September 22, 2023


How Art Works

Shifting 1.5 Million Photographs from an Outdated Drobo to a New QNAP NAS

8 min read

Again in February of this yr, I started making an enormous transition from the Drobo NAS system (now out of enterprise) to the newer and much superior QNAP system. Again then I had simply put in the 2 new NAS methods however had not moved any knowledge.

I had many individuals (most of whom had been utilizing Drobo) ask how the QNAP transition was going. I informed them that it was too early to inform and that I had a number of work to do earlier than I might give them a good and trustworthy reply.

Right here I’m about 6 months later and I’ve been utilizing the system continuous, however there was lots to do between then and now. Some needed to do with the information transition and a few was simply the back-to-back picture excursions. Let me inform you what I’ve discovered, each the nice and the unhealthy.

Preliminary Setup

Let me begin with the set up of the containers. I had two NAS methods to arrange, certainly one of which might be my fundamental storage and one which might be my offsite vacation spot. I had an entire bunch of the Seagate IronWolf 20TB hard drives to put in, and I additionally bought a few M2 SSD drives to extend the general velocity of the drive entry. Putting in the drives was easy sufficient, and powering up the QNAP containers was a bit of cake. I did need to make some telephone calls to the assist group once I bought caught, and so they had been very useful in getting me up and operating.

My objective was to transition all 1.5 million images (and different knowledge) from the Drobo NAS to the brand new QNAP TVS-h874 NAS. This course of took a REALLY very long time. I might switch one yr of information at a time and I feel it took me the higher a part of two weeks to finish the method.

An Subject

As soon as I bought all the pieces moved over, all the pieces seemed to be excellent, with one hiccup. Once I tried to seek for a folder on the drive (utilizing my Mac Studio), the folders couldn’t be discovered. It seems that the NAS was not listed. The loopy factor is… there is no such thing as a straightforward solution to re-index a drive from a Mac, so I needed to analysis a solution to make that occur.

As soon as I found out the right way to make that occur, it took one other 5 days! And this downside has not been utterly resolved. There are nonetheless instances when the indexing goes haywire (once I seek for a folder, it exhibits the folder, I click on on it, and it opens a totally completely different folder) and I’ve to pressure a re-index.

This course of usually takes a few days (within the background), which is an actual nuisance because it slows the drive to a crawl. I’ve searched the Web for solutions and this appears to be a difficulty with the Mac and lots of NAS drives. I hope that somebody at Apple may help me resolve this.

How I Work On My Recordsdata

Initially I had thought that I might use the QNAP NAS as my fundamental working drive, however I’ve determined to make use of the brand new 4TB Crucial x10 SSD drive as my fundamental drive. I selected to make this alteration for 2 causes:

1. The Essential SSD is extremely quick, a lot quicker than accessing the QNAP drive over Ethernet.

2. In case the indexing downside occurs once more, I can nonetheless work with the SSD with none delays whereas I re-index the NAS.

Setting Up Distant Synchronization

With my QNAP items facet by facet, my subsequent step was to repeat the entire knowledge from the QNAP TVS-h874 NAS (major drive) to the QNAP TS-832PX NAS drive (which might be my offsite drive). The QNAP assist individuals helped me join the 2 containers collectively and begin the synchronization. I knew that the synchronization needed to first be finished domestically (on the identical community) as a result of making an attempt to sync up 1.5 million photos to a distant location over the Web would take endlessly.

That course of took one other 3 or 4 days, however I didn’t need to do something. We began the sync and I let it run.

At that time, I wanted to drive the second field to my distant location, which is a few hundred miles away at my brother’s house. As soon as I bought the second field powered up at my brother’s, I as soon as once more leaned on the QNAP assist individuals to assist me with the distant sync settings. This course of was so easy and painless. I used to be amazed!

With the outdated Drobo unit (utilizing their Drobo DR software program), the consumer interface was horrible, the method was painstaking and it failed on a regular basis. I’ve been dying for a dependable system for holding my knowledge protected in multiple location. Now I’ve it.

