Monday, June 18, 2007
Digital Asset Management
Keeping track of the images that pay the bills requires a foolproof system
Backing Up Isn't Hard To Do
When it comes to protecting your digital assets, you never can be too paranoid. I use and recommend a multiple backup strategy that will protect you in all but the most catastrophic cases. It usually takes one instance of losing files, either through equipment failure or brain failure, to realize that consistent backup is worth the time and effort. Here are the best options available.
RAID. A RAID 1 configuration uses two identical drives with mirror images of each. Every time a file is saved, it's saved to both drives. In the event of a drive failure, you still have a complete copy of all images. A RAID 0 configuration also uses two (or more) drives, but uses them to increase the storage space. For safety, I suggest RAID 1.
External Hard Drive. I also have a copy of all my image files on two external drives. I'm not quite paranoid enough to keep one drive at a remote location, but you may want to consider this. Either USB 2.0 or FireWire drives, such as those available from Western Digital (www.westerndigital.com) and Maxtor (www.maxtor.com), are excellent choices, and can be easily set up to copy files automatically. I've recently started to use the SimpleShare device from SimpleTech (www.simpletech.com), which combines automatic backup across my private network of PC and Macintosh computers and serves as a print server for USB printers. This is the most effective network backup I've used.
CD Or DVD. My final safety net is the archival CD and DVD copies that I keep. As I mention in the article, I keep two copies of images on removable media. Avoid buying the cheap CD or DVD media. Get high-quality discs such as the Verbatim (www.verbatim.com), Delkin Archival Gold (www.delkin.com) or TDK Armor Plated (www.tdk.com) discs. If your images are worth backing up, they're worth using quality discs.
ACD Systems www.acdsystems.com
iView Multimedia www.iview-multimedia.com
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