Shifting 1.5 Million Images 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 had been utilizing Drobo) ask how the QNAP transition was going. I advised them that it was too early to inform and that I had quite a lot of work to do earlier than I may 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 info transition and a few was simply the back-to-back photograph excursions. Let me let you know what I’ve discovered, each the nice and the dangerous.

Preliminary Setup

Let me begin with the set up of the bins. I had two NAS techniques to arrange, one in all which might be my important 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 pace of the drive entry. Putting in the drives was easy sufficient, and powering up the QNAP bins was a chunk of cake. I did need to make some telephone calls to the help workforce after I received caught, and so they had been very useful in getting me up and working.

My aim 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’d 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 Difficulty

As soon as I received the whole lot moved over, the whole lot gave the impression 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 option to re-index a drive from a Mac, so I needed to analysis a option 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 drawback has not been fully resolved. There are nonetheless occasions when the indexing goes haywire (after I seek for a folder, it reveals 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 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 plenty of NAS drives. I hope that somebody at Apple may also help me resolve this.

How I Work On My Information

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

1. The Essential SSD is extremely quick, a lot sooner 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 models aspect by aspect, my subsequent step was to repeat all the knowledge from the QNAP TVS-h874 NAS (main drive) to the QNAP TS-832PX NAS drive (which might be my offsite drive). The QNAP help individuals helped me join the 2 bins collectively and begin the synchronization. I knew that the synchronization needed to first be accomplished regionally (on the identical community) as a result of attempting to sync up 1.5 million photos to a distant location over the Web would take without end.

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 residence. As soon as I received the second field powered up at my brother’s, I as soon as once more leaned on the QNAP help 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 person interface was horrible, the method was painstaking and it failed on a regular basis. I’ve been dying for a dependable system for retaining my knowledge protected in a couple of location. Now I’ve it.

The Person 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, largely utilizing the HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync app for the distant synchronization. I do use the File Station utility at occasions, however primarily use the Mac Finder to search out what I’m on the lookout for.

That is what the File Station interface appears like. A easy interface for viewing the recordsdata 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 accomplished so presently.

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

Inside the Normal Settings, I can verify the standing of all of the drives. On this screenshot, you may see the standing of the 2 inside SSDs and all of the Seagate IronWolf 20TB onerous 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 working on each bins and performing a synchronization each morning at 1 a.m. It has been working 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 continuously. It is a enormous peace of thoughts for me (and my purchasers).

Once I was utilizing the Drobo DR software program, I’d continuously bug the event workforce at Drobo to offer me some form 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 occasions 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 ensure they’re occurring.

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 a whole lot of miles away. It took about an hour to synchronize the 4914 recordsdata.

Since we’re as regards to distant knowledge, I’ve to speak about one in all my favourite issues in regards to the QNAP NAS drives, and one of many largest variations between the outdated Drobo system and these new models. I’m speaking in regards to the potential to simply entry ANY of my recordsdata from ANYWHERE on this planet.

Drobo did have the flexibility to entry their NAS drive from a distant location utilizing an online browser, however it was painfully gradual. There are lots of occasions when I’m touring and have to entry photos for a consumer. When looking for a file on the outdated Drobo NAS, it could actually take me 15 to twenty minutes to find a file because the 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 recordsdata on my native drive, however I can entry the distant drive as nicely.

Oh, another factor. There may be one other characteristic of the QNAP NAS that’s not important 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 don’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 bins and each the corporate and the models had been failing. I actually misplaced sleep worrying about this drawback. I satisfaction myself on having each digital picture I’ve ever taken (the keepers) and having them in two places. I even inform my purchasers about this setup in order that they know I’ll have their photos protected for years to return.

I can let you know now that the panic is gone and I’m actually pleased with the brand new QNAP resolution. I’ve not solely replicated what I used to be doing with the Drobo models, however I’ve surpassed the performance and value by far! It isn’t an affordable resolution, however it’s one thing that’s important to my enterprise. As skilled photographers, our knowledge is the whole lot, and retaining these photos protected is important. I’m now sleeping higher at evening.

In regards to the writer: Jeff Cable is a photographer primarily based within the San Francisco Bay Space. Yow 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 pictures (and knowledge administration journey).