The Consumer Interface and Options

The consumer interface for the QNAP is all browser-based and could be very simple. I’ve not used many of the icons you see above, largely utilizing the HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync app for the distant synchronization. I do use the File Station software at instances, however primarily use the Mac Finder to seek out what I’m on the lookout for.

That is what the File Station interface seems to be like. A easy interface for viewing the information and folders saved on the NAS drive.

There are quite a few purposes that may be put in on the QNAP NAS drive. I’ve put in a few apps (for the backup and distant entry). I’ve been tempted to put in the media streaming app (only for enjoyable), however haven’t finished so presently.

The Management Panel is the place I set all my settings for the NAS unit, with me usually utilizing the “Normal Settings” greater than anything.

Inside the Normal Settings, I can examine the standing of all of the drives. On this screenshot, you may see the standing of the 2 inner SSDs and all of the Seagate IronWolf 20TB arduous drives.

As I discussed earlier, I’m utilizing the HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync app (no extra cost for this) for my distant synchronization. I’ve this software operating on each containers and performing a synchronization each morning at 1 a.m. It has been operating for the final 6 months with none points or failures. Which means that I’ve all 1.5 million photos in each locations for further safety, and it stays up-to-date always. It is a enormous peace of thoughts for me (and my shoppers).

Once I was utilizing the Drobo DR software program, I might always bug the event group at Drobo to offer me some type of interface to point out the progress of the synchronization. With the Drobo, there was nearly no solution to see if the synchronization was profitable or how a lot knowledge was transferred. They by no means fastened that situation, creating instances when the sync course of was damaged for months with out my information.

With the QNAP Sync log, I’ve a straightforward solution to examine the standing of my sync to verify they’re taking place.

If I click on on one of many objects within the Sync log, I can see extra particulars of that specific course of. Within the instance above, I can see that on August twenty eighth, 54GB of information was despatched from my TVS-h874 NAS drive to the TS-832PX NAS drive tons of of miles away. It took about an hour to synchronize the 4914 information.

Since we’re as regards to distant knowledge, I’ve to speak about certainly one of my favourite issues concerning the QNAP NAS drives, and one of many largest variations between the outdated Drobo system and these new items. I’m speaking concerning the capacity to simply entry ANY of my information from ANYWHERE on the earth.

Drobo did have the flexibility to entry their NAS drive from a distant location utilizing an online browser, nevertheless it was painfully sluggish. There are a lot of instances when I’m touring and must entry photos for a shopper. When looking for a file on the outdated Drobo NAS, it will actually take me 15 to twenty minutes to find a file because the interface was brutally sluggish.

With the QNAP drives, I can now discover that very same file in lower than a minute and I LOVE that! Not solely can I examine information on my native drive, however I can entry the distant drive as nicely.

Oh, yet one more factor. There may be one other function of the QNAP NAS that’s not crucial however which I actually love. That’s the auto backup of my digicam roll from my telephone any time I get in vary of my WiFi community. Which means that I wouldn’t have to do that manually, and I don’t need to depend on iCloud or different providers to again up my images and movies from my iPhone.


When Drobo began exhibiting indicators of their pending demise, I used to be in a panic. I had ALL my knowledge on their containers and each the corporate and the items had been failing. I actually misplaced sleep worrying about this downside. I delight myself on having each digital picture I’ve ever taken (the keepers) and having them in two areas. I even inform my shoppers about this setup in order that they know I’ll have their photos protected for years to come back.

I can inform you now that the panic is gone and I’m actually proud of the brand new QNAP resolution. I’ve not solely replicated what I used to be doing with the Drobo items, however I’ve surpassed the performance and value by far! It isn’t a reasonable resolution, however it’s one thing that’s important to my enterprise. As skilled photographers, our knowledge is all the pieces, and holding these photos protected is crucial. I’m now sleeping higher at evening.

In regards to the creator: Jeff Cable is a photographer based mostly within the San Francisco Bay Space. You will discover extra of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This text was initially printed on Cable’s blog, the place you may observe together with Cable’s images (and knowledge administration journey).

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