Been doing photography commercially for a couple of months now, and I'm in need of a competent and price efficient backup system. My needs are as follows:
- Each commercial project typically uses 150-200GB of RAW and edited files (my camera is 24MP, so, that's why
- I don't need to backup my computer per se, just each individual project, with its own lightroom catalog.
- I want to be able to delete the project from my main PC after I've delivered but still keep a reference catalog so that I can go back and view images offline at a later date.
- I want to be able to take my backups and keep them offsite.
- The media should be able to last undisturbed for many years without failure.
My constraints are:
- The price over the long term has to make sense since I will be building in the cost of backups into my pricing structure.
- Uploading to the web is not feasible due to the amount of data I generate on a monthly basis, even though I have a 10MB connection, I would still never catch up.
- I don't have access to a controlled environment, so I have no control over humidity, temp., etc.
I've been thinking of 3 potential solutions, namely:
- Tape: Investing in a LTO-2/SDLT/DAT320 drive. The drives are fairly costly, but tape media cost isn't so bad. Tapes are fairly easy to store as well, but they are slow and difficult to verify file integrity.
- Hard disk: Just have an old PC with 2 dockable hard drive bays, which would have 1 disk as the offsite backup, and the other as an onsite backup (or offsite at another site). I would do incremental backups of the project while I work, and at the end do one big backup of everything.
- Blu-ray: More expensive than tape and harddrives per media, but they do take up much less space, and since they aren't mechanical, nothing to really break (although I've had a lot of CDs go bad on me due to rapid deterioration).
As I said, I don't need any fancy raid system (which I can build anytime) since I only need to backup discrete projects in its entirety, maybe with revisions.
So, what would be the best option? I'm leaning towards Hard disks as I'm familiar with the technology, disks are easy to get here and capacity isnt an issue. Hard disks should also last 5yrs undisturbed which would be fine with me as well. Given how I work, I'll probably burn through about 20 300GB hard drives a year (given that I'm keep 2 copies of each project) and at around 50.00 per drive, that isn't all too bad.