May 3rd, 2016
Lee in Washington asks about Amazon Web Services S3:
I began looking at the Amazon Web Services S3 product. However, the maze of individual pricing elements is daunting, so it’s difficult to just get a simple, quick answer to the question: “What might be a typical, or example annual cost for photographers to use AWS3 for off-site backup?” Do PFRE members have such experience to report? What are the most popular off site image storage solutions used by our PFRE members?
In March 2015, Amazon announced two new ‘unlimited’ storage plans as part of its Cloud Drive service. The Unlimited Photos plan costs $11.99 per year and an ‘Unlimited Everything’ plan allows users to store an infinite number of photos, videos, documents and music for $59.99 per year. See this dpreview.com article for more details.
But wait! Serious professional photographers need to have 3 copies (3 is 1 and 2 and 1 are none) of their photos before they start thinking about cloud storage because when talking about the volume of files professional photographers have to deal with, cloud storage is very slow. You want an off-site backup that you can have operational within hours. You can’t do that with cloud backup! Cloud backup is convenient and will allow you to restore a handful of files immediately but it could easily weeks to restore a multi-terabyte disk of RAW files!
Here is a great article by Tony Roslund over at Fstoppers on how to set up a bulletproof Backup Strategy for your digital files. So just be sure you don’t depend on cloud storage for your only off-site backup! Unless you are ok with it taking weeks to restore files.