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Data Storage IT

Ask Slashdot: Best On-Site Backup Plan? 326

Posted by Soulskill
from the giant-stack-of-floppy-disks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I know most people use backup services in the cloud now, off-site, but does anyone have good ideas on how to best protect data without it leaving the site? I'm a photographer and, I shoot 32GB to 64GB in a couple of hours. I've accumulated about 8TB of images over the past decade and just can't imagine paying to host them somewhere off-site. I don't make enough money as it is. Currently I just redundantly back them up to hard drives in different rooms of my house, but that's a total crapshoot — if there's a fire, I'd be out of luck. Does anyone keep a hard disk or NAS inside a fireproof safe? In a bunker in the cellar? In the detached garage? It's so much data that even doing routine backups bogs the system down for days. I'd love suggestions, especially from gamers or videographers who have TBs of data they need to back up, on what options there are with a limited budget to maximize protection."
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Ask Slashdot: Best On-Site Backup Plan?

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  • by alen (225700) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:44PM (#40951107)

    if you earn revenue from it, pay for backups
    if it has sentimental value then think about paying for backups

    hard drives go bad all the time so if you're going to back up to hard disk and its important buy a few external ones and keep them in different locations

  • by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:44PM (#40951115)

    And if you don't have any friends, keep one in a bank's safe deposit box. They're usually not that pricey.

  • Delete more (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:48PM (#40951175) Journal

    Any pro photographer will tell you that 95% of what you shoot is crap. Prune it mercilessly.

  • Re:Delete more (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:00PM (#40951347)

    "Any pro photographer will tell you that 95% of what you shoot is crap."

    That depends ENTIRELY on the kind of photography. For example, if it's portraiture like yearbook photos, or wedding photos, or many other such things, the customer decides what's good and what they want to keep, and they typically have the option of coming back and buying more prints later.

    In cases like that, you can't prune. You have to keep it all.

  • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:00PM (#40951363) Journal
    I see this all the time with photographers. Bottom line: your photographs are not all that valuable. Some are, yes. Most are not. Pare them down. Delete the bad ones, the failures, the misfocussed, the bad exposures. The greatest photographers the world has ever known are only known for a few dozen photos at best. Do you really need an 8 TB photographic archive? Who's going to ever look at them all? Save the best. Delete the rest.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:17PM (#40951561) Homepage Journal
    I'm looking to make a freeNAS setup at home, with multiple drives.

    Once that is working...I'm looking to maybe set up a second mirrored one at my parent's house, in another state...and just keep them sync'ed. Back their stuff up to the one up there, it sync's with mine...my stuff backup to mine and sync's with the backup up there.

    If not with family, why not make a deal with friends to do the offsite backup with each other...just encrypted the partitions and all to keep things private...but that should help, eh?

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:35PM (#40951793) Homepage

    Not everybody works for the CIA. I have my photographs and other data on 2 GB external drives. I rotate them weekly or biweekly, backing up new stuff and checking the older. Total storage now about 6 TB.

    That said, if you're doing 64 GB in a couple of hours, a little more practice with shot discipline will help you both in storage and in workflow time. That's too many pictures.

    Then the DELETE key is your friend. Especially if you're doing that many shots. They can't ALL win the Pulitzer Price.

  • by Achra (846023) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:50PM (#40951961) Journal

    That said, if you're doing 64 GB in a couple of hours, a little more practice with shot discipline will help you both in storage and in workflow time. That's too many pictures.

    Then the DELETE key is your friend. Especially if you're doing that many shots. They can't ALL win the Pulitzer Price.

    This.

    To quote Ken Rockwell: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/howto.htm [kenrockwell.com]

    Only show your very strongest images.

    Throw away most of what you shoot. I do. Most of my photos are awful!

    Go through the few photos you save out of a roll, and then throw away all but the one strongest image.

    Next time, go through the few you've saved from a few rolls, and throw more away.

    This isn't painting. In photography it is a requirement to throw away most of what you do.

    You'll see that if you only save or show your strongest images that your body of work will seem to improve. Guess what: as you show only the better images, your body of work as seen by others has improved!

    Do you think I shoot a roll of film and get a roll loaded with the images you see in my galleries? Of course not. Most of what I shoot is crap. I'm just good enough to throw most of it away and only show the good stuff.

    Ansel Adams said that if you can produce one strong image in a year that you are doing very well. Don't expect to turn out miracles every roll, or even every month. Ansel didn't, I don't, and I don't think anyone does.

  • Re:Delete more (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:04PM (#40952713)

    A 10MP image in RAW form is probably at most 20MB (a little overhead for meta data, etc) in size. At current HDD prices ($150/2TB == $75/TB == $0.073/GB) that comes to about 0.14 CENTS per photograph ($0.0014/photo). Lets say you can go through your photos and delete 20 photos per minute (3 seconds per photo on average is reasonable), that's 1200 photos per hour, or $1.72 worth of HDD space per hour (for your first copy). Even if you have 4 redundant backups (5 total copies), you are still deleting photos at $8.58/hour, which is below minimum wage for any modern country. Your time is worth more than that and I doubt you would feel comfortable having a minimum-wage intern deciding which photos are worth keeping.

    Another way to look at it is with each photo (with 4 redundant backups) costing $0.007 to store, if you delete 10,000 photos ($70 HDD savings) is that really worth the risk of a client possibly wanting a $100 print of even ONE of those photos?!?

    Moral of the story: With today's HDD prices, unless you have a lot of VERY big files or can automate deletion, deleting stuff is actually more expensive than backing it up 4 times.

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