Four more Terabytes added to the system

Garage Remnants, Bastrop Fire - Bastrop, Texas

Garage Remnants, Bastrop Fire – Bastrop, Texas

I’ve slowed down on the blog posts lately but continue to shoot more than ever. Recently, I received a dreaded message that I ran out of space on my hard drive. I guess you can never have too much storage.

I’ve long given up the notion of having my primary photo library on the computer’s internal drive. I have a squadron of external drives that hold and backup my priceless hobby. All told I’m up to 13 Terabytes of storage, including my newest 4 TB drive I’ve added to the mix.

Before my latest drive, my primary was a 2TB model. All of my Aperture 3 libraries (yes, I’m still using Aperture for now) run off that drive. I make multiple local backup copies to a pair of 3TB drives. That 2TB drive is also backed up to the cloud via the Crashplan service I’ve been using for years. Finally, I have a 1TB drive and use Time Machine to backup my computer’s internal drive.

Why is this relevant to photography? Well you know how important your workflow and backup system is to the world of digital, right? I talked about my workflow and backup system a few years ago. I still use the same method today. What does the photo at the top have anything to do with backups? Read my workflow post to find out.

It took all night and into the morning to copy the 2TB of data to my new 4TB drive. Now, my 4TB drive is my primary. I was happy to see that Crashplan was smart enough to recognize the duplicate data and it took less than a day to sync my 4TB drive to the cloud. The Crashplan interface reports that I now have 3.7TB of storage in the cloud, though in reality, I have two copies of the data up there. Sometime in the future, when I know the 4TB drive is adequately broken in, I will release the duplicate data and repurpose my 2TB drive.

I’ve been buying Western Digital Studio drives. Previous models had a dual USB 2 and Firewire 800 interface that worked great for Macs. The sturdy silver aluminum enclosures match the Mac and seems more robust than the usual cases. I also like that there are adequate vents along the top, which work logically to convect warm air. The newest model is only USB 2 and 3 (no firewire) however, which makes sense.

I bought the 3TB models 2 1/2 years ago for about $150, which is the same price as my latest 4TB model. I would have expected in 2+ years, the capacity would have doubled for the same price. I wonder if the rate of storage increases are starting to slow down? Either way, drive prices are incredibly low for what you get. There is no excuse not to have adequate backups.


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10 thoughts on “Four more Terabytes added to the system

  1. Apple has been using me a lot this month for video editing, and I decided it was time to update my backup systems. I purchased a G-technology 8tb Raid thunderbolt interface drive. I am using Carboncopy for nightly backup. I also purchased a 4tb drive of the same type to use as a project drive. With thunderbolt, I can keep the video projects external to my iMac. What I am not protected very well from is someone breaking into the house and taking the whole mess, so may have to check into crash plan!

    1. The 13TB number seems more impressive than it is. I have many copies of the data locally for redundancy. That said over 2TB of photos by itself is a lot of data. And I wasn’t shooting RAW for all of my photos either.

  2. My (cheap, minimalist) approach is to delete drastically all the pictures I think I will ever need again. Save the 3-4 keepers I like for every session (I am not a great photographer, so I don’t have too many anyway), and delete wildly the rest. That keeps my yearly total to a few gigabytes (2-3 a year). I burn a few DVD’s (one plus a back up which I keep at my workplace), and save the rest in flickr. That works for me, probably because I am not a very productive photographer.

    1. Laurent, I am impressed with your minimalist workflow. My only caution is that DVDs are not as permanent as people once believed. You may want to have an alternate source of backup such as a couple of inexpensive external hard drives or even flash drives as a secondary backup to your DVDs.

      1. ho I meant I back up the result of my workflow both on 2 DVD’s+Flickr. But I need to dig a little bit deeper about your comment. I thought DVD’s were better than hard drives….
        As usual, thanks for your blog. I truly like your approach of photography…..

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