Transferring 1.5 Million Photographs from an Previous Drobo to a New QNAP NAS

Again in February of this 12 months, 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 techniques however had not moved any knowledge.

I had many individuals (most of whom have been utilizing Drobo) ask how the QNAP transition was going. I informed them that it was too early to inform and that I had numerous 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 quite a bit 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 great and the dangerous.

Preliminary Setup

Let me begin with the set up of the bins. I had two NAS techniques to arrange, one among which might be my principal 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 bins was a bit of cake. I did should make some telephone calls to the assist workforce once I acquired caught, and so they have been very useful in getting me up and operating.

My purpose 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 12 months of information at a time and I feel it took me the higher a part of two weeks to finish the method.

An Concern

As soon as I acquired all the things moved over, all the things seemed to be excellent, with one hiccup. After 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 simple option to re-index a drive from a Mac, so I needed to analysis a option to make that occur.

As soon as I discovered how you can make that occur, it took one other 5 days! And this drawback has not been fully resolved. There are nonetheless instances when the indexing goes haywire (once I seek for a folder, it reveals the folder, I click on on it, and it opens a totally totally different folder) and I’ve to pressure a re-index.

This course of typically 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 problem with the Mac and lots of NAS drives. I hope that somebody at Apple will help me resolve this.

How I Work On My Recordsdata

Initially I had thought that I might use the QNAP NAS as my principal working drive, however I’ve determined to make use of the brand new 4TB Crucial x10 SSD drive as my principal drive. I selected to make this transformation 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 drawback 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 (main drive) to the QNAP TS-832PX NAS drive (which might be my offsite drive). The QNAP assist individuals helped me join the 2 bins collectively and begin the synchronization. I knew that the synchronization needed to first be performed regionally (on the identical community) as a result of making an attempt to sync up 1.5 million photographs to a distant location over the Web would take ceaselessly.

That course of took one other 3 or 4 days, however I didn’t should 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 dwelling. As soon as I acquired 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 previous Drobo unit (utilizing their Drobo DR software program), the person 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 secure in a couple of location. Now I’ve it.

The Consumer Interface and Options

The person interface for the QNAP is all browser-based and may be very easy. I’ve not used a lot of the icons you see above, principally utilizing the HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync app for the distant synchronization. I do use the File Station utility at instances, however primarily use the Mac Finder to seek out what I’m searching for.

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

There are quite a few functions 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 performed so presently.

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

Throughout the Basic Settings, I can verify the standing of all of the drives. On this screenshot, you’ll be able to see the standing of the 2 inner SSDs and all of the Seagate IronWolf 20TB exhausting drives.

As I discussed earlier, I’m utilizing the HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync app (no further cost for this) for my distant synchronization. I’ve this utility operating on each bins and performing a synchronization each morning at 1 a.m. It has been operating for the final 6 months with none points or failures. Because of this I’ve all 1.5 million photographs 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).

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

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

If I click on on one of many gadgets 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 lots 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 one among my favourite issues in regards to the QNAP NAS drives, and one of many greatest variations between the previous Drobo system and these new items. I’m speaking in regards to the capacity to simply entry ANY of my information from ANYWHERE on the planet.

Drobo did have the flexibility to entry their NAS drive from a distant location utilizing an internet browser, however it was painfully gradual. There are a lot of instances when I’m touring and have to entry photographs for a shopper. When trying to find a file on the previous Drobo NAS, it could actually take me 15 to twenty minutes to find a file for the reason that interface was brutally gradual.

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 verify information on my native drive, however I can entry the distant drive as properly.

Oh, another factor. There’s one other function of the QNAP NAS that’s not vital 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. Because of this I wouldn’t have to do that manually, and I don’t should depend on iCloud or different companies 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 bins and each the corporate and the items have been failing. I actually misplaced sleep worrying about this drawback. I pleasure 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 photographs secure for years to return.

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’s not a reasonable resolution, however it’s one thing that’s important to my enterprise. As skilled photographers, our knowledge is all the things, and holding these photographs secure is vital. 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. Yow will discover extra of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This text was initially revealed on Cable’s blog, the place you’ll be able to observe together with Cable’s images (and knowledge administration journey).