"Better Safe Than Sorry"

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benjikan, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    Being that we are living profoundly in a digital age, it is imperative that I share with you my concerns about how to keep your images safe for future generations to have the opportunity of viewing your catalog of work. In the past there were negatives, positives (slides) and prints which, if taken care of and stored properly, could survive several decades without serious degradation. Today we are hit by a number of possible dangers that could erase for eternity any of those images that were captured for posterity and meant so much to you, your loved ones, businesses and archives wishing to preserve the image which mirrors the social fabric of the day.

    I became keenly aware of this problem when I converted to digital image capture. It is not practical for me to print all of the work I have done and thus had to find a way of minimizing the possibility of losing my works. There are many ways ones could safeguard their images. There is CD, which I find very problematic to say the least. DVD’s which I find equally troublesome, DAT, which is a wonderful medium, but, try to find a DAT player today. I archive my work on about 8 (eight), yes 8 external and internal hard drives in two different locations. I make it a practice to save all of the final retouched published images of mine on all of these devices and store to all of them religiously when a job has been completed. I.e. post production included. I save my Raw images on to at least 3 to 4 external hard drives as well.

    Many consider this as over kill. But imagine the thought of losing your archives to some electrical anomaly. In some ways it would be akin to losing your identity. All of those images that were an expression of your world view, lost for ever.

    It is for this reason that I HIGHLY recommend that you save your images and any other important files to at least 2 hard drives or 3 for that extra measure of security. Eventually “Cloud Systems” might be the way to go, but imagine for some reason that the internet is down for an extended period of time and access to your precious files is impossible. So for now, until Crystal Quartz storage becomes the norm, I sincerely hope that you take my advice. As the old adage states; “Better Safe than Sorry.”

    Benjamin Kanarek Blog » “Better Safe than Sorry”
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's good to see you back on this forum Ben, and talking sense as always :)

    The digital age is something that has been worrying archivists for a while. Previously it was easy; kodachrome negatives from way back well stored still look as good today as they did back then, and short of a fire they didn't "fail".

    What many people don't realise is that having 2 copies of something that is running and in the same location is not a backup. A lightning strike could kill your harddisk, and the external backup both at once. A fire or flood could wipe out both as well. I think most people here would have jobs that involve another office or at the very least a locker room. Take your harddisk, backup your memories and livelyhoods and store them in your desk or locker at work.

    Also the failure point for offline harddisks is usually seizing due to hardened lubricants. Google published a great paper on this. But this is something to worry about if you don't spin the drives up for a year or more. Do this every few months and sit smug that your data is safe.
     
  3. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

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    I have my pictures backed up in triplicate at the moment.

    Desktop hard drive
    External Hard drive
    DVD-R

    I still feel that it's inadequate and my concern is actually growing about storage of digital in general. NASA's assessment of the solar flares that will be occurring in 2012 are that the flares will have a significant impact on electronics and our way of life. Should that assessment be underestimating the scope of the damage, then worst case scenario would be that most of the world's electronics will be damaged beyond repair and we lose all the photos. Not only that but we would lose most films as well since they're produced by highly complex machinery...
     
  4. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    i like the idea of remote backup as well, like carbonite.com...i would imagine they also use remote backup archiving, so youre paying a small fee for (likely) 2 remote backups.
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL ... I will vote for build your own private cloud! Everything is going to be on the cloud in the future anyway. :)

    Seriously, storage cloud is not a bad choice when the technology is mature. In the mean time, off site backup is good choice. Distributed File System can also be use for off site backup.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My feelings are that anything that has moving parts will not last as long as something of good quality that doesn't.

    That said, I do not put all my eggs in one basket, but a minimum of 3... and in some cases, 4.

    Copy #1 - I have a RAID 10 setup on my new server

    Copy #2 - I have a 48TB SAN in the basement

    Copy #3 - I put everything on TAIYO YUDEN DVD-Rs and for things that are extra important, go on TAIYO YUDEN's again but in a security bin in my bank.DO NOT WRITE ON YOUR DVDs! I place a small label on the cover or case that identifies the DVD content. If you do your research on things, it will become apparent why this is a bad thing to do.

    TAIYO YUDEN DVD-R's have a 150 year guarantee. This is no guarantee that your data on it will last 150 years, but it is a guarantee that it will last longer than using media guaranteed to last 5 years.

    Hint: DVD-R is better than DVD+R, becuase of additional CRC checking algorithms added to the DVD-R standard.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    $35 for a pack of 100 Verbatim DVD-R's? Whoa, sold me right there. Never heard of Taiyo Yuden until today... o_O

    Jerry, I've done the research but never got anything more than "don't use an acidic ink". Am I missing something?
     
  9. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good point! we back it up to 4 places.

    External Hard Drive
    Internal Hard Drive
    DVD

    and Remote Server (For Worst Case Scenarios-Fire or any other things mother nature can throw at us that can cause physical damage locally)

    DVD's are a pain to maintain but we keep it in a safe that way we have physical copies of our work just in case the computer crashes which I've
    had happen before.

    camz
    Simply Dashy Photography
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Double Hint: DVD-RAM is far better than both formats for archival. Drives which support this slightly more expensive format also feature hardware level error management and defect management much the same as the type found in hard-disk. What makes them better is that the discs themselves have the sectors hard-coded in the factory. This makes writing to them far more consistent and less error prone than any of the other formats. It also makes them look funky, like they are made up of tiny squares.

    So if you can afford the significantly more expensive format and read / write it, for archival and reliability it's the way to go.
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Your data should be on 5 sources:

    1) Your work environment on your computer
    2) Copied over to a drive in a RAID array in case of hardware failure
    3) Copied over to optical media and placed in a bank safety deposit box - replace optical media every 10-20 years
    4) Copied over to an online file hosting site that you subscribe to on an ordinary basis (see: Rapidshare)
    5) Copied over to your email (using something like Gmail Disk)

    Businesses are generally very very careful about keeping their data safe. If you upload your photos to somewhere like Rapidshare you're pretty goddamn safe, you only have 2 things to worry about: 1) if they ever go out of business, 2) act of God/corporate sabotage (which is why you have 2 sites) or 3) your access to the Internet is cut off by a global virus or something. None of those 3 is very likely to happen, but that's why you have them stored in your bank.

    You may want to consider putting them in a water-proof, fire-proof safe in your house... just in case :mrgreen: but at that point, I'd be worried that you're spending more time making sure that photos you took 50 years ago are still OK rather than going out and making new ones that are better than and will surpass them.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do not trust in online sources. We were paying once for a web server, and paid extra for daily backups. When the server failed, we discovered that we were paying for a service they were not delivering. I trust in myself... and I trust NO ONE else for making my backups. Online places and what not... how can you guarantee that they do what they say? Until it fails ad they cannot replace it... that is when. Personally, that is a little too late. :)

    Rapidshare also deletes files regularly for various reasons (content, piracy, customer complaint, and even servers that get too full)... none of which involve being told you are about to have your files deleted.
     

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