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I think I am at the point that I need to reevaluate my archiving process.  Currently this is what I do:

 

1. A copy of all my RAW files go to my Network Attached Storage

2. Another copy gets burned to DVD

3. Processed jpgs live in my Network Attached Storage

 

I am wondering if I should stop using DVDs.  Are they becoming obsolete? I am fearing that soon we won't even have DVD drives to read DVDs.  Is there a better strategy?  I am happy with my NAS, I just need an additional place to back them up to.

What do you guys do?

 

Tarsier

Edited by tarsierspectral

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I found that some of my DVDs weren't readable after several years of storage. I suggest you to use a cloud solution instead. I prefer to use several external HDDs and cloud solutions.

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I just use separate hard drives. Copies of all RAW and finished TIFF files on an archive drive and a backup drive at my place, as well as everything on a third at my parents' house which gives me extra security against theft or fire and a good excuse to go there for a decent meal at regular intervals.

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I found that some of my DVDs weren't readable after several years of storage. I suggest you to use a cloud solution instead. I prefer to use several external HDDs and cloud solutions.

Last time I tried a cloud solution it was taking weeks to transfer the files and it wasn't cheap.  I do have an archive of probably around 100000 images.  Any good cloud service you could recommend that would accommodate that many images for a decent price at a decent speed?

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DVDs are unreliable for archival storage. Shelf life even under controlled environment storage is only a few years. This is for burned DVDs which are not the same as pressed ones with movies.

 

Research by US National archives says DVDs and CDs should never be used as archival storage.

 

The only currently available effective archival storage is a managed library where data is monitored and moved to new media on a regular basis.

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I've been using external HD's,  Mostly Western Digital.  They have become so cheap.

The oldest 1TB that I paid $300 for years ago still works fine as does the newest one

that I paid $85 for.....

 

Quit using CD's and DVD's years ago.

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Guest

....

Edited by Guest

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Here's mine:

- three 3GB external HDDs rotated between home and my wife's workplace, with software called Syncback automatically backing everything up to them.

- Crashplan, set to upload everything automatically to the cloud automatically. This is NOT intended as something I would update from in the event of, say, a hard drive failure, but it has proved invaluable when individual files get corrupted. Crashplan keeps every version of every file - so if a file gets corrupted, the original is always available. And they are very quick and easy to download. It would also be useful for recent files that haven't yet rotated to the off-site location in the event of, say, a flood or fire (perhaps as important for business documents as for photos).

 

Crashplan works well - genuine unlimited GBs (I have nearly 2TB backed up) without any slowing down of uploads, and cheap - I've just renewed for four years at less than USD50 per year. I haven't fond anytihing comparable - Carbonite slows your uploads after 200GB or so, others have extortionate prices for larger amounts of data. Have been with Crashplan for 3 years without problems. Yes, it takes months to back up everything (it's possible to prioritise what goes up first) - but that access to original versions of RAWs has saved me a few times.

 

In summary - I'm using different types of backups to cover different situations.

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Here's mine:

- three 3GB external HDDs rotated between home and my wife's workplace, with software called Syncback automatically backing everything up to them.

- Crashplan, set to upload everything automatically to the cloud automatically. This is NOT intended as something I would update from in the event of, say, a hard drive failure, but it has proved invaluable when individual files get corrupted. Crashplan keeps every version of every file - so if a file gets corrupted, the original is always available. And they are very quick and easy to download. It would also be useful for recent files that haven't yet rotated to the off-site location in the event of, say, a flood or fire (perhaps as important for business documents as for photos).

 

Crashplan works well - genuine unlimited GBs (I have nearly 2TB backed up) without any slowing down of uploads, and cheap - I've just renewed for four years at less than USD50 per year. I haven't fond anytihing comparable - Carbonite slows your uploads after 200GB or so, others have extortionate prices for larger amounts of data. Have been with Crashplan for 3 years without problems. Yes, it takes months to back up everything (it's possible to prioritise what goes up first) - but that access to original versions of RAWs has saved me a few times.

 

In summary - I'm using different types of backups to cover different situations.

I looked at Crashplan before and what I don't like about it is that it's all automatic.  I wish I could manually just move the files I want there by myself and not have it sync/resync all the time.  Unfortunately, that's not possible.  I wish they gave a choice.  I don't want every version of every file.  I want one version of the files I want backed up.

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I save JPG + RAW on DVDs as alternative to magnetic storage, plus backup on HD on my computer and another HD kept at a different place.

I will switch to DVD blu ray soon to reduce number of disks.

 

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I have two 2 terabyte external drives that back up my internal work drive. These are stored in two locations when I am holiday or an out building when I am out working.

 

Also I upload all the finished files as JPEGs (15,000++ so far) to my zenfolio website, unlimited storage for not much money (they back up to a number of sites).
http://markbaigent.zenfolio.com/

 

If you like zenfolio I think that my code save us both a bit

JNT-A8S-KPR

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Finished files I deem to be *important* I keep on 64gb memory sticks (yes - they all fit on just one) as well as HDs, flash memory being more reliable than HDs.  The much larger bulk of regular work, providing it is already placed with agencies, I just keep on HDs.  If it gets lost ... well that's tough.  Like Mr Kidd, I can anyway get access to some of it from same agency.

 

Raws are much more of a headache, which increasingly I regard as working material, rather than as unprocessed images.  For example|: an image which has just appeared on Corbis required 200 separate exposures on a D800.  The problem for me is, that while I have no problem editing finished work, raws accumulate uncontrollably because I never know what I might find useful on future projects.  And I haven't found an easy way to safely store them. 

