Digital Asset Management
System Configurations
So, what will this live and local setup actually look like? It depends on your
needs and your budget. As your collection of digital images grows, your
storage needs will also grow. Listed below are several configuration strate-
gies, starting with the easiest (and cheapest) to implement, and moving up
through the most deluxe (read: expensive):
Starter System: Computer + External Drive + DVD Backup
The system shown in Figure 4-9 is the cheapest way to get started
simply add a FireWire or USB drive to your existing system and back
up your image files onto DVDs (or CDs).
Better System: Computer + External Drive + External Backup Drive + DVD
By adding an additional hard drive for backup, as shown in Figure 4-10,
you will speed up the backup process, as well as enabling quick saving
of incremental changes you make to your image files.
Even Better: Computer with Internal Drives + External Backup Drive +
DVD Backup
If your computer can support additional internal drives, the configura-
tion shown in Figure 4-11 offers increased storage, some improvements
in reliability, and a better cost factor per gigabyte of storage.
Computer Firewire drive DVD backup
Figure 4-9. This is a very basic starter system.
Computer Firewire drive DVD backupFirewire backup
Figure 4-10. This is a slightly better system, with an additional hard drive for backups.
Computer Firewire backup DVD backup
Figure 4-11. An even better system includes additional internal drives.
Choosing a Storage Medium
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Chapter 4, Creating the Digital Archive, Part 2: Hardware Configurations
Client/Server Configuration: Computer + Gigabit Ethernet Switch + Server +
External Backup Drive + DVD Backup
The configuration shown in Figure 4-12 adds multi-user access, as well
as the ability to lock your server in a remote location in your house or
studio. Make sure the server area is vented to avoid overheating.
Best Client/Server Setup at a Reasonable Price: Computer + Gigabit Ether-
net Switch + Server + JBOD + Backup Drive + DVD Backup
This system, shown in Figure 4-13, offers the best price/performance
combination for prolific photographers. You can swap out the drives
quickly when necessary, and adding primary or backup drives is
easy and inexpensive. This configuration works very well with the
bucket system.
Best Setup Without Regard to Cost: Computer + Fibre Channel + Rack-
Mounted Server and RAID + External Backup Drive + DVD/Blu-ray/
HD-DVD/Tape Backup
The configuration shown in Figure 4-14 provides the fastest access
times and redundant storage, for a no-down-time storage solution. It’s
also really expensive.
Gigabit Ethernet
Cat 6 (or 5e) cable
Image workstation Firewire backup DVD backup
Figure 4-12. A basic client/server setup will provide an extra level of security and allow multiple
machines to access your files.
Extra drive caddies
for backup
Firewire or
Gigabit ethernet
Cat 6 (or 5e) cable
Image workstation DVD backup
Figure 4-13. Computer + Server + JBOD diagram
Image workstation Fibre cable
Firewire backup DVD backup
Fibre channel cable
Rack mounted server
and RAID
Figure 4-14. If you have a very high budget, this configuration will provide the best results.
Communication Between
Ethernet and Wireless
If you are going to be using a
networked server to store all your
image files, you will want to set up
a fast Ethernet network to transport
those files. The three basic speeds
are 10 BaseT, 100 BaseT, and gigabit
Ethernet. For image files, a network
should be at least 100 BaseT, with
gigabit preferred. Wireless net-
workseven the fastest onesare
more in the range of 10 BaseT, and
will really slow you down.
In order to get the fastest through-
put from your network, you will
want to use good cable (Cat 5e or
Cat 6) and make sure that it is not
routed adjacent to power lines as it
runs through the walls. Extra-long
runs can slow down throughput, as
they introduce more interference to
the signal.
Choosing a Storage Medium
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