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Cloud storage to supplement multiple USB HD's
Old 12-18-2015   #1
kxl
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Cloud storage to supplement multiple USB HD's

Currently, all of my jpegs and tiff files are stored in my Zenfolio account and multiple USB HD's.

All other file types (all RAW, DNG and non-image files) are stored in multiple HD's. I am thinking about subscribing to an unlimited storage plan (about $99/year) with either Dropbox or Carbonite to store these other files, not only for redundancy but also for remote access.

Zenfolio has a pay per use plan for non jpg/tiff files, and for what I need, that model will end up costing quite a bit more.

Have any of you used Dropbox or Carbonite? Or any other service? Again, my primary intent would be to store RAW, DNG and non-image files.

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Old 12-18-2015   #2
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I used Carbonite, then had a hard drive issue. I was not able to restore all my photos. Yes Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz stole about 1/3 of my archive photos. Now I use 2 hard drives.
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Old 12-18-2015   #3
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It depends a lot about how frequently you want access to your files, but I use Amazon Glacier (which for my uses, about 100GBs, is less than $2/month). If you are looking for a place to leave them and not retrieve them often this may be a solution.
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Old 12-18-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
Currently, all of my jpegs and tiff files are stored in my Zenfolio account and multiple USB HD's.

All other file types (all RAW, DNG and non-image files) are stored in multiple HD's. I am thinking about subscribing to an unlimited storage plan (about $99/year) with either Dropbox or Carbonite to store these other files, not only for redundancy but also for remote access.

Zenfolio has a pay per use plan for non jpg/tiff files, and for what I need, that model will end up costing quite a bit more.

Have any of you used Dropbox or Carbonite? Or any other service? Again, my primary intent would be to store RAW, DNG and non-image files.

Thanks,
Keith
I use Dropbox for free, but don't pay for the extras, so I can't store much on it.

My concern about all external solutions is pretty simple; they are only as useful as the period of time they are around.

That is to say that companies go out of business. They merge, they discontinue plans, they raise rates, all kinds of things happen. Anyone who doesn't believe that can look at our recent history of music services that encouraged people to store their music online with them and then shut down without warning or gave people a very limited period of time to download and transfer their music files before going away.

I am not saying Dropbox, et al, are going away. Maybe they will be around forever. But they are certainly no promises that I am aware of that cannot be altered or broken. Imagine if they discontinued the service and gave you a few days to transfer many gigs of stuff, or raised rates until you could not or would not pay?

For that reason, I do not pay for external third-party storage. If I did, I would still not consider it a primary respository; only secondary to my own primary storage.

I choose to keep my files locally stored, on hard drives I own. I use redundant drives; at the present time all my photos are backed on three individual hard drives. My backup scheme is simple and automated; I store a photo and that night, my script runs and copies the new photos to all three external drives.

I used to have a method to keep one drive offsite and rotate from time to time in case my house burned down, but I lost that option and haven't come up with a good replacement yet. Ideally, I would still do that as well.

I only trust myself with my photos. I do not trust third-party services; too many have gone bankrupt and/or changed their terms for me to ever trust them.
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Old 12-18-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
My concern about all external solutions is pretty simple; they are only as useful as the period of time they are around.
Good point. Hadn't considered that.
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Old 12-19-2015   #6
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Amazon.

Amazon supplies Cloud services to major corporations and other large institutions. They are the best. Amazon's IT services are a major source of their cash flow.
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Old 12-19-2015   #7
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I like Backblaze. $5/month, and it will back up physically connected drives as well. All happens in the background—it's very unobtrusive, and, unlike, say, Crashplan, it doesn't run in Java, it's native. If they go out of business, they'll let you know, and you can sign up with a new service. As a supplement to physical drives (ie., in case your house burns down), it's terrific.
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Old 12-19-2015   #8
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For reasons already mentioned about paid cloud services as far as changing terms, going Ch 7, or other unseen future issues,
I backup with a RAID HD-2tbx2tb. When that gets full, I will get a much larger one-10tbx10tb and move my files on the 2tbx2b over.
I have had the 2tbx2tb for about 3 years and I still have 560gb to go. Remember Platter HDs have a life of around 30 years at best for non-use storage.
(archived files no longer used or rarely accessed)
SSDs have other longevity issues with its memory, but, does offer much longer non-use storage.

