A Second "Drobo" to Feed My Backup Paranoia

If you’ve been to one of my seminars in the past couple of years, you’ve heard me preach about how critical it is to back up your photos, and how I set Lightroom to automatically back up a 2nd copy of everything I import to a separate hard disk. I had been using two 500 GB LaCie hard discs for my at home backup until one of the LaCie’s died (though I suspect it’s death was aided by some amount of physical interaction with a small child whilst I was away, but I can’t prove that).

You also might remember me switching to a Drobo earlier this year for all my at home backup (Drobo is a very clever, well designed robotic backup device that constantly monitors a set of four hard disks to make sure they stay healthy, and if something goes wrong with any of those disks it kicks into action to save your images. You can watch a short demo movie on it right here) It’s the first system I’ve had that really lets me sleep at night, because I’m very paranoid about losing my images (and losing that LaCie drive did nothing to help that paranoia, but at least I did have a 2nd back-up disk, so I was OK).

The problem now is: I have a 500GB LaCie drive at my office with my “off-site” backup of photos there as well, and it’s so full that I haven’t been backing up to it for a few months, and well…I’m not sleeping at night again. I went to Paul my IT guy with my backup paranoia story and yesterday it arrived…a shiny gleaming black Drobo.

I was running down the halls high-fiving everybody with a triumphant “My Drobo is here! My Drobo is here!” chant, and this started a Drobo discussion yesterday in Matt’s office, with everybody wanting a Drobo, but RC (rebel that he is), is concerned about the fact that it connects by USB 2.0, instead of the much faster Firewire, which I whined about, too at first, but at this point it’s not really an issue because the only time it really comes into play (as I experienced yesterday), the first time you do a major backup. It took right around four hours to move my 500 GB of storage from my office LaCie to my office Drobo, and while I’m sure it probably would have moved in just 3 hours via Firewire, either way; it wasn’t going to be a 15 minute job.

With my Drobo at home, I never even notice how long it takes to backup to to the Drobo, because the images are coming into Lightroom and I’m off and running as soon as the thumbnails appears, so I honestly couldn’t even tell you that I notice the speed whatsoever. I guess at the end of the day, it comes down to this; When Paul asked me what I wanted to use for new backup at the office, I chose a 2-Terabyte Drobo. Now I can finally get some sleep.

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