Backups ~ Part II

Drobo 5D3

This is a follow up to describe my new backup strategy. It’s a well followed strategy for backups so you won’t find any earth shattering revelations here. But it may help you find your own way or help to confirm what you may already be doing.

My strategy is simple. I make sure I have at least three backups of my photography library and at least one backup has to be offsite to ensure a catastrophe at home won’t wipe out everything I have. Previously, my offsite backup was to Amazon Drive who offered unlimited storage for $50 a year up until very recently when they upped their pricing to the point where my data would cost well over $300 a year to keep in the cloud via Amazon Drive.

I considered other Cloud services, some as low as $50 annually but the upload times for all my terabytes of data would take months to upload if my laptop was working on it full time.

As I was considering options it was clear that I needed my own local storage that I could quickly load files to. I already own a first generation Drobo that has served me faithfully for many years. I was about ready to pull out my wallet for a Drobo 5N2, their latest 5 Bay NAS device. But on the day I was planning to order, Drobo announced the availability of the 5D3, a new thunderbolt capable device. I bought one and ordered five of 4TB hard drives to go with it. It is one heck of a backup device, fast and reliable so far. The only issue I have with it right now is the vibrational noise I get when it’s running. I don’t know what causes it but it can be downright noisy at times. I try to reposition the Drobo and the cover and I can make the vibration go away for a while but it always reverts back to it’s noisy condition. I may try to put it on a mat of some kind to see if I can cure the vibration. But otherwise it’s really fast and works great for me. I use the 5D3 as my main Lightroom library. With over 200k photos in my catalog it works great.

My second backup goes to my legacy Drobo and the third backup goes to an 8TB Western Digital Drive that I carry to the office and take home on a weekly basis to update the backup.

So, I’ve abandoned the Cloud for backups of my photographs. It wasn’t a cheap alternative however. I could have paid for three years of Amazon Drive at their new higher rates before this Drobo 5D3 and the drives are paid off. But I can live with a three year return on investment knowing that I have reliable storage for images that are really important to me and my family.

Hope this helps if you’re thinking about an approach to backup your own photographs.

Thanks for reading.

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