Setting up NAS and workflow

Rocketman1978

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Okay so I've been at this for a year and a half now and I'm getting to the point where my 500GB HDD on my MacBook is near full; I know my workflow could use some serious help. I just picked up a LaCie 8TB NAS and I'm running RAID 1 so 4TB is redundant to the other 4TB. Now that I have essentially 8 times the storage of my MacBook I'm planning on doing some archiving to the NAS and some serious tweaking to my workflow.

As for PP I use a combination of LR5 and PS CC. First and foremost I copy from my SD to my HDD at the file level, then import from my HDD into LR5's catalog. Once I'm done with initial PP I "Open in Photoshop" from LR5 and save my final product back to the drive from whence it came.

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe if I'm copying from my SD to my HDD and THEN importing into LR5, I already essentially have 2 copies on my HDD- the LR5 catalog copy and the file-level copy? If this is the case I could easily dump all of my photos from the file-level to the NAS and simply leave my LR5 catalog local. Would you recommend this?

What are your thoughts, experiences, etc.? Sorry I'm so all over the place, I suppose that's just like my current workflow, all over the place. Just trying to nail down a rock solid process here.

-TIA
 

Robin Usagani

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When you add it to LR5 from your HDD did you pick ADD or did you pick Copy? Add will just create a catalog linking the files to where it is. If you pick copy, it will copy the files to a folder system (however you set it). If you did add, LR-5 did not create a copy.
 
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Rocketman1978

Rocketman1978

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When you add it to LR5 from your HDD did you pick ADD or did you pick Copy? Add will just create a catalog linking the files to where it is. If you pick copy, it will copy the files to a folder system (however you set it). If you did add, LR-5 did not create a copy.
Thanks Robin, I did click "ADD". This answers that question, so I essentially could toss it on the NAS, do an ADD and my NAS-copy would be safe and replicated.

Is this a common workflow or am I nuts?
 

JerryLove

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You should already be making backups from your macbook. You should continue to make backups from your NAS. Remember: RAID isn't a form of backup , merely a form of increased resiliency.

*As an added note on hardware RAID: should the RAID controller itself fail, and should an identical replacement not be available, it is possible that your RAID will become unreadable. As you are mirroring, this is less likely than it would be with striping; and as above, you should have a backup of this data somewhere offsite.
 

lambertpix

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I'm not in quite the same boat as you, as I edit on a decently-sized PC -- I import into LR there and let them back up onto my NAS, but I recall reading about a new feature in LR5 that might be helpful for you -- Smart Previews: Lightroom Help | Smart Previews | Lightroom 5

If I get what this is all about, you'd still want to give some thought to whether you're happy with how much redundancy you've got, as this essentially just gives you a way to move your originals to your NAS, in which case you'd still just have the one (mirrored) copy of the files. This probably isn't optimal, but that's ultimately your call.

Incidentally, I used to copy my cards to my HDD and then import from there, and I found it extremely liberating when I switched to just importing straight into LR from my cards. Much easier.
 
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Rocketman1978

Rocketman1978

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You should already be making backups from your macbook. You should continue to make backups from your NAS. Remember: RAID isn't a form of backup , merely a form of increased resiliency.

*As an added note on hardware RAID: should the RAID controller itself fail, and should an identical replacement not be available, it is possible that your RAID will become unreadable. As you are mirroring, this is less likely than it would be with striping; and as above, you should have a backup of this data somewhere offsite.
Agreed, I do regularly backup my MacBook via Time Machine and wireless Time Capsule. I also do an intermittent wired external Time Machine backup should my Time Capsule fail.

I didn't buy the LaCie for the purpose of backup but rather to free up space on my MacBook. Right now 450GB of 500GB is used, with my 365 project I'm just a few more card dumps until I'm out. :-/
 

cheshirecat79

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When you have your new NAS connected (I'm assuming via a mapped drive or share), you need to move the files to it via Lightroom.

In the Library module, click Folders, then hit the plus sign to add a new location to your folder list.

Once that's done, drag and drop the files you want to move to the new folder on the NAS.

This will preserve the links in the catalog. If you move them at a file level, the links between Lightroom and the files will be broken and you'll have to manually tell Lightroom where the files are.

As lambert suggested, you may want to check out the Smart Previews feature if you're thinking about working on items while not connected to the NAS.
 

astroNikon

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sounds like you have 2 original copies of your files.

You could do mirroring instead of raid for an immediate backup. I know, us IT ppl like RAID, I do too. BUt i normally reserve that for server tasks and improving throughput, etc. For home I would just use mirroring.

When I pull data from my SD card I import it Add to LR. I then erase the contents of the SD card after a successful import.
I use a 3TB USB drive for all import/processing. I also have a separate 3TB NAS drive which I back up the st 3TB drive to.
 

