Sunday 7 January 2007

I got me some buffalo!

Over the last few weeks I have been carefully documenting my photographic workflow. As I looked at each part of my process I kept checking that everything is backed up and safe.

Looking at my archive of images for the last 5 years I realised that I was on the verge of running out of disk space as I had room for just a month or twos shots left. I make that time to get me a pair of Buffaloes.
Buffalo LinkStation Pro

The Buffalo Linkstation Pro is a network file-server in a box. I got myself two of the 500GB version which should give me plenty of room for my photos for a few years.

I'm sure many of you think "two 500GB drives - that's a terrabyte" - well actually it's not. It's one 500GB drive with a backup to mirror it, I stopped buying hard disk drives in ones a few years back when I kept getting asked to help people who had lost loads of important documents due to a hard disk crash. Now I always buy drives in pairs so I have a live and a backup, a 120GB internal drive and a 250gb USB drive to back it up for example.

My first impression of these drives is that they are a real quality product and the people at Buffalo have really thought about what you might need from an external drive.

Installation is a breeze:
  • take it out the box
  • plug it in to the mains
  • plug it in to the network
  • Switch it on
  • Sorted!
You don't really need to install the client software, but it's worth doing just so that you can find and rename the Linkstations to something more memorable.

Configuration of the backup is done through your web browser. I had a little bit of a problem with this and in the end was forced to read the manual that comes on the CD. The trick is to first configure the backup target share as a "Disk Backup" (you will find it under Shared Folders set-up>Shared Folder Support). then go to the primary drive and set-up the backup to this share.

What is really neat about this backup is that the drives do it themselves, even if my PCs are switched off the drives will still back themselves up every!

I'm currently looking for a good location for the backup drive as I've just realised that it is directly under the cold water tank in the loft. I will try to ensure that both drives are as far away from each other as possible to increase security a little in event of a flood.

A real quality product...I'm impressed.


David Toyne said...

Wise words as a single hard disk recovery can be around £1000 with no sweat. Also the most difficult files to recover are compressed large .tif files for example.

Chris Shepherd said...

Thanks for popping by Dave.

Yes indeed and even £1000 isn't going to help if some oik breaks in and steals the drive.

I sent a long mail last night to a friend convincing them to have a backup strategy. A bit of editing and it should be coming to a blog near you soon.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting Chris. I have all my images on an external hard drive and at first backed everything to DVD which I kept in a seperate room. The benefit of this is that fire in one room may mean that the other copy is safe (in my old work place we stored tape drives in a seperate building. Problem is I often get lazy with it. This buffalo solution is one I was not aware of but seems a great solution.

Chris Shepherd said...

Dave - the most important thing is to have a backup. I'm planning a blog on this subject in future, but the important thing is to make sure you have backup of that drive.

I have a box full of dead drives that are testimony to the fact that they do fail.

Good idea to keep backups in a separate room - though a separate building would be better.