March the 31st marks world backup day, the one day of the year when we should all think carefully about how we store our digital data, especially our photos and video.
Data might not be as exciting as the latest camera, computer or imaging accessory; nevertheless, it’s at the heart of all our imaging endeavours.
While we all know about data, what it is, and its importance, few of us spend the time to ensure that our data, especially our images and video, are truly safe.
That’s why World Backup day was created. A day completely dedicated to bringing the subject of data back up to the forefront of people’s minds.
The companies and organisations behind the day are of course all actively invested in backup and storage, but still, it’s one subject that we should all pay more attention to.
You only have to lose a drive full of your photographic work once to know how devasting it can be.
The aim of the day is simple, to raise awareness of how to safely backup data to introduce people to the 3-2-1 strategy. This strategy leads the backup campaign and is a solid tried and tested approach that’s easy for anyone to adapt.
3-2-1 backup is all about having three copies of your data, one on your computer, one on an external storage device and another offsite on a cloud storage solution.
That way even if your flooded out, your house falls down or someone breaks in and steals your computer you have further backups and copies of your files.
The great thing about the 3-2-1 backup strategy is that you can adapt it to suit your budget. So if you’re just starting out then your hard drive a cheap external drive and a standard cloud solution can be found relatively inexpensively.
A 2TB WD Passport is available for around £50 and online storage for as little as £80 for 2TB per year, that’s £130 for complete peace of mind.
There are cheaper solutions out there and of course more expensive, but the fact is that there is a backup solution that fits the 3-2-1 World backup strategy for every budget.
Taking a simple case study, being my own workflow, as an example, we can see just how easy the 3-2-1 backup strategy is in practice.
1/ Downloading and storing your image data.
The first step is to get the files from your memory card to your machine.
I use both a MacBook Pro and an Intel NUC 9 Ghost Canyon and regularly switch between the two.
In this example, I’m using a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 64GB SD card which can be directly inserted into the NUC 9’s SD card slot and downloaded to the internal Lexar NM800 SSD hard drive.
The files are then copied directly to an external 12TB G-Drive connected through USB Type-C. The copy on the internal HD is the 1st copy and can be used as the working files, the copies on the G-Drive are the originals and the 1st backup.
The files from the G-Drive are then automatically copied across to a 24TB WD EX4100 and in turn to BackBlaze cloud storage. These offer the 2nd and 3rd backups.
Once I have finished with the image files on the HD and made my selections and adjustments, these files are copied to the G-Drive and then to the EX4100 and BackBlaze storage.
I can then delete the images from the hard drive safe in the knowledge that the originals and the adjusted images are fully backed up. If I want to access those files again they’re quickly accessible on the G-Drive. If that does break then I can download them from the EX4100, and if that too has broken I have the off-site BackBlaze backup where I’ll be able to download the files.
I’ll admit that this setup is expensive, my Intel NUC 9 contains ultra-fast M.2. SSDs, the external G-Drive has 12TB of storage, the EX4100 24TB of space and BackBlaze is unlimited.
However, this backup in its simplest form could be stripped down to the copy on the hard drive, a duplicate on an external 2TB WD Passport and then backed up on Google Drive, Dropbox or another solution.
Following the 3-2-1 backup strategy is easy and it will save you the possible pain of losing your images if the worst happens.
For more information on World, Backup day, check out http://www.worldbackupday.com/en.