Robin Usagani

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This is my workflow. I have 2 drives on my puter. One is SSD and one is HDD. The SSD is strictly for OS and programs. I use LR to export my files from my cards to my HDD to a certain folder. Let's say I save it in E:/Pictures.

I have a synology NAS drive that will replicate the E:/pictures. I do not back up my whole drives. I just replicate the folders I want. I basically back up my picture folders and document folder.

For clients photos, I upload the high res JPEG to an online gallery.

Theoretically my house can burn down and I will lose my personal photos. For clients photos, I have the high res jpeg online so I am not worried about it.

Then I just buy external drive and copy these files every year to 2 drives when I need more space on my work computer.
 

DSRay

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I use PS 5 and download with Bridge which converts RAW to DNG and stores it directly on the NAS. If the shots are for a client, I immediately burn a DVD, do not look at them first, do not format the card; burn the DVD. Then I import the files to my working directory on my D: hard drive which is a data drive, not the OS drive. My computer will automatically back up the working directory nightly onto the NAS. When the job is done, the working directory is burned onto a DVD and deleted from the D: drive (but still on the NAS). The DVDs end up in a water tight container in a climate controlled storage room which was NOT rented for this purpose but works well.
 
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Rocketman1978

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Wow, thanks folks, a lot of great workflows here!

Whats sticking out to me is the need for not only archiving to the NAS but ensuring not to rely on it as a backup medium. Fortunately I have Time Machine (TM) for backups but admittedly in my head I began considering my NAS a backup. The caveat to TM is as my backups age and the oldest ones drop off I'll only retain my NAS and LR5 catalog copy. I think it will be quite some time before this happens as right now my backups go back 13 months and my 2TB TM is only 25% full.

Ultimately I really need to get this data off of my MacBook and to archive to free up space. I do all of my work on my MacBook and I'm not always near the NAS, in addition often times I'll shoot, import, process and upload to my blog before even reaching my NAS in the evening. My initial thoughts are this, let me know what you think:

Backup/Archive:
1.) Continue my regular (automatic) backups to my 2TB Apple Time Capsule via Time Machine
2.) Determine a suitable regular backup medium for my 4TB NAS (2x4TB) in the event old backups drop off TM or TM fails and I've already archived from my HDD
3.) Regularly archive both HDD photos >1 year and LR5 catalog to NAS
4.) Store LR5 catalog in Dropbox (where I have 100GB) sync folder so changes are pushed up at every change

Processing:
1.) Copy from SD card to HDD so TM backs up most recent work
2.) "ADD" to LR5 from HDD (thus creating 2 copies, 1-HDD & 1-LR5 catalog [HDD is backed up to TM and when >1 year is also archived to NAS, LR5 catalog is immediately pushed to Dropbox])
3.) Finish processing in PS CC, saving finished product to HDD (same backup process in brackets from #2 above)

I do want to check out Smart Previews, the only caveat is that all of my data would live on my NAS whereas I would like it backed up to Time Machine for what I project to be 4 years before old backups drop off. Using Smart Previews would only result in them being backed up to TM and not the actual files.

To me the above flow provides 3 backup mediums:
1.) File-level photos and LR5 catalog via TM for what I project to be 4 years
2.) LR5 catalog via Dropbox indefinitely
3.) NAS file-level photos >1 year and LR5 catalog

So what do you folks think? Any suggestions?
 

JClishe

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Processing:
1.) Copy from SD card to HDD so TM backs up most recent work
2.) "ADD" to LR5 from HDD (thus creating 2 copies, 1-HDD & 1-LR5 catalog [HDD is backed up to TM and when >1 year is also archived to NAS, LR5 catalog is immediately pushed to Dropbox])

This is redundant. You only have 1 physical copy of the image on your HDD so you've got an extra unnecessary step in there. Simply insert your SD card, launch LR, and Import from SD to the LR catalog. You'll end up with the exact same results without having to do the manual copy from SD to HDD.
 
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Rocketman1978

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Processing:
1.) Copy from SD card to HDD so TM backs up most recent work
2.) "ADD" to LR5 from HDD (thus creating 2 copies, 1-HDD & 1-LR5 catalog [HDD is backed up to TM and when >1 year is also archived to NAS, LR5 catalog is immediately pushed to Dropbox])

This is redundant. You only have 1 physical copy of the image on your HDD so you've got an extra unnecessary step in there. Simply insert your SD card, launch LR, and Import from SD to the LR catalog. You'll end up with the exact same results without having to do the manual copy from SD to HDD.
Oh okay, good to know. I was wondering that, if I were to import into LR from SD if it would still give the intended results.

Wow, just tried it, what a ridiculous process I've been following. Ha, thanks!
 
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Rocketman1978

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Never mind, answered my own question. Thanks for everyone's help!
 
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