 

RB

Edited by Robert Brook

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Here's mine:

- three 3GB external HDDs rotated between home and my wife's workplace, with software called Syncback automatically backing everything up to them.

- Crashplan, set to upload everything automatically to the cloud automatically. This is NOT intended as something I would update from in the event of, say, a hard drive failure, but it has proved invaluable when individual files get corrupted. Crashplan keeps every version of every file - so if a file gets corrupted, the original is always available. And they are very quick and easy to download. It would also be useful for recent files that haven't yet rotated to the off-site location in the event of, say, a flood or fire (perhaps as important for business documents as for photos).

 

Crashplan works well - genuine unlimited GBs (I have nearly 2TB backed up) without any slowing down of uploads, and cheap - I've just renewed for four years at less than USD50 per year. I haven't fond anytihing comparable - Carbonite slows your uploads after 200GB or so, others have extortionate prices for larger amounts of data. Have been with Crashplan for 3 years without problems. Yes, it takes months to back up everything (it's possible to prioritise what goes up first) - but that access to original versions of RAWs has saved me a few times.

 

In summary - I'm using different types of backups to cover different situations.

I looked at Crashplan before and what I don't like about it is that it's all automatic.  I wish I could manually just move the files I want there by myself and not have it sync/resync all the time.  Unfortunately, that's not possible.  I wish they gave a choice.  I don't want every version of every file.  I want one version of the files I want backed up.

 

Actually, if you dig down a bit, you can. It's possible to select individual files and/or folders to back up, and to switch off versioning completely. I think there are tutorials on the Crashplan website ...

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I use multiple hard drives and keep one version off site at my kids house. Seems to me to be the quickest and most cost effective. Like the Cloud but it is neither cheap nor quick IMO.

 

dov

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I found that some of my DVDs weren't readable after several years of storage. I suggest you to use a cloud solution instead. I prefer to use several external HDDs and cloud solutions.

Last time I tried a cloud solution it was taking weeks to transfer the files and it wasn't cheap.  I do have an archive of probably around 100000 images.  Any good cloud service you could recommend that would accommodate that many images for a decent price at a decent speed?

 

 

I keep some of my pictures on mega.co.nz.Encrypted and safe (until now). I also use it to upload RAW files from my SD cards when I'm abroad.

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I have no problems with DVDs apart from the number to store - I am about to switch to blu rays - is anyone use these as optical storage?

Space taken by DVD is a problem but I prefer to have a second type of backup i.e. non magnetic as HDs.

 

Otherwise I have one copy on local HD and one on USB 3Tb HD located at a different place.

 

I re-burn DVD backup every 4 years.

 

This overall works well and does require too much time to operate.

 

I don't like the idea of having all my images lost somewhere in the clouds ....

Edited by Collpicto

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DVDs are not reliable for archival storage. Re-burning on a regular schedule is prudent. Curious if you have tested any of your older ones and what the results were?

 

There is a product called m-disc available in DVD format which claims 1,000 year life span. I have tested it to see how it works and found no issues so far. It is readable on any DVD player but requires a different burner. No idea if 1,000 years is possible, I`ll report back at the end of my test. :-)

 

I don`t think it is practical due to the DVD limit of 4.7gb but they are supposed to be releasing a 25gb Blu-ray version later this year which might be worth looking into. My image library is currently at 700gb so even at Blu-ray size it will take a lot of discs.

 

What we need is TB size permanent storage.

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I worked as system admin and the safest way to store data were RAID storage computers (like NAS) with regular incremental backup on magnetic tapes. Each tape can hold up to 100 GB of data and the amount of RAID storage on a PC sized server can be up to 8-10 TB.

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Not sure if it's been mentioned above, but I just learned you can now operate your own cloud storage on your own hard drives.

 

Western Digital is one of the manufacturers, I just learned about, that has a recieving  3 T ext HD. You place this cloud HD near a router with internet access in one locale and program it to receive your files, Then you can upload files to it from any other location.

 

64 G Flash memory stick RB mentioned above is a handy device too for storing thousands of processed jpegs, Just bought one myself. You can have a huge collection of processed jpegs stored on one, and carry it around with you, like in your car, or camera pack , even your keychain, as a bit of added insurance, especially  when travelling.

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Not sure if it's been mentioned above, but I just learned you can now operate your own cloud storage on your own hard drives.

 

Western Digital is one of the manufacturers, I just learned about, that has a recieving  3 T ext HD. You place this cloud HD near a router with internet access in one locale and program it to receive your files, Then you can upload files to it from any other location.

 

64 G Flash memory stick RB mentioned above is a handy device too for storing thousands of processed jpegs, Just bought one myself. You can have a huge collection of processed jpegs stored on one, and carry it around with you, like in your car, or camera pack , even your keychain, as a bit of added insurance, especially  when travelling.

 

Personal Cloud storage - a nice idea.  I went to Amazon to take a look, but unfortunately WDs version has a lot of negative reviews.  A shame as I have always liked their products and have (only recently) received some very good customer service from them.

 

Flash drive is a good idea for the .jpegs - so long as you don't lose it!

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<<  went to Amazon to take a look, but unfortunately WDs version has a lot of negative reviews >>

 

Oowh, I read some of those negative reviews. You definitely want something reliable especially when away!

Edited by MMiller

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