any one have any best practices they would like to share? And, any favorite storage devices that you like? SSD vs. regular drives?

Toni Zappone
Toni Zappone's picture

I use a backup service called Crashplan+. Works all the time in the background. As a backup to that backup, I also have a small device called WD-My Passport that I keep in my bag; it has 3 terabytes of storage. Both seem good; both only backup files that are new or have been changed. Other people seem to have bigger systems; I've been trying to be brutal about keeping every single photograph I take.

Gerry Bishop
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I, too, use Crashplan and am very happy with it. Features include intuitive software, continuous backup, unlimited storage, low cost. I also have an external Western Digital 3 TB hard drive that also continuously backs up all my photos and other files as soon as they're created or imported. This results in each image existing in three different places at the same time. I also have three more external drives sitting on my desk holding a total of 40,000 hi-rez photos, all backed up with Crashplan. Each drive is plugged into a power strip with a switch for each outlet. When I need access to the images on one of them I just flip the switch and the drive comes alive in my Lightroom library. 

Anton Largiader
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I use an external drive (1.5TB RAID1) with Time Machine.

I leave it turned on, because Time Machine works continuously, but there is merit in having a drive turned off except when backing up. Read about the Cryptowall virus, which I mentioned a few months ago.

Frank Feigert
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Having been "burned" by a lightning strike that wiped out my backup drive, I now use the following: my PC is a Raid 1, with 2 2TB data drives; I have a Synology 1515+ with 5 2 TB drives; and I backup to on a real-time basis. Recovery from Carbonite has been instantaneous for individual files. Yes, I'm paranoid, but I will never again mourn lost files.

Fax Ayres
Fax Ayres's picture

My kindergarten level of understanding of RAID storage leads me to believe that, for RAID 0, the failure of any single disk in the device results in the failure of the entire volume. Why is this any safer than using alternating external drives, switching for each day of the week, for example?

Anton Largiader
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I don't think it is... it has no redundancy. Not sure why it's even called RAID. Should just be AID. :)

Swapping external drives works but it's limited to how well you do it. And it would bother me that the two drives weren't really the same at any time. A RAID1 drive is sort of the same thing but both disks stay updated at all times with no effort on your part.

Anton Largiader
Anton Largiader's picture

While looking around online at RAID stuff I came across this product line which is basically self-managing RAIDs. A bit Apple-esque, "I have this covered, you don't need to know the details" but probably great for people who don't want to have to choose how to configure their backup. or

Hot-swappable, upgradable and reconfigurable on the fly, coming in a range of sizes. Probably not the only product like this on the market, but it's what I found.

Ken Porter
Ken Porter's picture

I just picked up a Western Digital MyCloud EX4, 4-bay NAS RAID hard drive. It's a network attached storage drive so one can access it from anywhere. This 4-bay RAID came set to RAID 5, which provides data redundancy and allows for 1 drive failure with no data loss. It can be set to protect against 2 drive failures at the same time, the drawback to that is the usage storage space is half of your total capacity. There are lots of good buys coming up this holiday season so keep your eyes open.

Elizabeth Pennell
Elizabeth Pennell's picture

Thank you, everyone for your comments to an issue we all face. I would really like to delve into this more deeply, especially with someone like Rick who is in the field. So, yes, please set up a panel or a workshop to help educate us.

Howard Gutgesell
Howard Gutgesell's picture

I recently bought a WD My Passport Pro external drive. 4 terabytes, which can be used as a single 4 tb drive in RAID 0 configuration or RAID 1 with one 2 TB drive backing up the other. Presumably, if either drive fails, all the data can be recovered from the other.Thankfully, I haven't had to test this. I also have the computer and these drives backed up in the cloud via a company called Backblaze. Fortunately, I haven't had to test this either.

Anton Largiader
Anton Largiader's picture

Things may have changed, but at the time I bought my WD MyBook Duo, the Passport series wasn't designed for swapping drives. Now, that isn't the show-stopper some might think, because you can generally open these things somehow and access the drives as you see fit (just search YouTube for that kind of stuff), or you can simply buy a new unit when one of the internal drives fails as long as you are using RAID 1.

Gene Runion
Gene Runion's picture

Fax, to answer the question you asked on 28/11/2015 about raid 0
You do not want to use raid 0. Raid 0 DOES NOT provide any redundancy! Most simple raid systems will operate as raid 0 or raid 1. (There are raid systems of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and there are now a couple of newer ones.) Raid 0 was used in the old days for two reasons. 1) to create a large file (disk) system. Back in the days when a large disk around 10 MB. 2) to create a fast disk system. In raid 0 data is written across multiple disks, thus the more disks the faster the disk system. This also means if one disk fails you have lost data on all disks. What you want is Raid 1.