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NancyP

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Upgrading my external storage / back up
« on: January 18, 2017, 07:40:18 PM »

Currently I have a small photo catalogue that still fits on one computer - slightly under 400 G. I would like to provide for
1. Time machine backup on-site
2. Off-site clone / backup drive(s)
3. (Soon) migrating a portion of the photo storage / LR catalogue to on-site external hard drive, ideally with fast access

My backup system has been Time Machine (excluding Lightroom) plus daily LR photo/catalogue backup onto the same backup disc (2 TB FireWire 800) and LR photo/catalogue onto a second 2 TB FireWire 800 disk theoretically to be stored off-site. No clone disc.
FW 800 disks available: the 2 2 TB disks mentioned above. These are 4 or 5 years old. I don't keep them spinning all the time. I turn them on and hook them up when I have photo ingestion and editing to do, which might be 2 days a week.
USB 2.0 - only discs available, all spinning rust: 1 1 TB, 1 500 G. Possible use for clone backup disc?
The computer these served had FW800 and USB 2.0.

Now I have a Thunderbolt 2 - capable computer, a 2015 MBP.
Would it make sense to get a Thunderbolt 2 large-ish (2 TB) external drive for photos not resident on the laptop, for use during editing, and keep the backup system as described above?
 
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BobShaw

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 08:49:04 PM »

Hi Nancy,
1. Backup everything. Data, catalogues, applications, operating system, users. After the initial one it doesn't take any more and saves you a huge problem if you lose the computer. If you buy a new one then you just restore everything to the new computer and you are away again same day.
2. Have one backup system that works. Time Machine is the best. Clones are useless. Obsolete the day after you make them.
3. Use multiple big backup disks and just rotate them. Have a recent one somewhere else.
4. I have had issues with Drobo, but having said that I haven't seen anything better. Get a direct connected one though, not a network connected one. If you want to have it on a network then direct connect it to a Mac Mini server, but that won't work for Lightroom (hence I don't use it)

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Hans Kruse

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 11:48:02 AM »

Currently I have a small photo catalogue that still fits on one computer - slightly under 400 G. I would like to provide for
1. Time machine backup on-site
2. Off-site clone / backup drive(s)
3. (Soon) migrating a portion of the photo storage / LR catalogue to on-site external hard drive, ideally with fast access

My backup system has been Time Machine (excluding Lightroom) plus daily LR photo/catalogue backup onto the same backup disc (2 TB FireWire 800) and LR photo/catalogue onto a second 2 TB FireWire 800 disk theoretically to be stored off-site. No clone disc.
FW 800 disks available: the 2 2 TB disks mentioned above. These are 4 or 5 years old. I don't keep them spinning all the time. I turn them on and hook them up when I have photo ingestion and editing to do, which might be 2 days a week.
USB 2.0 - only discs available, all spinning rust: 1 1 TB, 1 500 G. Possible use for clone backup disc?
The computer these served had FW800 and USB 2.0.

Now I have a Thunderbolt 2 - capable computer, a 2015 MBP.
Would it make sense to get a Thunderbolt 2 large-ish (2 TB) external drive for photos not resident on the laptop, for use during editing, and keep the backup system as described above?

Let me explain what I do and why: I have a single MBP for all my computing needs (aside from an iPad Pro and iPhone 7+) and I have one external USB drive (now USB-C) where all my images are stored. The Lightroom catalog is on the internal 1TB SSD drive of the MBP (160GB for catalog and previews for 89000 photos).

The backup strategy is: The MBP is always backed up in my office on two external USB drives using Timemachine (TM). The external drive for photos is backed up on two drives, one sits in my office and one is a portable drive that I bring on my trips. I synchronise (not backup) the folders on the external drive to the two other drives using ChronoSync. Before I leave on a trip I make a final TM backup on the two TM drives and sync the image drives. On a trip I bring two portable drives for TM backup during my trip and I store all photos I shoot on the trip on the internal drive on the MBP. On the trip I try to keep the MBP and backup drives separate so I would never loose all in case of fire, theft etc. If I have at least one TM backup I can take back (if I lost the MBP) I can restore the entire MBP content to a new machine and it will be in the exact same state as when the last TM backup was made. If I loose everything on the trip I can buy a new MBP and restore all from one of the TM backups in my office. Why two in the office? If one of them fails then I like to have a another to restore from.

In addition I have an online backup of the MBP and the external USB-C image drive on Backblaze.com. I currently have 3.2 TB backed up. It costs $5/month for unlimited backup and I have this service since 2010. When I return from a trip with e.g. 200GB of photos it takes a couple of days to upload with the 100Mbps symmetric internet fiber connection I have. I hope I never need to restore from Backblaze but in case they offer to send all backup files on a USB drive. You can also download from the site, of course.

