There isn’t much difference between a strategy for digital photo storage and a strategy for data backups. The two objectives have several key elements in common. Knowing how to make provision for those elements can be the difference between protected data and data loss.
The good news is safeguarding your business’ digital photo collection is neither difficult nor expensive. It does, however, take planning and effort. If you follow a series of basic best practices and put them into operation on a consistent basis, you should be able to avoid any major problems preserving your data.
The biggest decision you will have to make when it comes to storing your photos is deciding if you need to convert your photos for a particular purpose. The file size difference between a TIFF photograph and a JPEG photograph at the same resolution can be significant. A TIFF can be downsampled to a JPEG and used on a web site. A JPEG can’t be upsampled to a TIFF and retain its quality.
The best alternative is to store your photos uncompressed in a raw format, like TIFF, in order to maintain quality and fidelity. This will require significant storage space, so if you are using an off-site service, make sure you have the capacity you need.
A standard data backup plan is fairly simple. The first copy of your data is stored on your workstation. The second copy is stored on removable hardware (like an external hard drive, for example). The third copy is stored off-site on a different kind of removable hardware. The off-site set is stored elsewhere to avoid data loss in the event of a fire or burglary.
For digital photos, the third copy can be stored on a remote data backup service (or “cloud” account) and fulfill both the “off-site” and “dissimilar hardware” requirements.
While compression technologies can be used to maximize space on your external storage option, there is a small but real risk of file corruption if your compression software is mis-configured or if file sizes are too large. Loading thousands of enormous TIFF photos into a single zip file and then uploading the entire thing to a remote service might seem like a good idea at the time, but if that archive is your only way to avoid data loss, you might end up disappointed through no fault of your own. It’s a technology that should be treated cautiously.
One important point about uploading to a remote server is ownership of the data. There is almost certainly an agreement in place between the service operator and the users that permits the service operator all the latitude they need to simply delete your files at their whim. Be aware of this and don’t put irreplaceable data on someone else’s computer.
Keeping your most important digital files safe is an important goal. When you’re storing photos for a business, it’s especially important to keep them secure. Consider having an Ottawa IT support expert manage your network security to ensure any potential vulnerabilities are covered and your photos are kept safe. As long as you follow best practices you should be able to accomplish the task easily.
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