Backup vs Archive - What software / applications do you recommend?

piolet_rampepiolet_rampe Big grinsSeattleRegistered Users Posts: 94 Big grins
edited August 26, 2014 in Digital Darkroom
I need to put some time into developing a decent backup / archive strategy. I have previously used external hard drives from Western Digital and they come with their proprietary software for backing up your data. Additionally, in the past I have used Achronis to re-image a disk. The problem with both of these systems, is that they are designed for a wholesale recovery. In the event that your main disk gets totally wiped out, you can restore based on the last restore point.

These types of backup are fantastic, however I would like to automate an archival disk as well. Something that allows me to search for an old file if I suspect I may have accidentally deleted it. Backup programs can't help with this kind of task. Long ago I had some program that came with an external drive (30gb Iomega) that allowed for incremental backups that would retain say the last three modified versions of any given file. If I messed something up, I could simply go back in there and examine the archive to see if I had a preferred version of any file retained there, without undergoing a full disk recovery.

What applications are people using? Both for backup (full disk recovery) as well as archival (selected files version recovery)? I am less interested in the hardware since I may use the bundled backup / archive applications as a determinant for my next hardware decision, which may be RAID.

Thanks in advance.

I should add that I currently use W7 64bit, but will migrate to an Imac in the next 6 months.

Comments

  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Registered Users Posts: 945 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2014
    I used to use "Genie Backup Manager". Very powerful and LOTS of backup options including your archive wish.
    On my computer, every now and then it would reset the archive bits (no idea what I did to trigger this, and that meant instead of a 10-20 minute update of new and changed files it wanted to backup the entire set again ... 12-16 hours)

    I then moved to using a program called "Allway Sync". Now my backup hardware mirrors what my primary data source is (changes/deletions/additions). Easy to use, easy to set up ... BUT the process is not automated. I manually initiate when I want to synchronise which "job" (there may well be a facility to automate the process - I just don't wish to use it that way)
    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
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  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2014
    I have a Mac Pro and use SuperDuper. I keep a separate backup for my boot drive with applications and multiple backups for my images.

    I use LR and when I back up with SuperDuper it copies not only the files but the LR catalog with all the LR adjustments. I can use this as a replacement drive or search for an individual file.

    One thing to remember, My method mirrors the drive being copied. That means if you delete a file and then backup that drive the deleted file will be gone. If you were to continually add all the files each time you backed up you would need to own a HD company.

    Sam
  • trooperstroopers Major grins Registered Users Posts: 317 Major grins
    edited August 25, 2014
    I'm on a Mac. I use a 2 TB timemachine backup with backups occurring every two weeks or so, which equates to over one year of backups (full disk recovery). In addition, I use a 3TB archive that I manually backup (used for lightroom folders).
  • cab.in.bostoncab.in.boston Wink wink, nudge nudge. Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited August 26, 2014
    My primary storage is a home-built PC running Linux Ubuntu with 3x 2TB HDDs in a RAID5 configuration for a net of 4TB. I share it on my home LAN with a Win7 machine on which I run LR. (If Adobe would make LR run in Linux, I'd abandon Windows altogether, as it's the only piece of s/w I use that requires a Win/Mac platform. *sigh*) My backup drive is an external WD 2TB NAS (I just recently upgraded my primary to 4TB, but it still fits on the 2TB backup... for now. I'll have to do something about that eventually.)

    I back it up every night at 0400 using rsync and a Perl script I wrote that checks for any changes made during the day and copies them to the backup. I get a daily email listing how much space is available both on my primary and backup locations and what, if any, files were backed up that day. I get a secondary email if my primary storage space drops below a specified size - currently I use 200GB - so I know when I'm approaching the limit of my storage space.

    Any new or modified files are copied to the backup and if I delete files on the primary storage, they are placed in "purgatory" for a specified number of days - currently I use a 10-day period. The status email lists any files that were moved into the "deleted" folder that day. That way I can recover them if I inadvertently delete something I want back. The day before the files are deleted permanently I get an email listing what files will be blown away the next day.

    So far it's been working fantastic, and I love the flexibility I have to basically do whatever I want. The one thing I've been considering implementing - but it will take some doing - is to be able to simply respond to my status email with a list of files that I want to undelete, and have the machine receive/process my email, and move the selected files out of the "delete train." That way I don't have to remember to go in and manually move them, I can just reply to the email and they'll be kept safe. I'm terrible about remembering things, so if I read the status email during the day sometime, by the time I get home I may have forgotten that I had files to recover. But I haven't put the time in yet to implement email receipt by the Linux box.

    The other thing I need to do is set up some kind of off-site/cloud-based backup like crashplan or similar. Currently if my house burns down, all my backup plans are for naught.
    Father, husband, dog lover, engineer, Nikon shooter
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  • piolet_rampepiolet_rampe Big grins SeattleRegistered Users Posts: 94 Big grins
    edited August 26, 2014
    I back it up every night at 0400 using rsync and a Perl script I wrote that checks for any changes made during the day and copies them to the backup. I get a daily email listing how much space is available both on my primary and backup locations and what, if any, files were backed up that day. I get a secondary email if my primary storage space drops below a specified size - currently I use 200GB - so I know when I'm approaching the limit of my storage space.

    Any new or modified files are copied to the backup and if I delete files on the primary storage, they are placed in "purgatory" for a specified number of days - currently I use a 10-day period. The status email lists any files that were moved into the "deleted" folder that day. That way I can recover them if I inadvertently delete something I want back. The day before the files are deleted permanently I get an email listing what files will be blown away the next day.


    This sounds like exactly what I am looking for, except I need it for Windows, and ultimately Mac when I make this transition.
  • cab.in.bostoncab.in.boston Wink wink, nudge nudge. Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited August 26, 2014
    This sounds like exactly what I am looking for, except I need it for Windows, and ultimately Mac when I make this transition.

    Well, I believe there is a version of rsync for Win (and should be for Mac as well, since Mac is Unix-based). If you're so inclined, the Perl script I wrote was not terribly difficult, and you could work up something similar. It's just a script, it shouldn't matter if it's run on Win/Mac/Linux. I don't know about scheduling scripts to run automatically for Win/Mac, but it's wicked simple on Linux.

    You can probably find a solution out there that will work for you, I just chose to do it myself so I'd have total control of the parameters. Plus, it was/is fun. wings.gif
    Father, husband, dog lover, engineer, Nikon shooter
    My site 365 Project
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