My New Backing Up Set Up and Workflow

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 5, 2020

Category: General | Kit

Due to the recent computer dying episode (LINK) and the subsequent moving back to all things Apple, I thought it best to get to grips with my backing up workflow.

I’ve written about my backup workflow in the past but if I’m honest, over more recent times I’d gotten a little blasé about it all and was merely relying on one external drive to hold my content and this to be backed up each day to Backblaze Cloud Storage.

I’ll never forget the look of horror on my friend Steve Deakin’s face (he’s one heck of a computer tech solutions expert) when he asked what my backing up workflow was. Needless to say he wasn’t going to let me get away with it and so go to work sorting out an ideal solution that suited my needs and which actually ended up making use of equipment I already had but was no longer taking advantage of.

So, in short, this is my new and improved backing up workflow (thanks to Steve) that now I have in place feels great knowing it’s set up and doing its thing…

Workflow Step by Step

First things first my monitor set up…

I use the iMac as the ‘everyday’ screen but when it comes to working on images and video I use my BenQ SW321C. This is also the monitor I use as the background when photographing my World War 2 model aircraft because it has a non-reflective screen.

When it comes to keeping my files nice and safe this is how it all works…

  • My main workhorse is my new beefed up iMac which contains 128MB RAM and 2 x 1TB internal SSDs; one that contains the Operating System and Apps and the other is used as a Scratch Disk for Photoshop and Premiere Pro. I also store contents of a video I’m editing on this spare SSD (because of the speed it gives) and then once complete I drag the entire contents onto an external HD which in this case is my GTech (1)The bootable SSD in my iMac (which also contains all the apps I use) is backed up continuously to BackBlaze Cloud Storage.
  • My iMac is connected to a GTech 8TB (1) Hard Drive (2 x 4TB) set as RAID 0. The entire contents of this GTech (1) are backed up daily to Backblaze Cloud Storage. This is automated to happen continually. I also keep my Lightroom catalog on the GTech as opposed to an internal SSD on my iMac. The GTech (1) is connected using Thunderbolt 2 so it’s super fast; could be faster obviously with Thunderbolt 3 but this current unit doesn’t support that.
  • I also have a Synology DS416 NAS (2) which at the moment has 14TB of HDD split over 4 HDDs. This Synology (2) continually monitors the health of the HDDs and should one have an issue will keep its contents safe by using a spare HDD.
  • The GTech (1) and Synology DS416 (2) are mirror images of each other. To ensure this I use Chronosync so that each day it looks at the contents of the  (1) and if it sees something new that ins’t on the Synology, it copies it across. This happens every day at 11pm.
  • My iMac (main SSD containing OS and Apps) is continually backed up to my Apple Time Machine Capsule (3).
  • I use Dropbox, iCould and the Creative Cloud so no files are stored directly on my computer. Great for safety but also for accessing them anywhere at anytime.
  • Oh and I guess it’s also worth mentioning that ALL of my computer equipment is plugged into a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) so that if ever there was a power cut or power surge, it’ll keep it running safely and then if need be, safely power down the equipment. Clever stuff and having had it a while and experienced power cuts, I wouldn’t be without it.
  • Finally, seeing as we’re talking about keeping files safe, I’m now using BitDefender as my Anti Virus and Internet Security Package.

 

I can honestly say that at this moment in time I’ve never been more content and happy with my backing up workflow but more than anything, understanding now what I’ve got, how it’s set up and why, and this is all down to Steve.

With an imminent relocation on the horizon I can’t wait to pay Steve (Tech for Togs – techfortogs.com) to work his magic on my new office and studio set up. 

Anyway I hope that is in some way useful if you’re thinking of setting up your own backing up system or maybe making changes.

If you have any questions then as always be sure to post them in the comments section below; any difficult ones I’ll pass over to Steve though 🙂

Cheers
Glyn

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11 Comments

  1. Gareth

    Great article. I am using Backblaze but have struggled with the volume of images that need to be uploaded. I have given up on backing up all images (RAW) to BB and instead am backing up locally my raw (onsite and offsite multiple times) and then my final images (e.g. weddings) high res versions to Backblaze so there is a disaster-proof version of each final image.

    How are you finding keeping an 8TB HD constantly backed up to BB? Does it not bog down when you add a new shoot?

    Thanks, Glyn for the information, always great stuff

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Hi Gareth

      To be honest I hardly know BackBlaze is there doing its thing. I suppose having the great broadband speed is playing a big part in this but it works great and didn’t take long for the initial back up.

      Cheers
      Glyn

      Reply
  2. JD Phresh

    Glyn – impressive setup! Curious to know how much each of these solutions cost and the total cost. Yes, we all would love to have a this, but if $15,000+, it would be out of reach for many of us

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Hi JD

      Ok so re the cost of the set up as it’s kit I already had then nothing added there except for a couple of new cables and of course the BitDefender and ChronoSync software. As for the original purchase of the GTech, Synology and the Apple Time Capsule I probably spent around £1500 for all 3 (give or take)

      Regards
      Glyn

      Reply
  3. stevedeakim

    Glad to help Glyn and get you all working again 🙂

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      You’re a STAR mate…thank you so much!

      Reply
  4. Adnan Mansour

    Hi Glyn
    Best of luck with your move to North Devon a wonderful part of the UK.
    I tried to put my name an email on your mailing list, but a friend of mine thankfully passed on your current eNews, which suggests that my registration was not successful!
    Two questions: 1.why BackBlaZe & not Apple back up? & 2. I have been relying on Apple’s security, do you really need BitDefender on top?
    We are about to enter our second phase lockdown for six weeks, in Melbourne !
    Cheers
    Adnan

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Thanks Adnan…looks like we’re all systems go for Devon 🙂

      Ok so re BackBlaze…it’s well known in the industry, incredibly reliable and fast and yes for sure re BitDefender…despite Apple security I’d always want to have anti virus software installed made by a company that specialises in that line of work.

      Keep safe and well out there
      Glyn

      Reply
      • Adnan Mansour

        Thanks and best wishes.

        Adnan

        Reply
  5. Jim blois

    Glyn, thanks for the tips.

    Wishing you smooth sailing on the move to Devon.
    Did you get my email the other day.

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Hey Jim

      Thanks for checking the posto out…hope it helps or gives some ideas.
      Thanks too re the house move…it’s taken a long time to get to this point so we’re having to contain our excitement as there’s still a way to go until we walk through the door 🙂

      Not sure I’ve seen your email, so sorry about that. When did you send it? Is everything ok?

      Chat soon
      Glyn

      Reply

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