Backing up your stuff…

The sword of Damocles hanging over the head of any photographer is data loss. What to do to backup your precious images so that, even after critical data loss such as a bad disk, you can still access your images?

Once I have  images to treat, my solution is to copy them into Adobe Lightroom (which copies the files to an external disk) but also to create a second copy on an external NAS which is RAID1 configured.

RAID (Random Array of Inexpensive Disks) uses two (or more) disks – all the data copied onto the first disk is then ‘mirrored’ onto the second disk – thus if one of the disks dies, the data should still be retrievable from the second. ‘Should’ being the operative word here. ( I should add that there are various RAID options available – from 0 to 6, all with different configurations and numbers of disks – RAID1 is simple mirroring.)

Ideally, an off-site solution would be better – I could create a VPN and copy my images to one of my servers where I work – I’m lucky in that as I am the one that looks after these, I can pretty much do as I want – but I have nearly 4Tb of data, which would take up quite a lot of space.

Cloud servers seemed interesting, but when I checked out the prices, particularly for the quantity of data I need to backup, it got into silly money.

Until today – though a discussion on a photographic forum in the UK, I learned about Backblaze – this is a name I’m unfamiliar with, but their marketing blurb caught my eye – unlimited backup space for 5$ per month.

This could be what I’ve been looking for – so I’ve bitten the proverbial bullet and signed up – the desktop app is already churning  away happily (after automatically finding my LaCie External drive) and we’ll have to see how many weeks it actually takes to upload all this to the Cloud.

A year costs 50$ + 10$ tax = 48 € – which seams reasonable enough for piece of mind.

A single file, or the whole backup can be downloaded from anywhere in the world – and for a small fee they will even FedEx you a USB key with up to 128Gb of data on it.