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Tank destroyer and a god
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2,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I am a hobby photographer, photos which are already edited and uploaded to FB or Instagram still need to be properly archived, especially the original RAW files. I dont want to get much into "NAS and Cloud are not real backup", lets just say that offline media which allow to be written just once are still great way of archiving origina. files, , but you dont need to access them on daily basis in their original quality. So i looked back to the past on optical drives and media.

a) Media Capacity
BluRays offer 25, 50 and 100gb/128gb of storage, which is perfect, if you want to make a mirror backup of common SD card with photoshoot.

b) Media Life expectancy
I actually wasnt expecting anything new in this field but i was in for a pleasant surprise:

The technology was around for years, but it became widely available by 2016. Media manufacturers on top of that promise better scratch resistance, or using silver layer instead of aluminium for better life expectancy.

c) Drives Availability
Still around both SATA and USB. Getting a decent drive with BD-XL (Quad-Layer) and M-Disc support is not a problem.

d) Disk Burning software
Some of the once popular burning software are no longer updated. That could mean lack of support for larger BD-TL or BD-QL media.
Listed here:

f) UHD friendly and Unfriendly drives
If you want to watch UHD bluray movies on PC, while keeping everything legal, you need Intel 7-10gen and expensive player software, while in many cases you will run into trouble anyways.

To solve them you might need "UHD friendly" blu ray drive, and MakeMKV or similar software to decode your original disk. More info about that here:
 

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As I am a hobby photographer, photos which are already edited and uploaded to FB or Instagram still need to be properly archived, especially the original RAW files. I dont want to get much into "NAS and Cloud are not real backup", lets just say that offline media which allow to be written just once are still great way of archiving original. files, , but you dont need to access them on daily basis in their original quality. So i looked back to the past on optical drives and media.
I am also a hobbyist photographer, this is how it started at the year 2001 and I did receive in-dept education mostly from dedicated books.
My entire and large and expensive collection of accessories this is all relative to OLYMPUS C2100 Ultra zoom, now I own three of them.

As best backup option, I am using and a second PC at my LAN, an monthly backup schedule this all that it takes.
There is no chance two different computers both to fail in a single day.

I do have faith to optical drives, but the industry at control of scratch-free and long lasting storage media, they are asking too much as price tag.
Large shops they are in denial holding such expensive media in stock, and this causes poor availability.
 

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I'm also a hobbyist photographer and already have a Bluray burner that can write to M-DISC, but I realized that it would be redundant to use it because I would be storing it at home and a fire would wipe out all of my copies. I currently store everything on a local server running 5 drives in a software RAID (Windows Server with 2 way mirroring and ReFS with Data Integrity enabled), and then backup that to the cloud to two different hosts, Backblaze B2 and Microsoft Azure. If my local server crashes, I will download everything from one of the cloud backups, not screw around with loading multiple M-DISCs hoping that they didn't get scratched or something.

It's less than a dollar per month for each of my cloud backups if you are using it correctly as cold storage. Sure, if I wanted a fourth backup just in case both of my cloud backups failed, then I would maybe look at M-DISC, but what's the chance of both separate cloud services going under at the same time as my server crashes? I would only use M-DISC if I could store it at a relative's house instead of my home, or at worst my desk at work, but honestly I would probably just get two external hard drives and keep one in my desk at work and swap them occasionally before I would do M-DISC. I'm really not a fan.

Just to clarify, definitely do not blindly pay some cloud service $60+/month for "unlimited" backup storage (consumer Backblaze, not Backblaze B2). It's expensive, and the strings attached are you can't just backup everything if you don't have it saved locally as a way of preventing you from backing up too much data. My current bill from Azure is literally $8 a year, and probably close to the same for B2. I encrypt everything before I upload it too, so I'm not worried about anybody getting my random 1s and 0s either.
 

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I am also a hobbyist photographer, this is how it started at the year 2001 and I did receive in-dept education mostly from dedicated books.
My entire and large and expensive collection of accessories this is all relative to OLYMPUS C2100 Ultra zoom, now I own three of them.

As best backup option, I am using and a second PC at my LAN, an monthly backup schedule this all that it takes.
There is no chance two different computers both to fail in a single day.

I do have faith to optical drives, but the industry at control of scratch-free and long lasting storage media, they are asking too much as price tag.
Large shops they are in denial holding such expensive media in stock, and this causes poor availability.
A fire could wipe out both copies of your files, so just a heads up that keeping a backup offsite is best practice.
 

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god loves ugly
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4,253 Posts
Consider that all physical media has life. Optical media is mostly susceptible to scratching and UV, I think. You can usually count on the disks to last for around a decade if stored well.

Tape is another common option. I think shelf life is better, but they have magnetism concerns. Speed is also rather poor, but the density is incredible. Wear on these is more of a concern, but really it applies to any physical media. I think typically they last around twice as long as optical media, barring too much use/exposure

I disagree that "Cloud" isn't a backup. It's an incredibly vague term, it could mean block storage, virtual machines, object storage, or any other applied usage of technology on the internet. Applied well, it can be perfectly resilient, secure, and reasonably priced for my data volumes (< 5TB).

The important thing is to encrypt your data before it ever leaves you. In my eyes, any perceived added cost comes from not having the problem of ensuring the data is available. The provider deals with the aging/eventual failure of hardware

A helpful piece of context is that if you shop well on your object storage, you typically only really pay anything measurable when you want to restore the data. With Backblaze and their Cloudflare partnership, this is a non-issue. Restorations can be completely free.

