A couple of years ago now (if memory serves me correctly) I bought a Seagate FreeAgent Go 320GB portable Hard Drive whilst working and travelling in New Zealand which has served me well and allowed me to save a backup of my images and files in addition the copy held on my laptop. This was perfectly fine until I started to venture into the world of RAW which is now becoming an ever increasing disk space hungry format, especially now with the release of Nikon’s 36MP D800 Camera which creates 75MB RAW files! Almost 400% larger than than my Canon 500D.
Shooting solely in Raw
I have been shooting solely in RAW for a few months now and before that RAW + JPG, which takes up another 30% of my SD cards memory and hard disks as well. As a result my FreeAgent Go’s capacity was quickly exceeded as the number of images I have been taking continued to increase.
What Storage Solution to Choose?
The dilemma I now had was what backup/ storage solution should I choose? I pondered a number of solutions from Network Attached Storage (NAS) to another much larger external Hard Drive. Now if you look for long enough and trust me I did, you will find reviews and photographers writing about their experiences of both; for and against. In the end I read a review written by Scott Kelby extolling the virtues of the Drobo and after reading further on the Drobo Website I was sold. You read his backup strategy here: http://scottkelby.com
So what is a Drobo I hear you ask, unfortunately the name provides no clue? A Drobo is simply a box which holds a number of Hard Disks, as long as you have more than one disk in the Drobo your data will be safe regardless of whether either disk fails. Once a disk is full a light on the front of the Drobo will tell you, just remove this disk and replace with another disk. The Drobo will then share the data out across the installed disks so your data is always protected. If you need to increase the amount of storage you need just replace any disks with a larger one (no need for the disks to match in size, speed or brand) and let Drobo do the rest. There is no need to be an IT whiz or a geek to set the Drobo up. Easy!
‘My Drobo’ Experience so Far…
I have had the Drobo V2 for a few days now and after inserting two 1TB disks and formatting these to NTFS I have been merrily backing up my data without any issues. I will add more detail here after I have had more time to test out my Drobo and fine tune my backup strategy as part of my image management workflow. What I will say is I have discovered an application call Synkron which I have have started to use as well and I will write a review on my experiencing with this as well. My plan to get to the point where I have a backup solution which I can pretty much forget about and allow to work away in the background. We will see how long it will take before this can be realised.