First and foremost, I am a photography hobbyist; my solution choice might not fit the professional photographer but the solution can scale to fit such a business as well. A few years back I had a few portable hard drives that died on me, the loss was not replaceable. I was happy to receive a few pictures that I had send out to friends and families of our new born. As you can imagine was a great disaster in my family, and since then I have not taken photo storage lightly.
Try to stop and thing for a moment, what would happen if you lost an essential hard drive, got your computer stolen or any problem down that line, would your data and photos be secure? You might trust your security in manual procedures copying your pictures until an external drive, and placed that out of harm way, but how often do you refresh this operation? How much time does it take you, and will this problem grow with the size of RAW files J
Searching for a solution
I quickly identified the four pillars which my future solution should fulfill.
- Accessibility, both via the intranet and via the internet. And from any device in my household.
- Security, keep my photos and data secure, physically as well as out of reach for 3’rd party and hackers.
- Share ability, allow for me to share my stuff in a convenient manner.
- Scalability, keeping me from exhausting my storage all the time.
There was little doubt in my mind that a “Network attached storage” (NAS) is the only solution that would fulfill these four criteria’s. They come on all price levels, with various features. By recommendations and reading numerous reviews my choice fell on Synology. I have not regretted buying one as they are very robust, and feature complete, yet accessible for us hobby users in terms of price.
Damn you hindsight
I went for a Synology 710+, which wasn’t a bad choice. It features a strong atom processor, good portion of internal memory, but only two drives. Initially it was great 2 x 3 terabytes of space; I was like what in the heck should I use all that space for. But actually it’s not that much, especially if you consider raid levels for data protection.
Accessibility, both via the intranet and via the internet. And from any device in my household.
Synology provided me with the ability to creating Links to files and folders in seconds. Using the Synology’s Quick Connect service internet accessibility was easily established. It wasn’t needed to make any complex and compromising changes to my firewall. All the sudden my data was accessible, much helped by the applications which Synology provides free of charge.
The Synology was truly cross-platform support made easy, I was able to support all the OS platforms we use. Everything from Android, iOS, Window Phones, Windows Computes, Mac to Linux computers was easy to connect to my NAS, Even my Smart Samsung television was able to use the platform.
Security, keep my photos and data secure, physically as well as out of reach for 3’rd party and hackers.
Physically Security… raiding discs enabled me to be secure against drives failures Combined with offloading my data to crash plan and amazon I managed to bring my photos into a secure zone, and easy. Setting up backups was easy and didn’t take any tech-wiz insight.
Synology has the Synology’s security advisor, and I strongly recommend you using this. Upon opening up for the next I was amazed how many hacking attempts I got. Sometimes as many as 1000 an hour, keeping your Synology patched with the latest DFM is a must.
Share ability, allow for me to share my stuff in a convenient manner.
Synology’s optional Photo Station package made it easy to have a publically accessible gallery. However, for galleries meant for particular customers or for personal use, you can set permissions on particular sets of images too. Other features of Photo Station include a companion app DS Photo, facial recognition and tagging software, plus web based photo editors to touch up your files on the go from any computer.
Scalability, keeping me from exhausting my storage all the time.
Looking at my usage there is little doubt that I should have gone for the 411 model; which featured much of the same configuration, but 4 instead of 2 drives.
All in all I can strongly recommend you going down this path.