3-2-1 backup solutions for photographers

3-2-1 backup solutions for photographers

To mitigate against the ever-present threat of disk failure, a corrupted card or accidental deletion, backing up should be a major concern for any professional shooting images and video. Luckily, there’s a whole array of products that can help you follow the golden rule: always have three copies of your data, on two types of media and keep one backup copy offsite.

Backing up in the field

It’s best to ingest dailies and rushes as soon as possible after a shoot, then start making multiple copies straight away. You can ingest and duplicate straight on to mobile drives – we recommend a ruggedised one (i.e. one that’s got at least some drop and shock protection) like the G-DRIVE ev RaW Rugged 1TB hard drive. If you find yourself working in a particularly exotic location where water, sand and dust pose a threat to your backup copies, then choose drives with the added protection of an all terrain case.

Even the most rugged and reliable mobile drives can still fail, so a nifty way to make two simultaneous copies to disks is by using a RAID, and for backups in the field there’s nothing better than the Rugged RAID from LaCie. It’s even bus-powered over Thunderbolt too, so there’s no need to lug around an external power supply with you.


Backing up in the studio

Depending on your field backup strategy, you might want to make additional copies when you’ve back in the studio. If you’ve backed up onto G-DRIVE ev modules then you can drop the mobile drives straight onto a RAID-protected storage array like the G-SPEED Shuttle XL ev, which adds further protection for your data against disk failures. If you only need one additional copy, you could drop backups on to a straightforward external drive. While there’s no redundancy built in should the drive fail, this is a popular fuss-free solution, and with external drives now sporting capacities of up to 10TB you get plenty of bytes for your buck. Take a look at our range of external drives here.

Backing up to other types of media


Maxing out internal storage, cards and drives can get expensive, especially if you’re keeping multiple copies of your data. Offloading to lower cost media like LTO tapes or centralised NAS storage is a good strategy once you have an initial copy sorted. While it takes longer to recover data from tape than from other media, the cost per TB is exceptionally low and you don’t even need a centralised LTO tape library to benefit. The M-TAPE Thunderbolt Tape Drive is direct-attach over Thunderbolt, and this bundle comes with YoYotta software to index, backup, archive and restore all your camera ingests and track assets from production to post.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

From RAID0 to RAID6: Your guide to RAID storage

From RAID0 to RAID6: Your guide to RAID storage

Don’t know your RAID1 from your RAID0, which capacity drive to go for, or whether you want a mobile or desktop drive? Our handy new guide to RAID storage reveals all…


Go for this if…

You need the ultimate peace of mind that your data is backed up.

How does it work?

RAID1 takes a system with at least two disks and mirrors them, so even if a disk fails, you’ll still have all your data intact.

Our thoughts…

The tradeoff for complete protection is capacity, so a 6TB (2 x 3TB) dual-drive configured in RAID1 will give 3TB of capacity. We recommend RAID1 for archiving and backup where you need to be confident your work is safe.


Go for this if…

You need faster transfer speeds rather than fail-safe security.

How does it work?

RAID0 takes a system with two or more disks and stripes them together (combines several disk drives into a single volume). So on a 6TB drives with 2 x 3TB disks inside you’ll have access to the full 6TB on a single volume on your computer. Striping drives together in RAID0 not only opens up higher capacities but it delivers much faster speeds. As there are multiple hard drives in the RAID set, your transfer speeds are not limited by the speed of a single disk. The more disks you add to the RAID, the faster the transfers will be.

Our thoughts…

As there’s no level of data protection from RAID0 and there’s more than one disk involved, the data on the drive is more exposed to disk failures. We recommend RAID0 for editing high-resolution images and video directly off drives where you need the faster transfer speeds but make sure you already have a second copy of the data backed up.

For RAID0 and RAID1 we recommend…

Mobile drive: LaCie 4TB rugged RAID Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 hard drive, £274 (£328.80 inc VAT)


Desktop drive: G-TECHNOLOGY G-RAID removable 8TB Thunderbolt2 and USB 3.0 hard drive, £550 (£660 inc VAT)



Go for this if…

You need the best of both worlds: fail-safe redundancy and extreme speeds.

How does it work?

RAID5 takes a set of at least three disks and stripes them together for faster speeds and higher capacities. But unlike RAID0, it also protects the data from the risk of drive failure. Under RAID5 each disk in the RAID set contains a copy of data stored on another disk. The end result is that even if a drive in the RAID set fails, you’ll still be able to recover all your data.

Our thoughts…

The added level of protection that RAID5 gives you means you’ll have to sacrifice a small amount of capacity. RAID5 gives you one-drive protection, so in a 4 x 2TB RAID5 array, you’ll get around 6TB of usable capacity, and in an 8 x 3TB RAID5 array you’ll get around 21TB of usable capacity. Because of the extreme speeds and fail-safe protection RAID5 provides, we recommend it for backing up, archiving and editing high-resolution video and images.

For RAID5 and beyond we recommend…

Desktop RAID: G-TECHNOLOGY 24TB G-SPEED studio XL 8-bay Thunderbolt2 RAID array, £2145 (£2574 inc VAT)



Go for this if…

You need multiple disk protection.

How does it work?
Just like RAID5, RAID6 stripes drives together for faster speeds, but provides two drive failure protection rather than just one. While RAID6 sacrifices around two disks’ worth of capacity, the added level of protection is perfect for 24/7 environments, or where the RAID array is hidden away from view and not easily accessible.

Shared Storage 

Go for this if…

You’re working on a project with multiple people and will all need access to the same media files.

How does it work?

Shared storage solutions deliver all the benefits of RAID6 and beyond, as well as added benefits such as intelligent media asset management, collaboration tools, file sharing, backup and recovery. We can help you deploy fast, scalable shared storage systems that make the most of your digital assets.

For shared storage we recommend…

You get in touch with us to talk about Avid ISIS|1000, £13000 (£15,600 inc VAT)

AVID ISIS | 1000


Which connection should I choose?

To get the most out of RAID you’ll need to think about the connection you want to use. While legacy interfaces like FireWire 800 and eSATA are still supported on RAID drives, to attain the fastest speeds you’ll want to look for the latest interfaces like USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2.

USB 3.0

The USB 3.0 protocol is fast enough for dual-drive RAID0 and RAID1 drives. In three or more drive RAID5, the USB 3.0 interface will become a bottleneck, so it’s better to look at Thuderbolt2 drives if you need even faster transfer speeds.

Thunderbolt 2

The Thunderbolt 2 interface has an insane amount of bandwidth, which is enough to run an 8-bay RAID array, that will deliver up to 1350MB/s – enough to edit 4K video from a single drive.

Thunderbolt has the added bonus of supporting daisychaining. So, from a single Thunderbolt port on your Mac or PC, you can daisychain up to six Thunderbolt devices together. If you’re low on ports, look out for Thunderbolt drives that only have one port on them, as these will take up a single port on your computer or can be used at the end of a daisy chain.

Want to find out more about RAID storage? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.