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Backing up and outgrowing from Synology
Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 6:34 PM on 10.25.15
->> I purchased a Synology DS412+ a year or so ago and it has worked flawlessly. The original plan was to use this in case a drive failed as this has fault tolerance incorporated. However the main advantage of this has been as an FTP site so a good portion of my customers can get the needed files 24/7.

I am in need of expanding my backup and am looking at options. Currently I am only using 2 bays (2, 4TB drives).

I am leaning towards going back to what I was doing prior to the Synology which was duplicate USB external drives. I would move files from the Synology (move the files of the customers that don't use the FTP access) to two USB drives manually. these two drives would be duplicates so I have redundancy in case one failed. This would cost about $220 for 2, 4TB drives. The other option would be to buy 1 or 2 4TB NAS drives at $170 each. The negative is the cost and the fact that eventually I will need another Synology once these get filled.

What other options do I have or what have you experienced?

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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:57 AM on 10.27.15
->> Option 3: Photoshelter. Unlimited storage & clients have FTP access. System is 'up' for your clients even if and when your system is down. It doesn't eliminate the need to have a local backup. I have 2 8 bay drobos and have started migrating more and more data to Photoshelter.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 7:53 PM on 10.27.15
->> Eric,

Photoshelter may work but very costly and looks like overkill for what I am looking for. Also if I go the low cost route of 1 year I am stuck for the year as they don't refund for previous billed plans, so it would be $600 a year. Currently 2, 4TB drives are only $260, next year probably less. I have the FTP access covered and for the time I am down, which has been once in over a year and a simple reboot to fix, I can't justify the $600. FIOS has not been down in the many years I have had it. I just killed myself by typing that.

I am sure it is a great system but not for my needs BUT I am sure I am missing something so shed some light on what other benefits I am missing as I know you are a great knowledge base for the computer software stuff... as long it is a "real" computer and not an Apple, LOL

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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 9:33 PM on 10.27.15
->> Doesn't that Synology setup have external USB ports? If bang for your buck is the goal, add one more drive and use synology's proprietary raid array that stripes the drives 2:1 instead of your current 1:1, or just add a couple cheap USB drives to the NAS. Or both.

The drawback seems to be transfer speeds, and the externals won't be part of the raid array, and they'll need to be formatted to ext4, so I doubt they'll be interchangeable with other devices.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 1:14 PM on 10.28.15
->> Jim,

For me it's worth the expense. For starters Photoshelter is probably one of the very few online companies that I DO trust with my files. I like that they are at my 'fingertips' 24/7 and that I can give anyone access to a folder on the fly. I don't have to worry about having holes in my firewall to let people I don't really know through to my network. PS is probably more on the ball than I am when it comes to security and staying on top of os patches for both their software and their IT hardware.

I like that even if a nuke hits Boston, NY is probably outside the blast radius and my files will probably live on. More importantly I like that I'm not the one making sure that the 'hot spare' is actually on hand or tested or that bare drive that was on sale on Amazon 'probably' was not a return.

PS saved my bacon when I found out that one of the schools that you and I shoot at have all the FTP ports locked down. I was able to send my files to PS via HTTP and then from within PS FTP them to their final destination. I like that I can work within PS and send out a blast or social media blitz right from within the site and not have to do it externally. I also like that if and when I do port BSP over to PS I can send them a bare drive rather than spend six months watching a spinning sundial or sand thingy or whatever Microsoft decides to numb my brain with in the future.

All kidding aside... I DO have two 8 bay boxes up and running here 24/7 with a world class UPS (thanks eBay) but I don't want to put it 'on-line'. For me it isn't an either-or situation but more of an adjunct to my DAM. It just eliminates a lot of the risks of giving access to my network to someone who is then going to leave that password taped to monitor. Finally (and not so unimportant) the SEO has lead to people finding me or seeing my work. Which has lead to more work.
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 4:18 PM on 10.28.15
->> @Jim
I do have a Synology myself (415+).
You should be able to install 2 disks in the empty bays.
And create a new "disk group".
Then you can set it up so that the new disk group acts like a network drive. Using that network drive as your backup disk.
(That's how i do it myself).
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AJ Mast, Photographer, Photo Editor
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 8:12 AM on 10.29.15
->> So it might be overkill, but here is my back up situation.

First, all automated with software.

My desk workstation gets the ingested files (or copied from laptop). Stuff I have have licensing rights to goes to Photoshelter. Along with selects for client distribution when needed.

It immediately mirrors the images to a second drive (Called Working Backup) on board.

From there it starts to mirror to a cloud backup service (currently BackBlaze, unlimited $95/2years). I did switch services over the summer and it did take ~4 months to get 2015 uploaded.

Over night it backs up to an external drive on my server in the basement. And to a whole workstation backup drive attached to the workstation. Backup not mirror is important here. If I delete something from the primary location it will not delete on the backup.

I keep the current and previous years worth of work on these nearline drives.

At the end of the year the external in the basement goes in a fireproof safe. and is replaced with a new drive.

So everything is always on at least 2 drives (and 3 for up to 2 years) and in the cloud. My annual cost is 1 external drive (plus cloud).

I use to run a data and networking firm. RAID has advantages for speed and redundancy, but we still ran tape drives for backups. Malicious code on a machine can still wipe out a RAID array and you still have a problem with physical loss (theft, fire, etc..). Cheap local copies and cloud strike a pretty good balance of safety and cost.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 3:46 PM on 10.29.15
->> Thanks everyone for their inputs. I ended up buying 2, 5TB external Western Digital hard drives. $278 total. This should last me well over a year and close to 2.

I will keep the Synology going for the FTP access. Once the FTP access is no longer required I will transfer these to the two the external drives which will be mirrored. This will free up space for the new events that require FTP access. The events that don't require FTP access I will probably copy straight to the 2 ext. drives. This is what I was doing before the Synology came into play. I purchased the Synology for backup/fault protection but did not investigate enough on what happens when the drives are full, and the added costs to just keep adding NSA hard drives and more Synology units is not what I want to spend my money on. I am glad I can get use of the FTP aspect which has been very useful and efficient.

This just seems to be the most cost effective approach and still gives me a reasonable amount of security against data loss and fits well into my current business model and needs.

As you can see there are more ways to skin a cat.

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Thread Title: Backing up and outgrowing from Synology
Thread Started By: Jim Pierce
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