Backups

Backups are so unsexy.

During this vacation time I have used some time to check my backup situation and correct those things that need fixing.

Among others I realised that I had neglected backing up my RAW-photographs for some time – and for some of the images my backing up was spotty, as I had not marked properly whether the data was backed up or not. For the most important images it is in any case good to have additional backups so that if media fails I do not lose our memories.

These days my images stored into event specific directories and the Lightroom catalog beside the image-directories. After backing up the images to another media – I’ll rename the directory to point that out, knowing for the future reference that I already have copied them. I also reorganised my backup dvds into better folders, making it easier to find specific backups if I happen to need them.

There are naturally questions on why to use still DVDs as a backup media – instead of backup hard drives. The cost per gigabyte is not that much different if you compare to external USB drives, hard drives are much more convenient and easier to use — so why bother. Unfortunately hard drives are also large single points of failure, unless you build redundant arrays of disks in more expensive drive setups — for example in a NAS-box.

In my data storage needs at home I have wanted to balance security, costs and convenience. Though I have wanted to dabble in to building my own NAS box from a computer and use it from all my computers, the reality has been that the energy costs of additional computer as well as lacking permission from the chairperson of the board in our house have made that plan just a plan. And readymade NAS-boxes from different vendors on the other hand have just felt expensive.

Therefore my low tech solution has been to use just multiple external USB drives and occasional backups into other media – namely DVDs or secondary drives if needed. Anything that I have on non redundant discs / services / backups is considered to be disposable / replaceable.

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