View Full Version : Back-up and Sync working folders

11 November 2010, 01:03 PM
I recently had a HDD go wobbly on me and lost about a days worth of work. Fortunately on this occasion I had a bit of time between loosing the work and the deadline, otherwise I could of kissed good-bye to the contract I was working on and my reputation with it. It made me think about being a bit more wary and if possible 99.9% safe that if it happened again my butt would be covered.

Im pretty good at backing up but find it a pain, most project folders are 10-20gb and at present I dont use any fancy software or file systems and literally duplicate the whole working folder at the end of every day. Not ideal I know.

Ive been thinking about getting some kind of RAID system in place to mirror my drive, so Ive always got a back-up and it is constantly updating as I am working. My first thought would be to buy an external one so I can take it when working at home, inhouse or at a clients, much like I do an external HDD. But this solution still leaves me prone to problems, mainly I have to plug and unplug a hefty drive heightening things like power surges etc..but also what if it gets stolen, or both disks get damaged somehow.

My time working is spent largely in two locations at home and at the office, ideally I'd like to always have an upto date file to hand and an upto date file backed up in a secure location, however I cant get my head around how I could have the drives mirroring each other. Im assuming I either need some kind of RAID system in the office and another at home where I can just take a single drive between the two and refresh them each time I use them, or I was also wondering of some kind of Google Docs, Dropbox, FTP Server thingy?? that I could keep mirrored to my local drive. However this would have to take into consideration the folder sizes.

Im happy to spend a little money on this if it means protecting my work in progress. I should also point out the contents of the folder is mainly a few working files and the rest is usually images/image sequences and uncompressed video(these can be a few gb).

Any bright ideas, software solutions or examples of how you might get around a similar problem? I basically need this as tight and secure as possible, ideally as fool proof as you can get it of any fire, theft or dodgy disk drive that could jeopardise work but also need it to be reasonable in that I cant spend an hour everyday backing-up.


11 November 2010, 09:54 AM
Because you are working in multiple locations it makes life a little more complicated, it also depends how you work, not every solution is going to fit your situation and you might have to try a couple out before you find the one that fits.

Dropbox could be a pretty good solution for you, because it would keep all of your computers in sync, and it is obviously theft and fireproof - but of course with the kind of file sizes your are dealing with it might not be practical. If you can keep just your project and working files in Dropbox, and your uncompressed videos separately (assuming that should these be lost they are easily re-created), then it would be perfectly workable.

Alternatively you will need an external drive and software to keep it in sync (I use the excellent syncback SE for both syncing and backup, but the free Microsoft Synctoy could do the job), and then carry the drive around with you. You can buy external drives with RAID 1, I own a Western Digital MyBook Studio which has two mirrored drives, but it's not really portable, you would be better off with one of the smaller single drive units.

Of course you could try out a combination of both the above solutions, which might be the best compromise. Personally I have a large RAID 1 backup onsite which backups up in real-time all the time, with another version offsite which is backed-up once a week, and finally I also have a 100Gb Dropbox account for my most important stuff.

11 November 2010, 04:13 PM
If you have the bandwidth then setup a rsync job to run on each end with a FTP/SFTP or native destination. That's basically what services like Dropbox are doing.

12 December 2010, 09:30 AM
Instead of starting a new thread I thought o post my very similar query here.
Have a 2TB portable e-sata drive, with project files, videos and such, which goes back & forth from my pc to clients when i work at their facilities.
As I'm installing a new 2TB internal drive in pc, I'd like to have these two mirrored if possible (one has already data on it) or automatically synchronized without having everyday to do this manually.
Online services are not an option.

what would you suggest?

12 December 2010, 01:20 PM
As I said further up the thread, Syncback SE or Synctoy will do it.

CGTalk Moderation
12 December 2010, 01:20 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.