Teach the value of Data!

Self Managed Storage is the only way to go. If it needs to be in the classroom curriculum, so be it.

As the owner of a Data Recovery Company for 20 years, I can honestly say that the only data that you can guarantee, is the data you have in your hands.

As a photographer for 40 years, I store more than a hundred terabytes of images – perhaps I will give Getty Images a run for their money one day!

I have different drive colors for each of my basic image types: PEOPLE , PLACES, THINGS

Because I travel frequently, I further split my PLACES drives by continent, then by country, then by state. Each STATE drive is then split into folders of city, then by actual location. Every file that is saved, is prefaced with that information. Consequently, every file has a single place to live – e.g.

PLACES/N-AMERICA/USA/NC/High-Point/Oak Hollow Dam/ RAW/’Oak-Hollow-Dam-2012-0199.CR2′ (20Mb)
PLACES/N-AMERICA/USA/NC/High-Point/Oak Hollow Dam/ TIF//’Oak-Hollow-Dam-2012-0199A.TIF’ (70Mb)
PLACES/N-AMERICA/USA/NC/High-Point/Oak Hollow Dam/ PSD//’Oak-Hollow-Dam-2012-0199A.PSD’ (70 Mb)
PLACES/N-AMERICA/USA/NC/High-Point/Oak Hollow Dam/ JPG//’Oak-Hollow-Dam-2012-0199As.JPG’ ( 300 Kb)

Every image I take is stored as a Raw/PSD/Tif/Jpg and with the ‘chosen ones’ at multiple resolutions and sharpnesses to satisfy different sites’ requirements.

Each of those drives remain offline until required.
Then of course, each of those drives is duplicated, and then duplicated AGAIN.
The final copy is moved off site and lives inside a safe (at a friends house)
A database of every file is kept on my Computer along with the latest downloads from my camera. Each week, every Image File is moved off my computer, into the Offline storage system and the database is updated.

Individual folders are returned to my Computer Drive (online) for editing and then returned to their respective drives when finished with. They maintain the folder structure while they are online.

This makes management easy – even though it may sound complex – once the structure is in place – EVERYTHING has a correct place.
Under THINGS, the structure is more arbitrary, but still organized.
Under THINGS / FAUNA there are folders for DOGS CATS BIRDS INSECTS etc… and then by Breed, Name or Owner.
EVENTS COMMERCIAL FLORA BACKGROUNDS ARCHITECTURE all have their own drives, and are treated similarly to the PLACES example above.

I currently use 20 x Seagate 2.5″, Go-Flex USB 3.0, 1.5Tb drives as my primary storage, and 2 sets of 12 x Seagate Backup Plus 4 Tb Drives as my Backup.

I have tried many other ways of storing data, and this appears to be the best way so far.
I recommend that everyone learns the right way to store data as part of their ‘license to drive a computer’.

Data should be Online, Nearline, Offline AND Offsite or you really don’t care about having access to your files!

…. Now, off to see where I can get a deal on some more 2.5″ Go-flex drives!


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