As it’s the end of the month I thought I’d ask your opinion – Are backups important?

For me, the answer is twofold:
1) Can I afford to lose any of my data? [No]
2) How long do I want to spend repairing/recovering any missing data? [As little as possible]

For many people backups aren’t important and they don’t care about re-building their PC or MAC now and again when it get’s screwy.

As a photographer I’m fairly paranoid about my data (both business and pictures), but I’m fortunate to come from an IT background so I thought I’d share with you my backup procedure as part of my workflow.

If I’m on location then I’ll no doubt have my laptop with me, so I’ll transfer data from my memory cards to my laptop before I head back. The Laptop has an SSD so the data on it is pretty safe 🙂

Once back in front of my Editing PC I’ll import all the cards into a folder [yyyymmdd_client] and I won’t erase the cards until they’re about to be re-used, which ensures an extra level of recoverability.

I’ll immediately backup all the untouched RAW and .XMP files onto DVDs (which are stored off-site) and at the same time kick off a copy to my on-board secondary data disk and also to my server.

That’s 3-4 backups already and I haven’t even seen the files yet.

In addition to the DVD, local and server backup, I also have an external RAID box which I back up to when I’ve either finished editing and/or at the end of the day. There are 2 disks in there which mirror each other (RAID0). Every month I rotate out the second disk with a third disk which I keep in a top secret off-site location (my mums :)) and with the fresh disk in it’ll automatically re-build the Mirror.

When these disks are full, all 3 go into storage and are replaced by 3 brand new ones 🙂

So all in all I have 5-7 backups of my data. If the primary source fails then I have multiple redundancy methods to recover what I need 😀

My Laptop (which I use mainly for business use and an emergency editing PC) is backed up weekly to the server plus 1 extra external disk.
At the end of the month I have 3 off-site disks which I do another set of backups.
If that wasn’t enough I also run a Ghost of my system drive every 2 months, so if I get a virus or some new software or an update breaks the laptop, then it’s easy to re-install the last image and get back into action pronto.

So far I’ve had to recover the Laptop twice from rubbish applications messing up my system, but the Ghost recovery takes literally about 10 minutes, which is no-time at all compared to a complete re-install from scratch.
If my SSD was to go kaput, then I have spare disks at the ready and I can be up and running in 15 minutes flat.

Worst case scenario – all my machines are attacked by ninja squirrels and trashed beyond repair.
My data is still safe in the HDD backups I keep off-site as well as the DVD’s which I can use as a last resort for recovery should I need them.

In the future I see data being stored in a Cloud System, but current DSL is still too slow to upload at a decent speed 🙁

So, do you back up or don’t you believe it’s worth taking the time to do it?

Twitter Feed
    No Items Available.