Saturday, August 21, 2010

BackUP ... Off Site Stratagy ... a must do

Any working PRO knows BackUps are a way of life.
On the job (hopefully)  via a  dual write in your camera   (waiting for a new Nikon D800 that has this ... and better yet a  CF/SD combo dual slot)

Or using a Portable disk like Wolverine MVP that has a Reader built in ... so you can just plug in your card and download for a fast back up On-site (at job).  and it is relatively small for a HD and Reader.
and can fit in a beltbag.

But, back in the office ... I have been loving the "modern" way of Off Site Internet based BackUP!
I should not have to tell you the value of Off Site BackUP.   Just think Fire or Robbery. Yes, it could happen to you. (even if you have an Alarm)
IF, your data is important (money) ... Off site BackUP is not an option , it is a MUST.

I use Carbonite.
Started thinking about this blog when I was automatically notified that there was a update to do ... which was Fast and Easy.  Talking minuites easy.  Did not even need a Re-Boot (but I did anyway).
Other wise I forgot about Carbonite.

* Just "Install it, Launch it, Forget about it"   ...   a quote from the Boston Globe, ...  Believe it! :)
Oh, you might want to click on a option:  " Display colored status dots on my files and folders "
This tells you in any Windows folder ... what files are Backed up ... which are going to be backed up ... and which will not be ... and just as important , YOU can choose which files are a PRIORITY to BackUP.
imho,   Last IN first OUT  on BackUps are the way to go.  
So, the Back up should go to the most recent unpaid jobs first.

You can easily do this in "any" file manager in windows  ... I have used it on WinXP, VISTA, Win7 Home, Win7 PRO.
Easy as Highlight the files you want ... Right mouse click  ...  go to Carbonite on the Menu ...  Click on " Back up this file as soon as possible "  ... Easy, DONE!

Things to note:  Carbonite by default does NOT back up  Video Files, and Program files.  You need to choose them.  (which for me is a smart default)   ...
You can do this with a Ctrl+A to highlight a whole folder and  do the Right Mouse click thing to bring up the Menu.  and Choose to have Carbonite BackUp anything you want.

Being that I have about  500gb of  image files that I feel are a priority  ...  * this is one thing about Carbonite I don't like. :)
When you first start Backing Up your files Off Site to the Carbonite Secure server  ... it trys to Download your files as fast as your Internet connection allows (more or less).
But, here's the wrinkle  ....   the First 30gb  goes fast  ... THEN,  Carbonite  throttles back your download speed  ... which is a tad slow for a  PRO photog shooting RAW  imho.

Have talked to Carbonite about this ... and they don't have a PRO  account ... yet. :)    Which would allow you to back up faster ... and keep up with your most recent shoots.

Right now I have 400gb on Carbonite and over 100gb still to go  ... and this is not even all my data files.   and I have been using Carbonite for a year.
fyi: Carbonite only Downloads when the computer is idle.
What I will say is ...  the files that are critical , are on Priority and are Downloaded.
* You just need to make sure to "choose" them as  " Back up this file as soon as possible ".
So, it's not as bad as it sounds.

I also have a 1tb  Network  Hard Drive   on a gig network ... that I  SYNC   after a job.    So, it only updates the changed files.
(this has saved me ,  when I did something "bad" other than a delete to a file ... and had to go back to the original file)

So, there you go  ...    this is my new  BackUP workflow.  Old School "BackUp programs" are "Dead to me".   as is multiple Hard Drives and  Optical Drive (DVD, Blue-Ray) BackUps.

I have been buying larger and larger HardDrives each year ...  and even though they are getting cheaper ... they are not more reliable ... and they are a humbug to take them Off Site, on a regular basis.  So, the cost of Carbonite every year is worth it.

This is my workflow:
* Carbonite for the AUTOMATIC ,  Off Site BackUps  ... as my Main BackUP

* Network Drive for after shoot  back up  ... on a Fast, easy (Memorized settings, in PowerDesk a file manager I love)  SYNC  of my image Data folder.   (this is so, I have a copy ... before I work on the files ... fyi: I also keep the files on the CF cards ... till after the SYNC or after the EDIT)
* Once a week  (more like once a month lol)   SYNC to a USB 1tb Hard Drive ... so I have a older version back up too.  
But, note:  Carbonite ALSO has some versions of your Backups ... Off Site.  (but, I am not clear on what and how)

* I should also note that I TURN OFF  the two external Hard Drives when I am not using them. So, nothing can flow on to them  ... like a Virus ... when not in use.
This is handy on the USB SYNC  HD  ... where I will go a week to a month , on the SYNC (sometimes longer).

The two Hard Drive BackUp's are just paranoia ... because I never really use them ... I go to Carbonite First. It's way toooo easy to Resore.   I am talking about using Carbonite's File manager looking utility, find the file , right click, Restore.  Done.
And Carbonite does do a SCAN of the files.

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light   :)

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