I’m paranoid about data loss. I’ve seen years of accumulated information evaporate in a moment – fortunately not mine. Zip, tape, and floppy drives that could never be read again when the hardware died or technology simply marched on. Hard drive crashes. Software corruption. Power outages or IT server maintenance at the most inconvenient times. Lightning strikes. I once crashed tandem main-frame computers because my spreadsheet file was ‘too large’ when I hit ‘save’ (BP sent everybody home for the afternoon).
We keep engineering data in a minimum of three places at all times: two local hard drives and the cloud (SpiderOak). When we amass 650 Gb of completed project data we burn two CD’s – one for accessibility here in the office, one for our off-site storage locker.
But the cloud isn’t practical for photography. On a recent five week road trip we shot over 5000 images. It would have taken over a week to upload all that data to the cloud. Then we eventually cull maybe 95% anyway, keeping only the best stuff, and cloud storage is left choked with useless information, paid for by the Gb. Our partial answer is a Drobo Mini array (practical for our travels). With two 1 Tb hard drives there is some redundancy. I’ll add two more drives in January (just spreading the cost – Drobo is expensive). Meanwhile I’ve kept my 1Tb Western Digital MyPassport back-up drive running for triple redundancy (told you I’m paranoid).
I don’t really know what to do about geographically remote photo storage – security from fire, tornado, hail storm, theft, car accident… As an interim measure I’ll upload all processed photographs to the cloud. But those are JPG, not Raw, and that doesn’t account for all the material yet to be processed.
If anybody has suggestions, or their own solutions, for remote storage, please let me know. I’d appreciate any thoughts on the subject.