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Thread: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I know there a lot of Mac experts out here and so I hope to get some good advice.

    Background


    I am not a pro and don't make my living with photography, but I am what you could call a serious hobbyist. My image library is just north of 1 TB. I shoot M9, MM, and S2.

    Until last month, I did everything on a Mac Pro (2008) with 4 discs: 1) OS and applications 2) non photo files 3) LR library and catalogue 3) back up of 3). Disks 3) and 4) are 2 TB. I have three external hard drives for back up. Back up done manually by copying files, normally once every couple of month or more often, depending of what I shot and when. All terribly unsophisticated but simple.

    In July I got the new 12" MBP retina, fully loaded (i7 processor, 16 GB Ram, 512 GB SSD). Needless to say it beats the s*** out of my desktop and I love it. I would like to use it as my main working mashine. But that means I need to find a solute for external drives.

    Criteria for choosing are:

    • all photos in one catalog
    • automatic (or simple to do) backup at the end of each session (I could perhaps do without if I can automatically store the photos on a backup drive while uploading
    • simple archive of entire catalog on external drives for storage off site


    Of course, I would like to make use of the thunderbolt interface, it that increases speed. Cost is not the main issue, but I don´t want to spend a fortune either.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Georg
    My new website (under construction) at Zenfolio

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I did the same thing last fall. I use Lacie Too Big thunderbolt with RAID mirroring. It gives me 4tb of mirrored storage that is blazing fast. I also use an OWC Guardian Maximus connected via FW800 as a backup drive which is backed up using arSync.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I use a 3TB LaCie 2 Big Quadra as a RAID external drive plus a third hard drive that I swap out every month and store somewhere else. Basically, this is my library and primary storage for my work, but not working space. I also use Time Machine with another hard drive to back up my computer which contains the projects I am working on. The RAID is FW800 and the Time Machine is USB.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I use a Pegasus Promise 4tb thunder bolt drive running Raid0 as a working drive. It's as fast as my desktop SSD drives so I can actually process from it. Than I constantly back up to a 2tb external all my raw files fill that up store it than reace with a fresh drive. Plus I have a voyager hooked up as another permenant storage solution . The kicker being the Pegasus being as fast as the SSD drive in my laptop really gives me a lot of movement with ongoing projects. Right now I'm in the process of finding everything I shot for stock. Major project to find everything as over the years it's been a kludge with storage. I finally have that under control.

    Side note I have about 10 hard drives I need to access from my old PC days and need to find some software on my Mac to be able to read that format. Any guidance there on what I can use would helpful to read those drives.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Pardon the iPhone typing. I hate auto correct
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    G-Technology | External Storage for Creative Professionals G-tech drives are excellent and very reliable,I also have pegasus and it's fast but I trust G-tech more...
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    + 1 for LaCie. They have some excellent solutions and is what I'm changing to.

    I use Carbon Copy Cloner for copying between disks (offsite backup and from travel disks to stationary units). Has worked excellently for many years for me and can be tailor-made to suit your needs. It also works very well for backup of your system disk, since the backup will be bootable.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Take a look at the Synology network attached storage devices. They are more than simple NAS boxes - they are very flexible. They have good support in both hardware and software, including mobile apps to help keep you connected to your device (if you want).

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Take a look at the Synology network attached storage devices. They are more than simple NAS boxes - they are very flexible. They have good support in both hardware and software, including mobile apps to help keep you connected to your device (if you want).
    I looked at those at Photoshop world. Problem is they are only a NAS ... so your access is restricted to the speed of your network. Pretty slow when you have a thunderbolt port and a USB 3 port and all that speed available. If you had the ability to TB or USB 3 the unit to your computer for direct access when you needed then it would be interesting to try.

    I'm also skeptical as to the idea of just sticking in random drives ... i've seen many people have problems with drobos like this. As cheap as full raids are it seems better just to buy them with all matching drives to start with.

    As far as attaching drives to a retina MPB, while TB will certainly give you the best throughput, USB 3 is pretty dang fast. I have a little 1tb USB 3 drive I use on the road, and it is significantly faster than my 2 drive portable raid via fw 800.

    as far as backing up, I have a couple of very large raids, and I use carbon copy cloner to automate the process. I basically just clone entire folders, and when I plug in the little portable raid, it automatically gets cloned to a backup large raid.
    wayne
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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I use a drobo 5d with enterprise class drives at the office and USB 3 drives for field work. Seems to be working well using the TB port.

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Thanks to all for the useful advice. Have not yet decided what to do.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Georg
    My new website (under construction) at Zenfolio

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I eventually went for the LaCie with 2x3 TB which I set up as a Raid0 for speed. I use two separate 3 TB discs with a copy of the catalogue and the actual photos, one stored at home and the other in another location. Fingers crossed that that's enough.

