Shots for and from the videopodcast "Meet the Gimp!".

Digital Storage?

dennybob   March 28, 2008, 03:21 PM

I am new to digital imaging, at least to any real amount of digital imaging, so, perhaps my limited knowledge is not accurate.
What are you using for your digital image storage? From what i have seen so far most online storage is limited by file size do to upload time, so raw images could not be stored that way.
as to storing image files onto Compact Disks (CDs) I am under the understanding that they have a shelf life and will not last forever. If that is correct, then you would have to re burn them every so often.
If using a hard drive there is always a chance of the drive failing and losing your files that way also. How many Hard drive copies are needed to be safe?


xemoth   March 28, 2008, 09:16 PM

How much money are you willing to pay?

Generically your problem is one of backup strategy and I suggest you look into that.

Anyway, my .02 cents worth for the average home user is;

level 1. Computer + removable hard drive(s)
level 2. Computer + removable hard drive + off site storage
level 3. Computer + raid + off site.

Note that you really need the off site location, whether it be purchased space as with Amazon, or just somewhere that you can deposit your removable hard drive. There is nothing worse that have someone steal all your computer equipment.

CDs, DVDs and memsticks have their long and short term problems, but they are good for transporting data from one site to another.

Some very rich people, like the movie studios and national governments have the same problem as you, so you are not alone. The only difference is the amount of money available to fix it :-)


dennybob   March 28, 2008, 10:13 PM

My plans are to add a external Hard drive here to back up to (even to store the majority on). Then when I can, put another Hard drive in my shop to back up to there (off site). I guess at that point I may need the Raid thing you were mentioning? Is that a network device? I guess at that point I will need that to keep everything interconnected.?
I just wondered if there were any online sites that would take full size files? Then there would be the upload time problems.

Serge Gielkens   March 28, 2008, 11:19 PM

As xemoth pointed out, a backup strategy is something that everybody struggles with, small and big.

RAID is not meant as a backup; it is meant as a counter measure against hard disk (HD) failure. Different setups exists of which the so-called RAID 1 or mirror RAID seems a backup. Namely, two or more HD's operate in parallel and are exact copies of each other. So if one HD fails, the other (ones) have still a identical working copy of the data. However, if you delete a file permanently, it is gone on all copies; no way to retrieve it. That is what a backup is for: to archive data that are not worked on anymore. So if in your working environment data get lost, the archive is there to rescue.

Network backup at home is possible thanks to NAS that in recent years has become affordable, e.g. by Linksys. On one hand it has USB ports to connect HD's to (the same external HD's you would use to connect to your computer) and on the other hand it has an ethernet connection to connect to a network. The NAS takes care of presenting the HD's as network devices.

That being said, a NAS (or network storage in general for that matter) is only necessary if you need to access the backup HD's from different computers on your network. If you always work on one single computer, you can just as well use the HD without NAS and plug it directly into your computer.

How many copies does one need? To be safe, use two not one backup, no matter if they are two external HD's or one HD and online storage. You are going to hate yourself if a file gets lost, you take your one backup and it appears to have gone corrupt. Keep in mind that also a external HD holding your backup might loose data however small the chance might be. The best solution would, as xemoth said, be one backup at home and another on a physically distant location (work, mother's home, online). If your house burns down, you still can fall back on the backup at that remote location.

Hope it helps.

dennybob   March 28, 2008, 11:25 PM

Can you store full size files online? So far I have only seen that you can store small Jpegs online as the upload time for big files would be high. Is there a way to put large files online? Does it take allot of time to upload? Thanks

Serge Gielkens   March 29, 2008, 12:10 AM

Of course you can store full sizes online, even video if you need to. It depends on how much you are willing to pay. My hosting service offers data storage up to 1TB (that is really a lot and costs a lot too).

As far as the upload speed is concerned, your own connection upload speed, as determined in the contract with your internet service provider and type of connection (DSL eg), is the ultimate limit but can be much lower due to the connection speed of the servers of the online storage. That and the amount of data will determine the upload time. Have you information on that?

Pascal de Bruijn   December 30, 2008, 06:07 PM

For safe storage I can really recommend one of these babies:

They are extreme good value considering the features they offer.

Pascal de Bruijn

dennybob   December 31, 2008, 02:17 AM

How do those work with Linux Operating systems? Currently i am running a 60 gig HD and copying to another HD and then backing up to a mybook 500 GB external HD.

Pascal de Bruijn   December 31, 2008, 12:31 PM

Uhm, the Synology are Linux based...

If you read the product page, it'll tell you they support SMB/NFS/FTP/SSH... It even does DAAP if I'm not mistaken.

I'm using the Synology with Ubuntu myself.

Pascal de Bruijn

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