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Author Topic: Improving my backup system  (Read 856 times)

alexk3954

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Improving my backup system
« on: May 09, 2017, 07:41:55 PM »

I am in the process of planning an improvement to my data storage and backup system and would appreciate some feedback.  I currently use a 2013 MacBook Pro and have my data currently backed up to 1 external hard drive using time machine.  I shoot RAW with micro 4/3 so my images range from ~15 mb to ~200-300 mb for panoramas and/or layered photoshop files.  I am planning on moving my images and other data like my music library to an external hard drive in order to keep my computer running quickly as my library grows.

Here is my plan:

Internal 500 GB SSD - Will contain my OS, applications, LR catalog, and small documents
 -1 GB HD; bootable clone stored onsite
 -1 GB HD; bootable clone stored off site

External 4GB WD My Book - Will contain my photo library, LR catalog backups, music library
 - 2 identical backup drives, one stored onsite, one offsite

I will use Chrono Sync to manage the backup process.

I am also planning on backing up my photos and catalog to an online service, but have not yet decided exactly what I want to do.

 Will the WD My Book with USB 3.0 be fast enough for my purposes?  Would it be helpful to spend extra to get a thunderbolt 2 connection for my primary external HD to prevent any slow down in Lightroom and Photoshop, or would that be overkill and unnecessary expense?

I would appreciate any other input or advice you may have before I go purchase hard drives and get this process started.  Thanks!
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Joe Towner

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 08:00:52 PM »

Welcome to LuLa.

Start by skimming this thread and the Medium article I started (gotta get back and add to that). http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=116168.0

As to your specifics:

- Don't worry as much about bootable clones for your OS - leverage Time Machine to do that (continuously)
- If you want to do a quarterly clone, keep it onsite ( I like SuperDuper )
- How much of the 4tb will be used initially?  How many gigs do you average per year?
- Are you looking at the desktop or laptop 4tb external drives? (if laptop, you'll want a powered USB3 hub)
- You don't say what size TimeMachine drive you're looking at - 5 to 8tb would all work (and the 8tb's are dropping in price).

USB3 is fine for platter drives, you'd need some external SSDs or more disks to make the TB really shine.

So your day in/day out use would have 2 external drives connected via USB.  Main data drive (usb1) has continuous backup via Time Machine (usb2) and an online provider (I like BackBlaze). Every X amount of time you do a Chronosync of your data drive (usb1) to your offsite copy (usb3), and if you're feeling frisky you clone off your boot SSD for sanity before OS upgrades.

Shy of a really bad series of events, or ignoring error messages, you would be covered well.

-Joe
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alexk3954

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 08:00:28 PM »

Thanks for the reply Joe, I appreciate it.

I have skimmed that article before and it was definitely useful.

I was a little bit confused about using time machine when I have both an internal and external HD, but I think it is making sense.  It seems as though I can backup both the internal SSD and external data drive to the same backup drive simultaneously.  I like your idea of backing up the data drive using time machine.  I was originally thinking of backing that up using chronosync as I was not sure that it would be possible with time machine.

Probably only about 200 GB of the external 4TB will be used initially, but I have no idea how quickly data will accumulate.  I only started getting serious about photography a year ago and I am moving away from Los Angeles to a small mountain town where I will have a lot more time and opportunity for the type of photography I enjoy.  I cannot even guess how many GB/year I will average, but I'm pretty sure it will be a long while before 4 TB is limiting.

Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful!
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BobShaw

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 11:14:26 PM »

I basically agree with Joe. Time Machine will back up any number of drives in one go and that is all I have used for years. The only limitation is that you need a backup disk at least twice the size of what you are backing up (and preferable at least three).
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kikashi

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 03:31:13 AM »

I like the reassurance of an off-site backup that I can get at easily. I'd suggest you find a friend who lives reasonably nearby, has a speedy Net connection with no bandwidth limits and keeps his computer on all the time, give him a spare external HD and then set up a nightly incremental backup to his machine. I use ChronoSync, which works very well indeed.

Of course, a Time Machine backup is vital as well.

Jeremy
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 08:11:16 PM »

+1 on using Time Machine to handle the backups. I have two TM drives - one attached to my computer and one at the office, and I swap them out weekly. (Which of course means monthly, really, but this is for my personal computer. Work is on a RAID5 external backed up to a server.)
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alexk3954

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Re: Improving my backup system
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 01:41:27 AM »

Thanks everyone for the replies.  I think I feel a bit more confident in my plan now and just need to go buy some external HDs and get started!
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