Drobo Mylio Combination Impresses Fred Kurtz

Posted Jan. 23rd, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

Editor’s Note

One of the great benefits of traveling with so many enthusiastic photographers is the chance to share information about how each of them stores and processes their images. Anyone who loves photography knows how important it is to have a handle on where your favorite photos are at any given time. A good backup system is not just important for the professional, but I could argue it’s even more important for keeping family photos safe.

You all know the cost of those wonderful trips you’ve saved your entire life to take, the amount of money you spent to get that special lens and camera, how hard it was to convince your spouse the importance of photography and travel is to your sanity. And the enourmous pride you have of getting a great image that equals the pages of National Geographic. 

With all that under your belt why would you leave your images to chance? Some do and some don’t, and in this Guest Post I wanted to share with you the experience Natural Exposures Explorers Fred Kurtz has had making sure he keeps his photographic treasures safe. So without further ado, take it away Freddy.

– Daniel J. Cox, Editor

Drobo Impresses Explorer Fred Kurtz

Back in January 2014 I needed to increase my hard drive space once yet again.  At that time I was using an HP Windows PC and was just simply increasing the hard drive size every time I ran out of room.  This time I was done doing that and wanted a long term final solution.

Fred at his work station using Mylio for DAM (Digital Asset Management–AKA keeping track of his pictures) and Drobo to store them all.

I was getting ready to head to New Zealand on a photo trip and did not have enough hard drive space to load the photos when I returned.  So I enlisted my son who worked in an IT department and knows this kind of stuff to hook me up with a suitable system before I got back.  He selected a four disk Synology NAS (network attached storage) system as he was familiar with them.

Fred Kurtz in an ice cave. Iceland

This system has worked flawlessly since installed and it is populated with four Western Digital 4T Red drives.  It must be noted that one of the big advantages of the Synology, as well as the Drobo, is that they both incorporate various kinds of RAID systems that make a duplicate copy of your data to protect against drive failure and serves as a great backup.  The Drobo also has the option for dual redundancy which will protect against a two hard drive failure if you wish.  And the Synology has the option to attach a USB external drive for an additional backup.

Freddy is just way too confident with his baby Lumix system, and Peter’s about ready to let him have a lens full. Oh, by the way, Freddy is shooting 840mm and Peter has 600mm. Cuiaba River, Pantanal, Brazil

This past October, I won a Drobo 5D for third place in a photo contest.  My thinking when I heard this was to install the Drobo and have it serve as another backup to the Synology drive and I would really be protected.  When the Drobo 5D came I very quickly changed my mind.

I populated the Drobo 5D with four brand new Western Digital 4T Red drives (leaving one open slot for future expansion).  I also installed a Transcend 128GB mSata card that Drobo uses as an accelerator caching frequently used data and speeding the system up several fold.  I then connected it to my iMac with a new Thunderbolt cable (first time I have used Thunderbolt).

Freddy Kurtz takes a break in the gorgeous surroundings of the library at Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa.

The installation of the system was flawlessly easy and the Drobo Dashboard is a very nice interface telling the status of the system.  It took about 30 hours to copy all my data including a 163,000 image Lightroom directory from the NAS to the Drobo.  Then I repointed the Lightroom catalog to the Drobo instead of the NAS and I was back in business.

Fred and Kathy Kurtz in Johnston Canyon, Banff NP, Alberta, Canada.

Being connected directly to the iMac instead of going through my home network greatly increases the speed of my work and I love that.  A Lightroom catalog cannot be installed on a NAS drive so I was having to place it on my iMac hard drive.  Now it is on the Drobo along with all the images and it is lightning quick.  So now the Drobo is my primary storage device and my Synlogy is my backup storage device.

Many of you that has traveled with Dan has heard him preach about backing up your images.  Well here is what I have now.

Main image data 1:  Drobo 5D.

Backup 1:  Drobo 5D RAID.

Backup 2:  Synology NAS drive.

Backup 3:  Synology NAS drive RAID.

Backup 4:  Synology USB backup drive.

Backup 5:  Synology USB backup drive off site.

So that is five backups to the original files.  I think I am pretty well covered right Dan?

In summary, the Drobo 5D was incredibly easy to setup and has a very user friendly interface in its Dashboard.  I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to provide security and safety to their images.

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There are 5 comments on this post…
  1. Dave MathewsonOn Feb. 2nd, 2017

    I’ve been using the Drobo for over 4 years, installed with “red” drives and have had no failures. I believe it is important to use these higher reliability drives as I have friends who have had failures with the “Green” drives. Though with the double redundancy it still shouldn’t be a problem. I guess in the end it’s all about piece of mind.

  2. Fred KurtzOn Jan. 29th, 2017

    You are welcome Joel. It is very important Joel to have backups of our wonderful images. To many people I know do not have a backup and are very vulnerable. See you in April my friend.

  3. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel KleinerOn Jan. 27th, 2017

    Thank you for this information Fred. I have numerous hard drives, and I need to update my hard drive “system” in the very near future.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 29th, 2017

      There are numerous options out there for the NAS devices but I can honestly say, after trying three different types, QNAP, Synology and Drobo, Drobo is buy far the easiest to setup and work with. Combined with Mylio it’s painless.

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