When I need larger HD's as I grow out of the current HD's I don't keep them except if they make sense to use as TM backup drives. I never exclude anything for TM backups because a TM backup is the basis for restoring on a new computer or alternatively connecting the new computer with the old one in target mode and the restore directly from the older MBP. The benefit of this is that the new one will look exactly like the old in terms of settings, apps and data.

Unless you have the need to use the catalog/photos to multiple computers, I would not see the reason to put the Lightroom catalog on an external drive which means you always would have to have the external drive connected to the MBP when editing photos. Especially when I travel I don't like to have an external drive connected all the time. One option that would work in this case is the new Samsung SSD T1 or T3 drives which are very small and light and don't get easily detached from the MBP. I had this option in mind when I did not go for the rather expensive 2TB SSD option for the internal drive on the MBP 2016. I don't need it now, but perhaps in the future and there is a 1TB and 2TB usb-c model and the speed is up to 450MBps.

I those a TB2 external drive before with the 2014 and 2015 MBP's I had. It's the LaCie 2 drive RAID. I regretted this since it is quite noisy. I got the new LaCie 5TB USB-C drive to use with the MBP 2016 and it is very quiet which I like.

I'm sure your needs are different than mine and solutions depends on requirements, so I'm not trying to say what I do is the right solution, except it is the right solution for my needs. So take from this description what makes sense :) Remember I run a business so I can never afford to loose all I have.

Joe Towner

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 01:48:39 AM »

Hey Nancy,

At 400gb, I'm thinking you are over thinking your needs.  How large of a drive is in the 2015 MBP and how much is free space?

You'll want to snag a current 3-5tb external USB3 drive to use as your Time Machine backup.  Add in a 1tb external laptop drive (or even 512gb SSD) as your fast local external storage.  Sign up with an online backup company (+1 on Backblaze) and just run with it.  You should be able to easily make a full backup of all images to a single inexpensive disk (even reusing your FW800) drives in the process.

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NancyP

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 08:32:49 PM »

Thanks. I think that I am over-thinking things as well. I have 400 G used and 600 G free on my MBP. I do know that I thought back in 2010 that I would not be able to fill up a 500 G hard drive, but that computer ended up being 93% full before I did some serious pruning. I know MY human nature - meh, files just sitting there, edit and prune tomorrow....  ::) I guess this is part of a New Year's resolution to be more orderly and to prune and keyword promptly.
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davidgp

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 03:37:49 AM »

Hi,

For on-line backup, I will also go with Backblaze... But you need a good up stream internet connection. When I started with them several years ago, I just had ADSL connection with 2 mbit/s upstream speed, it took me several months to upload just more than 1TB of photos. Now I have 300 mbit/s upstream... In less than one day I can upload more than 100 GB.

For the local backup. If you are just planning to go with 1 spinning drive... You can buy a cheap usb3 one... For just one spinning drive, USB3 is more than enough, thunderbolt 2 will not give you more speed... And the drive will be more expensive.

Thunderbolt 2 will start to be useful if you start thinking into buying a case that allows several drives on it in RAID, but that will start becoming quite expensive... And just for backups you don't really need the extra speed.


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Morris Taub

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Re: Upgrading my external storage / back up
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2017, 10:11:36 AM »

I like the external enclosure solution with multiple bays. In 2008 I bought a 5 drive enclosure from macgurus, a Burly. It's connected to my 2015 macbook pro now via a caldigit TS2 thunderbolt station. It has esata connections. Originally it was connected via esata 34express card and the slot in my 2008 macbook pro.

I have four 4tb drives in there now. One bay is empty. I set up LR to copy to one drive and my main library of images. It automatically copies to a second drive. Both those drives back up to the other two drives. I also use one drive to backup my laptop hard drive. I keep a bay empty so I can pop a fifth drive in there and copy all the raw files and have a drive that doesn't stay in the enclosure, just in case of a problem.

I don't have any original files on my laptop. Only the LR library stuff and all my other applications.

I hope that's not too confusing. It all makes sense to me.

If I was doing it today I think I might buy the akitio 4 bay thunderbolt 2 enclosure and do something similar. Getting a solution to work with my esata enclosure wasn't easy. A direct thunderbolt connection would be heaven. I've had this Burly a long time. Solid machine. I don't think they offer it yet in a thunderbolt version. Maybe usb3?

Or maybe two or three enclosures daisy chained via thunderbolt? Several companies sell these enclosures with 1, 2, or more bays. I don't need the speed of raid so I just use disks and my backup solution, carbon copy cloner.

Good luck to you whatever you end up doing. In the end, after all the reading on dam, it came down to something I could understand. A work flow that made sense to me.


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