bez wrote:what happens when the drive or disc fails?
In probability terms [well, not quite the technical terms but ...], fewer larger drives are less prone to possible data loss than many small drives. The probabilities of failure add up, that is, the more drives/cards you have the more probalbe it is you kose data due to hardware failure.
The flipside is that you [may] lose more with just one medium; probabilities do not tell us anything about individual events.
that's whay a multilevel approach is the best assurance to keep your precious data.
My "upgrade-path" includes already a Raid 5 configuration in 1 or two years when 1,5 TB drives are available and my actual 4x 1 TB drives are outmoded - by then the Raid 5 (4 Disc) casings with independent controller are available for a bargin
Storage is all abot "clever" upgrading and migration to the next storage level.
In the pÃ¼ast I had several harddisc problems with state of the art models.
Now I simply exchange the main drives every two years. This turned out to be the most reliable way to keep the data.
My Fujitsu 4 GB drives in 1998 failed within the waranty but I did not get any replacement though I insisted. So my learning is this: Never trust the manufacturers - simply replace the most used drives every now and then - turning on and too much heat affect the possible lifetime of a drive.
In other words - go for the biggest and best in class and replace it before you loose data.
A "used" drive still can work as a backup drive with less utilization. If you happen t have many of them - go for a multi upgrade and store these drives in different locations.
I always have additionally an optical backup with a one or two year granularity. YES - its pricy and YES it takes time and space but YES - i feel much better now.
The big central working machine needs the biggest attention since a lot of wark was invested (at least in my case) - the laptop is simply a mobile subset of the master data.
Hopefully Adobe is including the sync tool in Lightroom before I purchase a DSLR so I simply can dock the laptop after pre-aquisition of the images. By now 2 x 1 TB is roughly the data I need for images but the roadmap for storage will satisfy my needs by 2012 or so with >> 5 TB / 3,5 inch drive.
A clever backup strategy is really neccessary when a certain time has been invested in the data. Lightroom is one of the reasons why the switch to digital media is now (at least from my side) the first time a benefit and no step back.
LIGHTROOM is THE killer app. for sorting and ranking of images - iTunes for images on a professional level (whilest iPhoto and Picasa are simply underfeatured, slow and with a strange GUI)
Backup is the most important topic for any photograher! (after simply doing the images