Costly BRay 128g disks offer the best archive method, but it is expensive when TB's of images need to be archived.

So for currently used images catalogs, I think in-home HD's backups are the safest and readily available without internet connections.
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Amazon Prime
Old 12-19-2015   #9
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Amazon Prime

I believe that Prime Cloud service allows unlimited jpg, TIFF and certain raw storage for the price of a Prime membership.
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Old 12-19-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
I like Backblaze. $5/month, and it will back up physically connected drives as well. All happens in the background—it's very unobtrusive, and, unlike, say, Crashplan, it doesn't run in Java, it's native. If they go out of business, they'll let you know, and you can sign up with a new service. As a supplement to physical drives (ie., in case your house burns down), it's terrific.
Similarly I run CrashPlan. Same basic cost, same basic feature set.

MacBook Air (LR catalog lives here)
WD MyCloud 8TB NAS w/ RAID (actual image files live here)
Apple AirPort Time Capsule (on-site backup of MacBook)
Apple Time Machine (backup software for daily backup of MacBook to Time Capsule)
CrashPlan (continuous cloud backup of everything)

As mabelsound mentioned, concerns about CrashPlan or Backblaze going out of business are overblown (my opinion) unless you feel there's a high likelihood they will "disappear" at exactly the same time your HD and onsite backup BOTH fail. If they go belly up at any other time, its an inconvenience, but just migrate to another cloud provider. They are redundant backup, not primary backup.

But - everyone has ideas on how best to handle backup. Mine works for me, and I don't suggest it would work for everyone.

-mike
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Old 12-19-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwcolor View Post
I believe that Prime Cloud service allows unlimited jpg, TIFF and certain raw storage for the price of a Prime membership.
I just looked into this and it sound promising. There are 3 options:
  • Unlimited photos (jog, tiff, dng, nef, arw, etc...) as part of a Prime membership
  • unlimited photos and 5gb of non-photo files for $11.99/year
  • unlimited photos and non-photo files for $59.99/year

The first 3 months for the latter 2 are free. I just signed up for the 2nd one and will assess after 3 months if I want to stay with it or go to the third option. I'm not really interested in becoming a Prime member.
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Old 12-20-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwcolor View Post
I believe that Prime Cloud service allows unlimited jpg, TIFF and certain raw storage for the price of a Prime membership.
I completely agree. If one uses Amazon Prime to eliminate shipping costs, stream free video/audio content or use the Kindle Lending Library, the Prime Photo storage is a very low-cost option.

This is really for emergency back up. Downloading GB of image files is inconvenient.
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Old 12-20-2015   #13
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I use a very simplistic backup scheme with 2 external USB drives of 3 TB.
After each upload from a photoshoot, I backup to one of the external drives.
Every other week, when our son comes to diner at sunday night (so tonight) he brings the 2nd drive and while we have a great meal, I backup to the 2nd drive which he takes home again afterwards.
The net result is that I allways have 2 copies of each file at home on different types of disks so I am protected against HW malfunctioning, virusses etc. In case of a major disaster like a fire or theft of all my equipment, at the max I lose 2 weeks worth of shooting.
This is a much better position than in the old analog days, were I would have lost everything.
I agree with photomoof that not everything is valuable, but storage is dirt cheap. Those 2 drives cost me approx € 250 and will last for many years.
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Old 12-20-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
One thing everyone might consider doing is prioritizing files.

I do not believe anyone has 500GB of images that really matter, let alone a couple of terabytes, unless one's plan is to just blindly fill drives, and sort it all out sometime when retired.
Images that I had wanted on my wall, my website or in books are prioritized; however, I do have quite a lot of RAW and DNG files for images that I have chosen not to print or display at this time. That doesn't mean that I won't at some future date.

