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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Backup routine for safe photo storage

This is how I backup and store all my private photos. Me and my wife have a lot of photos from traveling and other family events which we truly wouldn't want to miss. That's why we, and others in the same situation, should set up a proper backup plan.

This is how we do it:

Photo locations:
A) Incoming photos gets downloaded to our HTPC. This is where we have access to the photos we want to watch. This way we can access the photos via NFS to our computers, ipad as well as watch the photos on the tv with XBMC. Having a fast 11n dual band network makes everything act really smooth.
B) All photos then regulary gets backuped to a Western Digital Mirror Edition disk which mirrors the photos to two disks in RAID mode. If one of the disks fails the disk will alarm us via it's LEDs.
C) If something happens at home. I.e. theft, fire etc, we also have a small 2,5" external USB drive which carries a mirror of the photos on the WD. This drive gets safely stored at an external location (Tips: family, work, friends). If you have crucial private information, I sugges that you somehow secure it. There's some encryption options out there.

Taking care of incoming photos:
Photos gets stored in directories by year. I name all the directories in the following format:
This way I can easily sort all the events by date.
Inside each directory the JPGs gets stored. RAW format gets stored in a seperate directory inside the dir, as well as movies files. I also prefer to seperate files between digital cameras and mobile cameras.

Backing it up:
I use rsync for backing up.

1) For backing up between location A and B I use the following command:
 rsync -vrab --suffix="."$(date +"%Y-%m-%d-%H:%M:%S") --size-only --progress --stats /home/user/source/ /media/USBDISK1/destination/
-v gives verbose information about the copy process
-r recursive copy mode
-a makes sure time and date (modified) gets copied correct
-b makes sure if there's already a file at the destination, but with a different file-size, a backup is made before replacing it. Backup files is prefixed with a "~"
--size-only because some of my local files have wrong modified dates
--progress shows some progress information
--stats shows som nice stats at the end

2) For backing up between location B and C I use the following command:
 rsync -vrab --progress --stats /media/USBDISK1/source/ /media/USBDISK2/destination/
This time size-only gets dropped. This way, rsync will make sure the files looks exactly the same between both the backup drives.

Do you have any tips or suggestions? Please comment!

Also check out my post about free online backup providers. These are great for storing smaller types of backups and making it available on multiple locations.

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