7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2014 11:53 AM by ontravel
ontravel Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

Backup / mirror / clone / duplicate

 

I import my photos from memory card into iPhoto for sorting and then use Aperture for the serious stuff. I don't use any Aperture features like Masters or whatever it's called. That way everything stays together in the library and can be used in iPhoto and Aperture.

 

The entire library is stored on a portable external drive.

 

When taking photos on the road I want to be able to nightly duplicate (backup / mirror / clone) the library onto a second portable drive and every few days onto a third drive. The library is currently over 400GB which takes nearly 2 hours to backup using Apple's Backup application.

 

Which professional software / strategy would be recommended please?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 4GB RAM
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (133,200 points)

    I import my photos from memory card into iPhoto for sorting and then use Aperture for the serious stuff. I don't use any Aperture features like Masters or whatever it's called. That way everything stays together in the library and can be used in iPhoto and Aperture.

     

    The only difference between importing with Aperture and iPhoto is that with Aperture you can choose where to store the files. That includes choosing the only option iPhoto has - stoing them in the LIbrary. Yes you do use Masters - just that iPhoto calls them Originals, but there the actual photos as copied from the camera. So, your workflow doesn't need iPhoto at all.

     

    I'm not being pedantic, but you need to understand the app and how it works, otherwise you'll have user errors and risj dataloss.

     

    While one can haggle over the details, backup / mirror / clone are pretty much three ways of saying the same thing - making a copy of the Library.

     

    Check out Aperture's Vault in the Manual or use an app that will do incremental back ups. This is a very good way to work. The first time you run the back up the app will make a complete copy of the Library. Thereafter it will update the back up with the changes you have made. That makes subsequent back ups much faster. Many of these apps also have scheduling capabilities: So set it up and it will do the back up automatically.

     

    Example of such apps: Chronosync - but there are many others. Search on MacUpdate or the App Store

  • ontravel Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I realize that iPhoto may be unnecessary BUT I find it easier for sorting images.

     

    I'm working with the first named app you mentioned, but have not got it to work yet. I don't want to critizise it here though, as I'm working with their support people. However, I have just a few days remaining to find and test a reliable solution.

     

    I might continue to use Apple's ancient "Backup" app and just do incremental updates, but I need to test how long the incrementals will take this evening. However, I recollect that "Backup" only likes to back up to the original source. Should the original source drive die or get stolen, then I don't know how that would be resolved.

     

    One backup app I tried copied the content of the library package into its individual folders and files, but I'm unsure whether Aperture or iPhoto would be able to use that as a library in the event of damage or theft of the original drive.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (12,470 points)

    Almost all apps are tricky for the first-time user to handle correctly.  I use SuperDuper, which does the same as ChronoSync and the many others.

     

    At 400 GB, you are going to have to give any of them several hours to make and verify the first back-up.  After that, bringing your back-up up-to-date (so it matches the current state of your Library) can be done in a matter of minutes.  Of course, this depends on the amount of changes, and the type of connection.  (I recommend USB-3 or Thunderbolt.)

     

    For two back-ups (highly recommended), you should make each from your original Library.  Depending on the volume of your work and the value of a day's work, you might "leap-frog" these: bring only one up-to-date each evening, and alternate drives.  This also more easily allows you to never have all three copies of your Library (the working copy, and the two complete back-ups) in the same physical location.

     

    Back-ups made and maintained by cloning (imho, you should use a program that clones the entire volume, and stick to one volume per drive) will function identically to your working-copy.  Should your working copy fail, you can use any back-up (made by cloning) immediately.  (Of course, it will only have your data up to the point you backed up.)

     

    Keep in mind that Aperture is a complex database.  Your 400 GB Library almost certainly has over a million individual files.  This very large number of small files will always take humanly-noticeable time to read, to copy, and to back-up.

     

    HTH,

     

    --Kirby.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (133,200 points)

    One backup app I tried copied the content of the library package into its individual folders and files, but I'm unsure whether Aperture or iPhoto would be able to use that as a library in the event of damage or theft of the original drive.

     

    They wouldn't.

     

    Can I strongly caution you that Apple's Backup app is no longer developed and hasn't been updated in years. I simply would not trust an abandoned application for work like this. Seriously.

     

    Not sure what issues you're hving with Chronosync but I use it and SuperDuper with no issues.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (25,715 points)

    What not use Time Machine for the daily backups ad then clone the drive every 3rd day?

     

     

    Just realized your profile says 10.4, are you really still on the OS version and what  version of Aperture are you running? That info wil affect the answers.

  • ontravel Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Sorry, I've just changed my profile listing to OS 10.7.5 and Aperture 3.4.5

     

    1 million files, wow!

     

    Was not aware that Apple's Backup app might cause problems. I might have to rethink whether I use it to regularly backup my Parallels installation. I usually try not to fix things before they are broken. I have just completed an incremental backup using "Backup" and it also took 2 hours for just 44GB! Just a little longer than the whole library took!

     

    I already use SuperDuper to clone the entire Mac and it works well, however I was not aware that it can be used just to clone the Library package.

     

    I also just briefly opened TimeMachine. Is that not also designed for the whole system or can it be used directory-based or in this case package-based?

     

    We have been unable to get Chronosync to clone the Library package, but I'm still awaiting another update from them.

     

    Dedicated drives are a good idea and were my original plan, however things are complicated by having my library on an external drive. I WISH that there was enough space on my MacBook Pro to house my Library. I could split it up, but as there are theme related images under the main library and with new creations, it will just complicate matters. I cannot rely on online backup; theme already analyzed and discarded.

     

    I already need an additional drive for my bootable clone. I need another drive or part of a drive for misc. backups, like my Parallels installation and a few odd files. So if I don't share one of my "Photo backup drives", then that would make 5 drives to carry when on the road and to unpack in front on the security agents at the airport for EVERY flight. I recently tried 3 and that opened eyes.

     

    Thanks for the good idea about alternating backup drives #2 and 3 and leap-frogging. BTW, the initial backup time is not so important. The evening update time IS important. The incremental increase can be from 10GB-50GB daily when on a shoot.

     

    Thanks for all the good suggestions so far. Perhaps the above will compliment my initial enquiry.

  • ontravel Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    BTW, I will connect to my main library drive via USB3 and my backup drive, initially via USB3 and the daily updates via FireWire 800.