Backup solutions?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by natalie_l, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. What do you think of this backup solution my tech person suggested (he's not in the photography world but still knowledgeable)?

    Server from dell tower server PowerEdge T310 with 3 hard drive with redundant hard drives (3x 500GB) yield about 1TB space will cost around ($ 1,546.00)

    werEdge T310 PowerEdge T310 Chassis with up to 4 Cabled Hard Drives and Quad Pack LED Diagnostics edit
    Processor Intel(r) Xeon(r) X3430, 2.4 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo edit
    Memory 4GB Memory (2x2GB), 1333MHz, Dual Ranked UDIMM edit
    Operating System No Operating System edit
    OS Media kits None edit
    Hard Drive Configuration RAID 5 - Add-in PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 3-4 Hard Drives edit
    Primary Controller PERC 6/i SAS internal RAID adapter, PCI-Express edit
    Hard Drives (Multi-Select) 500GB 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5" Cabled Hard Drive edit
    Additional Controller None edit
    Power Supply Power Supply, Non-Redundant, 375W edit
    OS Partitions None
    or what about this:
    For Network Attached storage for local backup, BUFFALO TS-H2.0TGL/R5 4 x 500G TeraStation PRO II Network Attached Storage looks pretty good for around $550
  2. For Back Up? Neither. Network attached storage is just that: network attached. So that's not a back up. And Raid 5 server, well besides a waste of money (RAID 5 protects you from ONE hard drive failing), that's not really a back up either. So my vote is neither! A back up system would be offline (unless being backed up) and there would preferably be two copies in different locations (what if your location is wiped out by fire/flood/hurricane/etc?).
  3. Thanks John, I'm still learning about everything myself. What would you recommend?
  4. You can buy from B&H warehouse and others the SEagate Freeagent 1TB hard drive for a little over $100.00. YOu can afford several of these.
    Buy 4, keep two at your computer - uplug them when not actually performing a backup.
    Keep two in a safety deposit box.
    Switch the drives as offen as you think you should.
    There is no need to spend more money.
  5. I use a 5-Bay Burly Tower from Mac Gurus, though similar towers are available all over the place. Mine connects via eSata but you can connect them via Firewire (I wouldn't get a USB tower). The advantage(s) of a drive tower are many. First, you are just buying a barebones drive when you need one. A barebones (no enclosure) drive will always be less expensive than an already enclosed drive AND you get to choose your drive... it wasn't bought in bulk from the cheapest bid! As your hard drive(s) fill (and your need for storage is only going to increase), you need only buy a new drive. In my case, I run a 2010 Aperture Library on one drive. The Vault (Aperture back up) is on another (2 Vaults actually) that I only put in the tower when I need to back it up (and the optical disc back ups are off site). It just makes it easy to swap a drive in and out.
  6. We use 3 types of backup systems. The main HD (hard drive) on the computer, a second HD inside the computer, and an external as the 3rd backup. Since we shoot a lot of jobs we replace the HD's yearly, save them and mark them based on the year. Such as 2009. The HD's are replaced with new ones. The cost of 1 terabyte HD's are only $70 or so. Keep an eye on specials at places like Office Depot, Best Buy, Fry's, companies like this. Be sure to store one of the HD's at a different location, in case of a robbery, a fire, something like that. Needless to say, keep the HD's bubble wrapped and placed low to the floor. We have earthquakes here so we don't want the HD's falling from a shelf.

    I would not spend the money on a server computer, unless you want to hook up 15 computers or something like that to 1 server.

    You can also save your weddings to a single layer DVD, or double layer DVD's. Double layers hold over 8 gb's, usually way more than enough for a wedding.
  7. I'm with Gary on this one. Costco sells seagate 1.5 TB for $125. Back up to that and store at your local bank. Simple, cheap and veeery effective. Be double safe and back up to two Seagate 1.5 TBs and store them both off site. Hell of a lot cheaper, and safer, than any on-site RAID configuration.
  8. I'm also with Gary on this. If its attached and running you have no guarantee. One lightening strike and you are cooked. Buy a few 1tb drives and rotate them offsite. If your house/office burns down, you have something somewhere. Always keep at least one offsite or two if you have the money. When one backup drive is ready to go offsite, take it there and exchange the new for the old at that location. The simple rule is don't bring the old one home intending to bring a new one back while leaving nothing offsite. It's really that simple. Good luck.
  9. Bob, typically HDs will fail either in their first year or ownership or after 5 years of ownership. Constantly bringing new untested drives in every year is not only a waste of money but also technically unsound.