I'd say, one of anything isn't a backup. Without getting into retention/rotation policies and differential syncs, I'll basically say my model usually involves keeping at least two physical copies locally, and storing it remotely offsite in the 'cloud' (object storage).
 

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Tank destroyer and a god
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Discussion Starter #6
I am also a hobbyist photographer, this is how it started at the year 2001 and I did receive in-dept education mostly from dedicated books.
My entire and large and expensive collection of accessories this is all relative to OLYMPUS C2100 Ultra zoom, now I own three of them.

As best backup option, I am using and a second PC at my LAN, an monthly backup schedule this all that it takes.
There is no chance two different computers both to fail in a single day.

I do have faith to optical drives, but the industry at control of scratch-free and long lasting storage media, they are asking too much as price tag.
Large shops they are in denial holding such expensive media in stock, and this causes poor availability.
Olympus EM-5 Mark III is my main camera, I really got into photography with original M10.

Today i managed to get few 3 packs of 25gb Mdisks by Verbatim, 3,54 euro per one, including slim case. I am fine with these because single-layer blurays can be read by any Bluray drive, Dual layer by most of them. Its getting tricky with BDXL. But 100gb BDXL Mdisk cost 17,18 eur per one.

I use two BD-R SL M-discs to have to backups per card, and i will probably use another external media.

There might be a chance for a power surge or something, and it might kill multiple devices at once. Therefore valuable data are still backed up on an independent media (tapes or optical disks).
 
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Tank destroyer and a god
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2,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Consider that all physical media has life. Optical media is mostly susceptible to scratching and UV, I think. You can usually count on the disks to last for around a decade if stored well.

Tape is another common option. I think shelf life is better, but they have magnetism concerns. Speed is also rather poor, but the density is incredible. Wear on these is more of a concern, but really it applies to any physical media. I think typically they last around twice as long as optical media, barring too much use/exposure

I disagree that "Cloud" isn't a backup. It's an incredibly vague term, it could mean block storage, virtual machines, object storage, or any other applied usage of technology on the internet. Applied well, it can be perfectly resilient, secure, and reasonably priced for my data volumes (< 5TB).

The important thing is to encrypt your data before it ever leaves you. In my eyes, any perceived added cost comes from not having the problem of ensuring the data is available. The provider deals with the aging/eventual failure of hardware

A helpful piece of context is that if you shop well on your object storage, you typically only really pay anything measurable when you want to restore the data. With Backblaze and their Cloudflare partnership, this is a non-issue. Restorations can be completely free.

I'd say, one of anything isn't a backup. Without getting into retention/rotation policies and differential syncs, I'll basically say my model usually involves keeping at least two physical copies locally, and storing it remotely offsite in the 'cloud' (object storage).
Thanks for reminder that I want black slim cases to avoid UV :). There have been tests of M-disc technology using hot water or ice and it appears that the media are really much more resistant than traditional optical disks.

The reason why are companies still investing into optical technology is because its "cold storage". Data are recorded and stored indefinitely, offline in media which dont have mechanical or electronic parts of its own, and its not magnetic in any sense. Only the media themselves can go wrong... Thats the level of simplicity i really like.

I would end up with on-site and off-site copy on BD media, and yet another copy on a different media type.

The only question is how often you need to access the data stored on any kind of archive, and in my situation, Blu-rays might be accessed only few times a year, while the secondary copy will not be accessed at all.

Also I will probably use an USB SSD disk as primary archive, which will be subjected to rotation more often than the BD drives.
 

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Overclocking Enthusiast
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Aren't Blu-rays expensive? Wouldn't a hard drive be cheaper? Tape storage would be even cheaper.
 

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Tank destroyer and a god
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2,624 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Aren't Blu-rays expensive? Wouldn't a hard drive be cheaper? Tape storage would be even cheaper.
According to prices here:

Blu-rays
25gb x 10 discs = 35,4 Eur
100gb x5 disc = 85.9 Eur
(Media and clear slim box, while 25gb single layer disks are the cheapest)

Cheapest external SSD
250gb = 58,9 Eur
500gb = 65.9 Eur
1tb = 103.9 Eur

So, as the disk drives are getting larger, prices are in favor of SSDs. HDDs are even cheaper, but i dont want use them for archiving.

in this case i would rather use multiple smaller media than one large. Its less convenient, but the single media failure wont cost that much data.
 

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A fire could wipe out both copies of your files, so just a heads up that keeping a backup offsite is best practice.
They are no any smart answer's against this argument, but in such a scenario I would be in tears for much more worthy things than the photographs.
Its computer this is secured with it own 500EUR worth APC UPS, 1500 & 1200VA.
Therefore I have make my best all ready.
 

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Politically incorrect
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Hard drives are still the best and cheapest form of long term storage as SSD's suffer from the same problem that USB drives suffer from: data degradation.

I am an amateur photographer and I store everything on my media server running SnapRAID with 3 redundancy drives.
 

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Hard drives are still the best and cheapest form of long term storage as SSD's suffer from the same problem that USB drives suffer from: data degradation.

I am an amateur photographer and I store everything on my media server running SnapRAID with 3 redundancy drives.
In the positive side of things the oldest SMART-Media cards, they demonstrated at my hands extreme life cycle, I got a pile of SMART-Media cards as a spare, and still using the same 128MB since the year 2001 this be made by Samsung Korea.

The enemy of electronics this is humidity, due this fear I paid for extreme conditions storage case for smart-media cards, I think of it now as wasted money.
I do not take pictures of forests and jungles. :)
 
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