Sunday, 7 September 2014
Lightroom and Aperture along a cloudy edge
Since I set up Lightroom 5 as a test replacement for Aperture for my photographs, I've had to rethink my backup strategy. Lightroom backs up its catalog, but not the related photos. Aperture backs everything into its vaults. So I needed an additional backup regime for the Lightroom photos.
I'm using Chronosync which requires individual folder hierarchies to be nominated for backup. It can be scheduled and will only copy changes, set by user preference. It seems very reliable and will retry if a disk or machine is offline. The end result is also a recognisable folder and file format, which is reassuring when thinking about recovery.
The initial backup of Lightroom took a few hours across the home network. I also made a further backup of Aperture using Chronosync. Aperture's backup took 2-3 days, but the way that Aperture stores the individual photos in its folder structure meant there were over 2 million items to copy. Given there are around 100,000 images, that's a lot of extra objects.
The files are now stored in a workspace, on a fileserver and on a separate backup server. Everything is RAID5 and I've added dual disk redundancy to the two server environments.
It got me thinking about my early home computer systems, back in the days of proper floppy disks. That's the type that do actually bend. Type in 'floppy disk' nowadays to google and most of the images that come back are of the IBM-style 1.3MB diskettes.
My original hard-disk enabled computer had two drives with a total capacity of 30MB. That's about the size of a single photograph as a raw file from a fancy camera nowadays. Back in the day, the 30MB seemed like a decent amount of space, although the Apps were 'green screen' and the games were retro blocky graphics. Even in the early PC days, it was commonplace to have a pile of 15-20 diskettes to load to install, say, MS Office.
Fast forward to now. No DVD drives (let alone CD or diskette drives) on many modern systems. Storage being measured not in Megabytes, not even Gigabytes, nowadays its Terabytes and discussion of Exabytes. As iPhones start to use 128GB storage, it's with over 4000 times the storage of that ancient home computer.