Encore: Optimizing Digital Storage Strategies for Creatives

with Architectural Photographer Jeffrey Totaro

In this encore replay, my friend, Jeffrey Totaro, an architectural photographer, joined the show to share his journey and the lessons learned in crafting a robust storage and backup system for his work. Jeffrey's insight is particularly valuable because he navigated through the complexities of digital storage, ensuring his valuable work and client projects are secured against potential data loss.

Throughout our conversation, Jeffrey highlighted his transition from traditional storage methods, like burning DVDs and using external hard drives, to adopting a sophisticated network-attached storage (NAS) solution. His experience underscores not just the evolution of digital storage over the years but also the importance of having a reliable system that can grow with one's needs.

We discussed his early days of dealing with limited storage options, the eventual shift to Drobo systems, and finally, his current setup using Synology units. This journey is a testament to the need for adaptability and foresight in managing digital assets.

Key points from our discussion include:

  • The challenges of managing and storing digital files have evolved significantly, from burning DVDs to sophisticated NAS systems.
  • Jeffrey transitioned through various storage solutions, including Drobos, before settling on a Synology NAS system, illustrating the importance of a scalable and reliable storage setup.
  • The setup involves multiple Synology units, including an off-site backup solution, highlighting the critical need for redundancy in data storage.
  • Network-attached storage (NAS) offers greater flexibility and access compared to direct-attached storage (DAS), a crucial consideration for creative professionals managing large volumes of digital assets.
  • Jeffrey's approach to data storage emphasizes the significance of a well-thought-out backup strategy, incorporating both on-site and off-site backups to safeguard against data loss.
  • The discussion also touched on the practical aspects of implementing such a system, including the use of 10 gigabit Ethernet for faster data transfer and the integration of UPS systems for data protection during power outages.

This conversation not only sheds light on the technical aspects of digital storage but also underscores the importance of being proactive and meticulous in protecting our digital creations. As creative professionals, the value of our work often resides in these digital files, making their security and accessibility paramount. Jeffrey's experience and insights serve as a valuable guide for anyone navigating the complex landscape of digital storage and backup solutions.

Links mentioned in the presentation:

Synology (filtered for BTRFS & Snapshots)
SpaceRex Website:
SpaceRex YouTube:
ChronoSync (for backup on location to an external drive)
Unifi UDMPro Set-up

Contact Jeffrey:

Jeffrey Totaro

Jeffrey’s Instagram

Jeffrey’s Annual Workshop:

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