    Those 1 TB drives you rotate are actually more reliable than the new ones (because they have been worn in and survived the first year)!
  10. Natalie, I have a few dell servers (poweredge 1950 dual quad 3.0 gHz xeon and a poweredge 2600 dual xeon 2.4 gHz), and I can tell you that they are known for being competitively priced and reliable.
    But beware!!! that Dell you have priced out weighs about 100 lbs! Dell servers are not light!
    Buffalo makes some good products in their upper tiers. Please see your other thread for my suggestions on a storage solution.
    And also note that for the price of that Dell you can get a custom built server with the same capabilities/parts and 6-8TB of storage.

    As everyone is saying, having a comprehensive solution requires backups and multiple copies.
    But a quality RAID solution adds a great deal of reliability to any service scheme.
    Typically people who have parts/drives/etc fail consistently have them fail because they buy cheap junk parts for their machines or don't know how to maintain them. If you invest in quality parts from a knowledgeable technician they can literally last a decade without failure. This is how banks/hospitals/google/etc runs their networks.

    Most enterprises use a RAID 6 solution for their low use online connected storage system, they supplement this with windows Shadow Copy service and daily backups to other drives. If they are extra fancy they will do offsite backups as well.
  11. Lingo
    Low use - a few people moving large files (> 1MB) around
    High use - many people doing constant searches on databases with over a million records.
    Photography is typically very low use on disks. You basically are just reading and writing single large files occasionally. A RAID 5 or 6 is perfect for this type of use (lowest cost, average writing speeds/good reading speeds).
    Whereas searching bank records/hospital records/searching the internet/microsoft exchange mail server will call millions of possible records and run a function on them. In these cases most enterprises use multiple RAID 1 sets or RAID 10 where speed is required, because in RAID 1 two disks mirror the exact same data, and if you have high end hardware you can actually retrieve data simultaneously from the disks.
  12. I back up in three ways:
    1) in computer 1 TB HD for all current year weddings for the swiftest access
    2) Redundant storage of that and everything else of importance using a Drobo FW/800/400 or USB2 with four 1 TB drives installed with mirrored storage selected = 2 TB storage with redundant back-up in the Drobo. Drobos are no-brainer units that basically plug and play. I leave them off and unplugged most of the time
    3) storage of client images on Smug Mug for off-line, out of the studio storage ... in case the studio goes up in flames, Lightening fries everything, a tornado strikes, or there is a robbery.
  13. I use a few methods currently.
    1) import to a plug in drive that is loaded via a blacX plug n play drive bay (firewire). This is a 1.5 TB drive that as it fills (75% ~) I unplug and store in a static free bag, in a fire proof safe.
    2) having imported and PP'd images to the jpegs, I upload them to an online gallery.
    3) I keep all images from previous years on a Drobo (currently 4TB) which self checks and allows for drive faliure.
    4) DVD's of all images in jpeg format in another safe.
    5) images sent to clients in high res. on DVD's with the request that they back up these images and save them in a "safe" place.
  14. I'm surprised Marc is the only one using smugmug which is what I do.........very simple, inexpensive off-site storage for all the edited files from the wedding. Also recent weddings on hard drive, backup older weddings on external drive, and DVD copies of all originals & edits on DVDs........easy peasy.
  15. Make it simple:
    Buy three 1 TB drives. Make sure none of them are installed inside your PC....this is bad....much better to go the external route so that the HD's are portable. NEVER keep them running 24/7....only plug them in and run them as needed....they are like light bulbs...they will burn out.
    Mirror two of them on site (they both have the same exact data).
    Mirror the 3rd drive weekly, and this drive is kept off-site so that if your house burns down, you still have the 3rd drive.
    Stay far away from CD & DVD drives.
    Stay far away from online storage, like SmugMug and others....I would never trust storage that is out of my control, and none of them provide enough space to store all your stock raws.
    Whatever method you use, make sure you and only you are the one controlling everything...your pictures, that storage of files is to be treated like your and only you should be in control of those things....never trust anyone else....buck stops with you.
  16. A rough translation of a quote I live by when it comes to backing up.... "If you don't have three copies, you don't have one."
    Here's my backup plan:
    1) Working/Live drive
    2) External - Backs up nightly. Gets swapped periodically with a 2nd external that I keep in my firesafe at home.
    3) - Offsite, instantly backs up when it sees new files. Read up on them. They seem to be very secure, and reasonable prices for unlimited storage and restore discs/drives.
    As others said, stay away from CD/DVD media!

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