Can I do a better job at prioritizing images to keep? Of course, we all probably can. But unlimited storage allows me to keep those images that may have a 1% of chance of ever being on my wall, my website or in a book.
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Google Drive and Photos
Old 12-20-2015   #15
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Google Drive and Photos

Lots of useful advice here. FWIW I started with USB and NAS storage and recently added a 1TB Google Drive account. It took about 3 weeks to upload 700GB but did so in the background. As a bonus all uploaded images are accessible on mobile devices through Google Photos. For me it is worth $10/month to have all my docs, music, photos, etc., safely stored offsite and accessible from anywhere with a connection. I would expect any of the big players to remain viable and continue to develop and enhance features.
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Old 12-21-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
One thing everyone might consider doing is prioritizing files.

Not me. I do what's easiest. Prioritizing is for things that take work, like scanning film. Digital files don't require any thought, I just save em.

Quote:
I do not believe anyone has 500GB of images that really matter, let alone a couple of terabytes, unless one's plan is to just blindly fill drives, and sort it all out sometime when retired.
They matter to me. I need no other justification.


Quote:

1) Print some photos, you will learn a lot about your images, and you will now have an image which if framed or stored properly can last a very long time without any "gardening," no tending to new drives.
I had some framed prints in the basement, but the washing machine upstairs overflowed and took them out. Also got my framed Honorable Discharge.

Quote:
2) Discipline yourself to edit, and organize. Otherwise you are just an image hoarder like Winogrand became. Learn about what you have, and make it possible to look at them in the future.
You say that like it's a bad thing.

Quote:
3) If you are a Pro shooting say weddings, put a time limit on storage, or store them separately from your personal work. Honestly you will not care about Mr. and Mrs. Ridiculous after they get divorce.
Reasonable suggestion.

Quote:

4) Google or Amazon will not go out of business without some warning.
Go out of business, no. Discontinue various services, yes, and they do it on an ongoing basis. For example my oft-missed Google news aggregation portal.

Quote:
5) Add to this list...
Do as you wish with your own property and time.
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Old 12-21-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
One thing everyone might consider doing is prioritizing files.

I do not believe anyone has 500GB of images that really matter, let alone a couple of terabytes, unless one's plan is to just blindly fill drives, and sort it all out sometime when retired.

1) Print some photos, you will learn a lot about your images, and you will now have an image which if framed or stored properly can last a very long time without any "gardening," no tending to new drives.

2) Discipline yourself to edit, and organize. Otherwise you are just an image hoarder like Winogrand became. Learn about what you have, and make it possible to look at them in the future.

3) If you are a Pro shooting say weddings, put a time limit on storage, or store them separately from your personal work. Honestly you will not care about Mr. and Mrs. Ridiculous after they get divorce.

4) Google or Amazon will not go out of business without some warning.

5) Add to this list...



In my case I use asymmetrical web access, in the form of Time Warner Cable, uploading is miserable, but downloading is lightning fast.

So fast, that images on my iPhone appear from the cloud before my eyes.

I'm a hobbyist photographer since 2008 and the directory I store all my images as of today is 757GB.
If for example each RAW/DNG image is 24MB, this is around 31000 images. I have some JPEGs that are only 1.5MB but I also have MF and 4x5 scans that are more than 50MB each.
Having 200GB+ of images IMO is equivalent to a couple of archive binders.
Do you print all your film negatives or only selected ones?
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Old 12-21-2015   #18
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Most of my work is archival for work and long-term critical. I use Office 365 for about 100 bucks a year, which gives me access to MSOffice and 1Tb of storage, which is enough for me for now, plus, when I fill an SD Card I store it and buy another, AND I back up all on a separate hard drive. Plus, completed, edited, work is on those and also in a separate dedicated Dropbox account.
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Just an fyi
Old 12-22-2015   #19
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Just an fyi

Found this stat from someone who is helping in a data center... While these are enterprise disk drives, I would suspect consumer failure rates could be similar.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-...s-for-q2-2015/

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Old 12-23-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
I am a firm believer in that!

There was a conceptual nature to what Winogrand did, but few have understood it.

He made photos without need to process or develop them, they simply exist as a product of his art, it is for use to us or not use them as we please. We can choose to look at them, or discard them.

But his act of photography ended with the winding of the film to the next frame.
I rather enjoyed this assessment of GW. While I think his disinterest in post-production is a complex blend, the conceptual aspect you mentioned is an important component. I'll sip some scotch and revisit my GW photo books this evening.
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