Thecus N7700 Pro for Image Storage

I have used many NAS (network attached storage) devices over the years but I’m very pleased with the latest one to join the network here at Copyrightimage.Like many of my clients I have a need to keep an archive of many thousands of images available for instant use and access. The major differences between this device and the more usual NAS devices are speed and capacity.

The N7700 Pro I have here is fitted with 7 x 2TB hard disks in RAID 5 formation which gives a single volume of 10.9TB of disk space, this means that I can hold large collections of images in one place which aids indexing and workflow.
The speed comes from its dual core processor which drives the controller and gigabit Ethernet to its full speed and so I can get real world transfer figures of 65mb/sec writes and even faster reads. This is over twice the speed of a USB2 drive connected directly to a host computer so its very impressive.

When dealing with large amounts of high res images this device would seem to be able to delivery speedy storage with the safety net of RAID 5 which means that if a disk fails I just need to swap it out for a new one (the image above shows the access door closed (left) and open (right) each disk is in a separate caddy.

The power supply to the device is a single point of failure however so its important I have at least one copy of every file on the device backed up somewhere else, as always, redundancy is the safety net.

Client Advisory: Silver TeraStation owners

The silver boxed Buffalo Terastation was released in 2005. With its 1TB capacity (~700GB as raid 5) it was a welcomed device to many photographers who needed secure storage for their images.
I advised purchase of these devices to many people and I know that there are dozens of them still working fine today. There have been a few devices that have developed problems prematurely but as long as the data was backed up to other devices before replacing a faulty hard disk there should have been no problems.
However, we may be approaching the 5th anniversary for many of these devices and in my experience 5 years is a significant time for hard disks to be running continuously.
This advisory is to say, be prepared!, make sure that you have the devices backed up in at least one other separate place and consider migrating files to another device within the next 12 months.For the same cash that bought the 1tb silver device you can now purchase a much faster 4tb device and many clients have already done this. I now use my own silver terastation (pictured above) as an ftp server, it no longer houses copies of master images but is very happy serving copies of retouched files to clients, a pleasant retirement for this old horse.

remote access to Lacie BIG5 devices

Clients who are using LaCie BIG5 devices may have noticed that security updates to Internet Explorer may have blocked their ability to download files using the HTTPS facility (secure web browser).

I will need to look into how to sort this but in the meantime just use Firefox instead, if you dont have it its a free download here:

(Its also a very good web browser for general use).


Connecting to UNIX shares from Vista

I have covered this before but because of recent changes to Vista (sp1) I have had to redo my LAN security to connect to shares on a local Buffalo Teratation. It looks like its these older devices only that are affected as my new Linux server and a new Terastation Pro 2 dont have this problem.

SO: If you have difficulty logging onto an older terastation with Vista try the following:

Click “Start -> Run.” Then, type in the Run field: “secpol.msc.” That will bring you to Vista’s security policy system. Once there, use “Go to: Local Policies > Security Options” and then find “Network Security: LAN Manager” authentication level. Once there, change the Setting from “Send NTLMv2 response only” to “Send LM & NTLM — use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated.”


Vista networking shares to a Buffalo terastation

Vistas increased security can cause problems with network shares on Buffalo terastations.

These cheap raid 5 storage solutions are ideal for backing up images so if you would like to use them from a Vista workstation do the following:

select: start menu > programs > administrative tools > Security and configuration management

Select > Local policies > security options > Network Security: LAN Manager Authenticating Level

Set it to “Send LM & NLTM, use NTMLv2 session if negotiated”

You should now have no problems connecting and accessing shares on the terastation.


New ADSL Max service

I have recently upgraded my internet access account from a 2mb connection to an 8mb ADSL Max one. The new account is still settling down so Im still on the 2mb download until the equipment in the exchange decides to increase the speed.
My upload speed however has gone from the usual ADSL speed of 30KB/sec to 47KB/sec.
Which is a technical way of saying that I can now ftp a 60mb tiff out to a customer in 21 minutes as opposed to 34 minutes under ordinary ADSL.
The office version of ADSL Max when released should reduce this further to about 12 minutes.
ADSL Max performance is more dependant on distance from the exchange than plain ADSL, however most ISPs are upgrading customers to a max account for free so its worth the price…

New Terrastations

Buffalo have added some new Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) to their range. They will be available in the UK from Febuary. I have seen a price of £577 + VAT for the 1TB version.

We like these (and earlier) drives because they can be configured in a RAID 5 array, a great place to store valuable images in some safety. The capacity of the drive is lowered when set to RAID 5 but they can still store approx 12,000 60MB files which works out at about 5p per image (The price of a GePe slidemount 15 years ago!).
This new version has much easier access to swap the drives out if one fails. Im not certain as yet what the real life file transfer rate is but I have a feeling that like a lot of other similar devices they are not very quick.

These drives are suitable for individual photographers and small photolibraries. Larger organisations may need something bigger and faster. Contact me if you have any queries.

Buffalo website