How a Photographer Transferred 1.5 Million Photos from an Old NAS to a New One

A professional photographer has shared his experience of moving 1.5 million photos from an old network-attached storage (NAS) system to a new one, highlighting the challenges and benefits of the process.

Why He Decided to Switch NAS Systems

Jeff Cable is a photographer who has been capturing images for more than 20 years. He has worked at five Olympic Games, photographed weddings, events, wildlife, and landscapes around the world. He has accumulated a massive collection of photos over the years, which he stored on a Drobo NAS system.

However, earlier this year, he decided to switch to a QNAP NAS system, for several reasons. First, he learned that Drobo was out of business, which made him worry about the reliability and support of his old NAS. Second, he wanted to upgrade his storage capacity and speed, as he was running out of space and his Drobo was slowing down. Third, he wanted to take advantage of the features and functions that QNAP offered, such as cloud backup, remote access, multimedia streaming, and more.

How a Photographer Transferred 1.5 Million Photos from an Old NAS to a New One
How a Photographer Transferred 1.5 Million Photos from an Old NAS to a New One

How He Moved His Data from Drobo to QNAP

Moving 1.5 million photos from one NAS to another was not an easy task. Cable had to plan carefully and execute the process step by step. He had two QNAP NAS systems to set up: one as his main storage and one as his offsite backup. He installed Seagate IronWolf 20TB hard drives and M2 SSD drives in both NAS systems, to maximize the storage space and performance.

He then started to transfer his data from Drobo to QNAP, one year at a time. He used a Mac app called ChronoSync to sync his folders between the two NAS systems. He also verified the integrity of his files after each transfer, using another app called Beyond Compare. He said that the whole process took him about two weeks to complete.

What He Learned from the Transition

Cable said that he was very happy with his new QNAP NAS systems, as they were faster, more reliable, and more versatile than his old Drobo. He said that he could access his files from anywhere, stream his videos to his TV, backup his data to the cloud, and more.

However, he also encountered some issues and challenges along the way. One of them was the indexing problem on his Mac. He said that he could not find his folders on the QNAP drive using the Mac Finder search function, because the drive was not indexed properly. He had to research how to re-index the drive from a Mac terminal command, which took him several days.

Another issue was the speed of accessing his files over Ethernet. He said that although the QNAP NAS was much faster than the Drobo NAS, it was still slower than accessing files from a local SSD drive. Therefore, he decided to use a Crucial x10 4TB SSD drive as his main working drive, where he would copy his current projects and edit them there. He would then sync them back to the QNAP NAS when he was done.

His Advice for Other Photographers

Cable said that he would recommend other photographers to consider switching to a QNAP NAS system if they were looking for a better storage solution for their photos. He said that QNAP had a lot of advantages over Drobo and other NAS brands, such as:

  • More storage options and configurations
  • More features and functions
  • Better performance and reliability
  • Better support and updates
  • Better value for money

He also advised other photographers to do their research before making the switch, and to be prepared for some challenges and learning curves along the way. He said that moving data from one NAS to another was not a trivial task, and that it required patience and attention to detail.

He also suggested that photographers should have a backup strategy for their photos, such as using an offsite NAS or a cloud service. He said that having multiple copies of their photos was essential for protecting their work from data loss or damage.

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