Photography Backup Plan

Backup Plan

With so many storage options available at so many price points it gets harder and harder to choose a really solid backup plan. Cloud storage has definitely come a long way in the past few years, but are you ready to switch?

Lets have a look at my backup plan and see if it can help make your life a bit easier.

I use my backups solely for photography, but this system can be adapted to any file system. I also keep images from the current year on my laptop as well for ease of editing.

So here it goes…

I have 3 different backups of all images ever taken by me (From 2004 on) on 2 different types of media in 3 different locations. This is a slight change of the 3-2-1 backup plan followed by most I.T professionals. So lets call my plan the 3-2-3 backup plan!!

The first backup is the obvious one….a portable hard drive. Although hardware failures can occur, these drives are cheap and can be replaced yearly if necessary at a minimal cost.

Once I import my images on to the portable hard drive, I edit them and upload them to my Amazon S3 bucket. Amazon S3 storage has become the extremely cheap yet reliable storage solution at only $0.03 / gigabyte for the standard storage and $0.01 / gigabyte for the glacier storage. Any files older than 2 years get moved to the Glacier storage to further cut costs.

Once the images get uploaded to Amazon S3, I use to automagically copy the images from my S3 bucket to a Google Drive folder. This saves a second upload! Once the images are in the cloud, can pretty much transfer them between any cloud provider for you.

Why am I using Google Drive you ask?

Google Drive is in my opinion one of the best storage solutions for raw image files. You can preview them directly in your browser and the web client is fast, efficient and easy to use. I do not use the Google Drive sync client as I am only using this for backup storage.

So why am I not using a NAS (Network Attached Storage)?

You can read my article here for that answer!

The other factor about a NAS is it’s always on and when it does fail, be ready for a large bill. One drive failure of a NAS grade hard drive can most likely cover 1 year of cloud storage. When you consider this along with the power consumption, you are likely cheaper to use cloud storage.

I find this system easy and reliable as far as workflow goes. The only daunting task was the first upload when I switched to this system. If you can get past that, the system should serve you well too!

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or backup plan!!

Posted on September 30, 2014 in Blog

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About the Author

I am a freelance photographer and web designer / graphic designer with a flair for creativity and a passion for anything digital. I love to learn about new and emerging technologies. I currently reside in cambridge, ontario with my beautiful wife and 2 (mostly well behaved) children.

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