Drobo 5N2 image
Drobo 5N2

Drobo 5N2

My world has been set on its side! Well, in a small way.

I have almost 6 terabytes of files that I back up, most of them images that I sync to my Lightroom catalog.

My backup strategy is a classic one. Backups in three places including one offsite to cover the worst case if something happens to the primary backups. My offsite backup is to Amazon Drive which offered an incredible deal, unlimited backup to their cloud servers for a seriously great deal of $59.95 annually. Well, I’m not sure if Amazon had a short term strategy to attract a core set of subscribers but they’ve given notice that the unlimited data deal is over. Where have we heard this before? Now instead, the price will approach $400 to backup my data. So, I’m giving up on cloud backups. That strategy doesn’t make sense anymore given the life cycle costs involved.

So, I’m exploring alternatives. Currently I back up to a WD 8TB drive as my primary backup which then is sync’d via Chronosync to my first generation Drobo. Then I backup my Drobo to the cloud using Arq, a great backup program which cleverly encrypts and snyc’s my files to Amazon Drive.

I like my Drobo. I know some have had issues with them but honestly mine has never hiccuped. I’ve had some drive failures but the Drobo is designed to handle those with redundant backup. I have simply replaced the failed drive and the Drobo takes care of the rest, seamlessly incorporating the new drive into the backup.

My first generation Drobo is still working so there’s little sense in not keeping it. But I’m thinking I’ll replace it with their relatively new Drobo5n2, a networked machine. My primary and only computer is a MacBook Pro which I use as a desktop machine when hooked into a large BenQ monitor. I use the desktop setup when I’m working in Lightroom since I need to access all my images hosted on the primary 8TB WD drive. I’m thinking the networked Drobo 5N2 would allow me to access my images via Lightroom without being connected at my desk. I could then back up the 5N2 to the first generation Drobo and to the WD 8TB drive. Then I’ll just take the WD drive to work and leave it at the office periodically bringing it home to sync. That could be my offsite backup. Admittedly a weakness in this strategy is the frequency of backups made to the offsite drive. If I only bring it home once a week, I could miss a week’s worth of images. But since I mostly shoot film anyway, the negatives are always there to rescan. For digital images, I think I can live with a one or two week gap. My primary goal is to preserve everything else.

I’ll let you know how this goes, but I’d welcome any comments or feedback if you have a similar challenge with backup of your images.

2 comments On Backups

  • Have a look at Backblaze for online off-site backups. I have no link with them other than as a very happy customer.

    • billmccarroll7105

      Thanks Ian, I’ve used Backblaze and other online backups in the past. They work well once all the data is uploaded. My challenge is the time it’ll take to get 5tb of data up in the cloud.

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