Back It Up!

I've talked about backup on many forums in the past. I thought I'd post a note about how I handle it currently, but there are changes on the horizon.

My current method of backup is using Adobe Photoshop Album. The program is pretty good. There are some things I wish it did better, but for what I use it for, it's fine. I use this app to pull photos off my memory card and store them on my system. Then I'll tag my images so I can find them later and move to Photoshop CS for processing my images.

When it's time to back them up from my system, I move back to album. I have been picking a date range in Album and then archive them to DVD-R. I make two copies, each on different manufacturer media. This way, if one manufacturing process has a fault in it, I'm less likely to suffer a total loss. It's not foolproof, but at least it's a little step toward security.

Talking with a colleague today, we wonder if optical storage is really the best way to go. We've been doing some interesting reading about RAID solutions. As the price of hard drives drops in price, these options become more viable. They may seem like a pricier investment in initial hardware, but I'm starting to step back and look at a bigger picture.

The amount of time I've been investing in archive to DVD-R is pretty large. My burn times are pretty extensive and doubling my backups adds considerable time to it. With a RAID solution, it might move a bit faster. Plus with RAID, you have instant redundancy.

The other option is a Terabyte Network Attached Storage appliance. These can be configured as a massive drive or a RAID for redundancy. They are $960, but again, the considerable time savings that would allow you to continue working on billable work could be huge in the long run.

To be fair, Tape backup is another solution as well, but I personally find it to be slow and expensive.

How do you archive and store your images? Do you work "without a safety net"?