Backing Up Lightroom Classic Photos to the Cloud

Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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I am trying to adhere to the "3 - 2 - 1" system of backup: 3 copies, 2 stored locally, 1 stored off-site (in the cloud).  I have 56,000 Lightroom Classic photos stored on an external drive, and I manually copy them to another external drive every week.   I want to "mirror" those photos to the cloud.  How to do that?  Any other suggestions for off-site (cloud) backup for the photos?  (I have 2TB of space on Google Drive, if that helps.)

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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There are plenty of cloud backup services. Each comes with different instructions. I use Carbonite as cloud backup, which actually detects new or changed files, and then performs the backup automatically without human interaction.

 

You would be wise to add to your 3-2-1 system (which I commend you for following) to make your backups automated, so they happen without human interaction. In my opinion, no backup system is operating at its best with human initiated backups (why? because humans forget, humans get busy, humans get lazy, and backups don't happen regularly).

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Thank you so much for your response and good advice. I will investigate an
automated cloud backup system. However, I am very ignorant about the
cloud. Can cloud backup services such as iDrive mirror my photos from an
external hard drive? Somewhere I thought I read that cloud backup
services could not backup (mirror) external devices. True?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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As I said, every cloud service has its own behaviors and procedures and instructions. I cannot answer about any service other than Carbonite, which automatically makes cloud backups of new and changed files for my two internal drives. Carbonite will indeed make backups from external drives, but there is additional cost. You can look up the costs and details at their web site.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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I would just comment: whenever backup happens there are two competing aims in play.

 

The first aim is to maintain a "mirror" of your current primary data, as up to date and identical as possible, that matches and reflects all of your ongoing intentional additions, alterations and deletions.

 

The second aim takes into account that unintended changes can happen too. So files - many or few - may have been deleted, or corrupted, or changed in some unwanted way whether accidental or malicious (ransomware, say). 

 

And you didn't realise quickly enough, to block those updates from getting automatically mirrored to all your backups too; the very fact they match the primary data, would be what makes them useless to you in this circumstance.

 

The answer is either to maintain incremental backups that permit going back in time; or, to deliberately disconnect or prevent some backups from getting updated at all, except when you want that to happen.

 

My suggestion is: use cloud backup or local backup to very regularly update a simple mirror of all your "presumed good" data, to protect you as much as possible from losing work in the case of a sudden local hardware failure. And separately from that, at wider intervals, maintain a circulating series of physical backups - that are then disconnected and stored securely away from your main computer. These would serve as a redundant backstop: deliberately out-of-date but "presumed good" data snapshots, to cover the scenario where both your current data and its cloud based "mirror" are found to be "bad": to embody a lot of unwanted change. It may easily have taken a week, or a month, before this became apparent. If your backup software allows an incremental method, one external drive might permit the retrieval of old data states from say 1, 5 and 9 weeks ago - the next drive from 2, 6 and 10 weeks ago - and so on.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Ah, very good information. Thank you so much. I'll look into a cloud
backup service, but also keep an off-site device with copies of the
photos. I'm not familiar with any cloud backup services, but have heard of
iDrive. Any comments on that?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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I don't have good enough knowledge of cloud backup to advise, sorry - I use only hardware based. Oh, OneDrive for some purposes - a Microsoft equivalent of IDrive more or less.

 

But personally I would be looking for something that a) makes fewer silent assumptions about what you want to happen and why; b) is not so involved in other aspects of a particular individual's account, and c) is not to prone to replicating data across all your different devices without asking. So: a product designed specifically for large data backup, and offering good overt control.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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LATEST
Excellent advice. Thanks so much.

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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I have 35,000 photos and follow a similar scheme with a caveat. I live in Canada means expensive Internet and I don't have an unlimited plan so backing up all my photos can be costly. I've come up with a 2 step process.

 

For the offsite:

  • I refresh off-site physical backups to my daughter's and our cottage quartlery.
  • I come from a computer background and wrote a program to find all my 'keeper' photos (rating >= 1 star) and copy these to the cloud. If anyone knows Python, and is interested in the program, let me know.

 

For the cloud, I use Amazon Web Service (AWS), which is cheap, but that requires me to use the Cloudberry Desktop backup program. As an FYI, if you choose to use Cloudberry, don't use any of it's special features like compression. This makes you bound to Cloudberry because other 3rd party programs that work with AWS cannot read the Cloudberry created containers.

 

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Why would you keep photos (rating less than one) and not back them up? What is the logic here?

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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@dj_paige, I am backing up everything.

  • Nightly I back everything up to an external drive
  • Weekly, I back up 'keepers' to the cloud
  • Quarterly, I back up everything to two offsite storage

 

The logic is the cost of copying to the cloud for me.

 

Now, I keep photos with a rating of less that 1 because I occassionally come across one and see something new in it and it becomes at least a one.  I find as I mature as a photographer and LrC user, I can do more with old photos.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Thanks, that clears it up!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.

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