Long term photo/video storage?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by voyageaimer, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. voyageaimer

    voyageaimer TPF Noob!

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    HDD or SSD?

    I currently have a 1 tb HDD for my photos, videos, etc., which is plenty of space for now. I just purchased a second HDD (2tb this time), but I'm wondering if I should return to get a SSD. I understand the advantages/disadvantages of each..but can't decide which is the better choice. This will be used as a backup of my files..kept in a safe.

  2. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Feb 1, 2015
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    Over a year I have my files on three drives; 1) the external USB that is my daily drive, 2) an external USB that is a daily backup, 3) a second backup external USB drive kept in another location.

    At the end of the year the drives used for backup are retired from regular backup. The daily drive also becomes a backup drive, but is kept handy for pulling a file from if required. So basically end up with three USB drives where files are backed up on at the end of each year (the actual number of drives can be more than 3 if you fill them up during the year).

    I also have a more selective backup to the cloud.

    I have had all sorts of media fail, stolen, destroyed, etc, and those files that were not in a second location have gone to bit heaven - never to be seen again.
  3. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Dec 5, 2017
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    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There is NO perfect solution. Drive failure has gone down significantly, but it still happens, and if it happens to you, all the stats in the world mean nothing.
    In my home computer experience, I have had TWO complete drive failures. Lightning hit twice. It is the old saying, "not IF, but WHEN."

    Rotating hard drive:
    A rotating hard drive that sits for YEARS unused may not spin up when plugged in years from now.​
    No motor to "freeze".
    As I understand, similar to magnetic media, the charge that sets the 1/0 will degrade over time.​
    Technology changes. So you MUST keep up with the drive interface, or your backup drive may not be able to be easily connected to your new computer.

    The generally accepted backup method is to have MULTIPLE backups, and keep them in a different physical location than your office.
    • If you only have one backup drive, and it fails, you have no backup.
    • Two backups in your house is useless, if you have a fire and both backups are destroyed with the computer.
    Backup site
    • The several major fires and disasters also show that you need significant physical separation between your home/office and your backup site.
      • When a neighborhood burns, so does your neighbors house where you may have kept a backup.
    • A technique that I used, was moving backups.
      • Backup day 1, backups were stored in another company building a couple blocks away (a fire in my building would not take out the other building). This gave us quick access to last nights backup, if we needed it.
      • Backup day 2, backups were sent off-site with a commercial backup storage company (this would cover a regional disaster).
    • If you live in a flood plain, your backup site should NOT be in the flood plain where your house it.
    When you backup to the cloud, you are putting your faith that the company won't go out of business. If the cloud backup company goes under, all your backup files will be SoL. So if you do cloud backup, you should also do a physical backup.
    One method is daily cloud backup + monthly physical backup.
    Note: If you have a photo business, your backup is CRITICAL to your business. So you need to put more attention to backups and backup strategy.

    One thing that you did not mention, but is implicit in your title question "long term photo storage" is the software.
    Over time, the new editing programs may/will not be able to read the OLD data files, especially camera specific file formats. So you also need to store a backup copy of the editing programs that you use.
  4. nmoody

    nmoody TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2011
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    SF Bay Area, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Some combination of local and cloud is advised. Dont want all your eggs in one basket, a disaster can take out a single location. What I do is the following:

    Local Hard drive on my editing computer
    Local Hard drive backs up nightly to local server with a raid array (NAS could also be used in this situation)
    Local Hard drive also selectively backs up to Adobe CC

    I prune old photo's as needed and only upload to Adobe CC my best or sentimental work. If local storage becomes full I archive off that hard drive and purchase a new one. I also have both desktop and server on UPS to protect against surges and untimely shutdowns.

    I delete a lot of old stuff, especially as I slowly get better. At this point I have almost no pictures left from my earlier years due to how horrible they were, only a few sentimental ones and a small batch to show my improvements.
  5. Psytrox

    Psytrox TPF Noob!

    May 29, 2011
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    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    I use my Office 365 account. One Drive comes with a 1TB cloud storrage. So, I use the OneDrive folder as my "work folder" and everything is automatically uploaded. My pictures are hobby, and only about 500 gb, so I dont actually have a need for great backup, it is a good to have more than a need to have.

    My only concern is its a US corporation, and most likely my data is stored in the US. As much as I hate having my data stored by a US corporation, I found this the most cost efficient and work efficient way. If you are operating outside of US as a company, you may need to look into the GDPR side of things with cloud storage.
    In my opinion a cloud storage solution is a much better backup solution that you will ever manage to create. And it is fairly cost efficent. For about 10 USD/month you can upgrade to a 6TB storage.

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