By strange behavior I mean that it was forcing itself into a disk rebuild as if a drive had failed. The rebuild was successful without replacing the drive, but it caused me think that I should upgrade my data storage solution sooner rather than later.
A Massive Amount of Images
Now I have a lot of images from a decade of digital photography. I have over 121,000 images. I organize by images into several folders based on my usage of images. I use Adobe Lightroom for my primary photo editing platform. After capturing an image I use Lightroom to bring it into my computer in an "Original" folder organized by date. I load all images in the DNG format. After bringing in the RAW files I select the images I am going to process further with Lightroom tools and then I use Lightroom's editing tools or I use Photoshop or other software to further process the images into my production photographs or art products that I print for exhibitions.
My original storage solution was a Drobo 4 bay unit with a USB 2.0 interface. It was configured with two 1.5 Terabyte Western Digital Green Drives and two 2 TB green drives. With a total storage capacity of 7 TB of storage Drobo's proprietary "BeyondRAID" architecture provided 4.53 TB of usable storage. An explanation of BeyondRAID can be found on Drobo.com:
"Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology solves the fundamental issues that traditional RAID can’t. Built on the foundation of traditional RAID, BeyondRAID adds a layer of virtualization that chooses the correct protection algorithm based on data availability needs at any given moment. Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between RAID protection levels.
If you need to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones – no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array, or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups."
A more detailed technical explanation can be found Drobo's e-book " Drobo Technical Innovation" that I have made available on my Dropbox site at Drobo e-book on Dropbox.
My Old Backup PlanTo back up that amount of data I was making a full backup of all my critical folders utilizing Acronis True Image 2014. The backup files were stored on an Internal 2 Tb disk on my computer. As my photo collection grew I started experiencing more and more issues with storage space. I knew I would have to buy more disk. The other problem with this scheme is that I had only one backup set. If it was corrupted I didn't have any backup.
My New Backup PlanI first purchased a new Drobo, the newest USB 3.0 version of the technology with four bays. I populated the bays with Western Digital Red Drives, designed for NAS storage. These are amazing units that really solved a lot of problems I was having with the time it was taking to perform a backup. I found I was averaging about 4 times the speed of my Gen2 Drobos. Next I purchased a
Western Digital My Book, 4 Tb, USB 3.0 backup.
My new storage solution was a Drobo 4 bay unit with a USB 3.0 interface. It was configured with four 3 TB Western Digital Red Drives. With a total storage capacity of 12 TB of storage Drobo's proprietary "BeyondRAID" architecture provided 8.17 TB of usable storage. I effectively doubled my storage capacity.
The original idea was that I would make a complete backup to take offsite to my Safe Deposit box. After installation I decided to use the My Book backup as my primary in-house backup. After making several backups of my original Drobo I reformatted the drives to get rid of any bad sectors and used the four original drives as a disk pack that I removed to the Safe Deposit box. The resolved most of my space issues and provided additional fast backups for my weekly and daily backup tasks. I will refresh the offsite backups once a quarter. I backup my Production and 2015 folders daily with an incremental schema (backing up only what is changed for a series of 5 versions and then creating a new full backup to start the process all over again. I also upgraded to the new Acronis True Image 2015. After some initial problems with True Image I finally got it to working reliably and it seems a little faster than the previous version.
I have provided some links below to the products mentioned in this blog post. I would like to note that the price on a Drobo Generation 3 with USB 3.0 (List price of $ 349.99) is at the lowest cost I have seen it since the product was announced.
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe they will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” See my detailed disclosure at: My Disclosure