    Again, many thanks for your advice.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Georg
    My new website (under construction) at Zenfolio

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I use a Pegasus Promise 4tb thunder bolt drive running Raid0 as a working drive. It's as fast as my desktop SSD drives so I can actually process from it. Than I constantly back up to a 2tb external all my raw files fill that up store it than reace with a fresh drive. Plus I have a voyager hooked up as another permenant storage solution . The kicker being the Pegasus being as fast as the SSD drive in my laptop really gives me a lot of movement with ongoing projects. Right now I'm in the process of finding everything I shot for stock. Major project to find everything as over the years it's been a kludge with storage. I finally have that under control.

    Side note I have about 10 hard drives I need to access from my old PC days and need to find some software on my Mac to be able to read that format. Any guidance there on what I can use would helpful to read those drives.
    Are they format as NTFS? is so which version ? Are they in raid or individual hard drives ?

    Best regards,

    J. Duncan

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    If they're formatted as NTFS, you can use Paragon NTFS for mac: Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X software
    It's what I've been using ever since getting a mac, it's so transparent that besides an extra icon in your system preferences, you'd think macs were always capable of reading/writing NTFS. They also have a bunch of other neat apps like Camptune that lets you freely adjust the size of your bootcamp partition, since I use a virtual machine, this is pretty handy.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    I use two of these Voyager Q hard drive readers:

    NewerTech® : Storage : Voyager Q/S3

    with USB3 or FW 800 (not as fast as thunderbolt but I do not do editing off of them)

    In practice I have several 3.5" SATA drives that are stored in a tower of plastic drive cases ($7 or so for each drive case)

    3.5" SATA drives are much cheaper when purchased as stand alone internal drives.

    My typical order of operations that work for me:
    1. Shoot.
    2. Backup the C1 Pro 7 session with USB3 to an external.
    3. Carbon Copy Clone that drive to another drive.
    4. Edit the session (delete pics, process raws, etc) from the 1tb SSD on my MBP
    5. Update the session on the HD and CCC it again for archival.

    This way I have the fastest available speed to edit the work, and can clear up the internal space as soon as I finish the session. I can easily copy any sessions back over to my PCIe based SSD if further editing is needed, or just process any other selects the clients have via the USB3 connection.

    The Pegasus or Lacie Raid solutions are also brilliant, but are a tad overkill and pricey for what they are. For still photo editing I think they are a bit much, as they are more geared towards individuals that are editing a lot of HD/4k footage and need to have hard drives to work off of. Another advantage they have is that in a Raid it automatically has them synced, where as I have to CCC the drives each time they are updated (however the setup I am using costs around 50% of what those RAIDs cost)
    Rick Rose
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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerimar View Post
    I use two of these Voyager Q hard drive readers:

    NewerTech® : Storage : Voyager Q/S3

    with USB3 or FW 800 (not as fast as thunderbolt but I do not do editing off of them)

    In practice I have several 3.5" SATA drives that are stored in a tower of plastic drive cases ($7 or so for each drive case)

    3.5" SATA drives are much cheaper when purchased as stand alone internal drives.

    My typical order of operations that work for me:
    1. Shoot.
    2. Backup the C1 Pro 7 session with USB3 to an external.
    3. Carbon Copy Clone that drive to another drive.
    4. Edit the session (delete pics, process raws, etc) from the 1tb SSD on my MBP
    5. Update the session on the HD and CCC it again for archival.

    This way I have the fastest available speed to edit the work, and can clear up the internal space as soon as I finish the session. I can easily copy any sessions back over to my PCIe based SSD if further editing is needed, or just process any other selects the clients have via the USB3 connection.

    The Pegasus or Lacie Raid solutions are also brilliant, but are a tad overkill and pricey for what they are. For still photo editing I think they are a bit much, as they are more geared towards individuals that are editing a lot of HD/4k footage and need to have hard drives to work off of. Another advantage they have is that in a Raid it automatically has them synced, where as I have to CCC the drives each time they are updated (however the setup I am using costs around 50% of what those RAIDs cost)
    I use this same configuration for raw image storage and backup, it works great. The drobo TB raid is used for portfolio and actively edited images.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Just finishing up from a Readynas failure, make sure you know what to do when your external box goes TU. Relying on RAID subsystems can lead to situations where your content is on the drives in front of you, but until you get an identical device as what died, you can't read it. Sync to a single drive somewhere, that way you have something to recover from.

    I personally want to play with the Promise Pegasus J4 if for no other reason it's 4x 2.5" drives attached by Thunderbolt. Setup a SSD for scratch, a pair of WD Red drives in software RAID1 for active use and a giant single drive as backup, all in a Mac Mini sized foot print. If the box/power supply/thunderbolt cable crap out, open the box and attach drives via USB2/3 adapter and keep going.

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    Re: External drives for MBP retina - Options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Side note I have about 10 hard drives I need to access from my old PC days and need to find some software on my Mac to be able to read that format. Any guidance there on what I can use would helpful to read those drives.
    OS X should be able to read PC formats without additional software. You'll only need more if you want to write NTFS.

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