Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Image that No Digital Photogapher should be without!

Creating an "Drive Image" or a "Clone" as they are often refered to it is a great way to build yourself a system of safety nets. This is esentially an exact copy of your hard drive on a system as well as file level. (software, drivers, Operating system et...)that in some cases, based on the software that was used to create the image, is bootable. Meaning that you can just install the hard drive and start your computer right up again and have EVERYTHING. E-mail desktop settings....EVERYTHING.

After a little research I had gone with Apricorn's EZ Gig. One thing I liked about the program is that you could also use the drive images as a file back-up as well. Instead of just a full system restore, you can also restore just selected file(s).

Up until about a year ago I had never needed this for worst case scenario. Well, due to a couple of misunderstandings when I first spec'd out my workstation with Dell I came head to head with one of those worst case scenarios. You can read about our little adventure here...

(above: me sinking my teeth into a 10,000 RPM Raptor Hard Drive)

At any rate, I can say now that I have had first hand experience with this over the course of about two weeks.

As emotionally draining and completely disastrous as it was, This was a ray of hope in what would have been a completely dark time.

Long story short, I was able to install a new array of hard drives, restore the Drive Image to the Array, and with a little help from my tech get right back up and running again.

Along with EZ Gig we also have other systems in place to help create several safety nets to keep us up and running;

-First line of defense is our Sanho Hpeydrive UDMA (read more here). This portable hard drive speed demon is where all are cards go as soon as they leave the camera. Ranging in size, we have a 250 Gb version. Once it is close to full I knock off the oldest 70 Gbs or so. This gives our or most recent RAW files immediate on-site back up as well as gives us a single point upload from the three camera bodies that we run. By the time we get back to the home office it is now a one connection upload. No card shuffling at 1 AM after a wedding. Instead we get a first look at the wedding before we hit the hay.

-Using Vice Versa Software and the Black X (read more here) we sync the data on our Drobo (containing completed client work, all our documents ect…) with hard drives that I store offsite.

-Using Vice Versa Software and the Black X (read more here) we sync vital files from my work station to the Drobo nightly (Outlook files, current projects…)

So you can see here that we have several safety nets in place that keep us covered from a variety of scenarios. We let our customers know what we do as well. I think it adds value to be able to show that the lengths at which we go through to ensure that the memories we have captured for them our safe. Not to mention your own work and family photos!

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