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.)
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).
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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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.
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.
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:
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.
Why would you keep photos (rating less than one) and not back them up? What is the logic here?
@dj_paige, I am backing up everything.
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.
Thanks, that clears it up!