Aperture Backup

For my own planning purposes, here I outline my current photo backup solution…


Photos will be imported and primarily stored on my iMac. Currently the library consists of around 50,000 photos and a few (high quality) videos – 600GB.

1) Cloud (off-site).

The photos will be rsync’d over to the synology nas, where they will be sync’d to SymForm’s cloud.

2) Time Machine.

The entire iMac is automatically backed up to a Time Machine vault on the Synology RAID-5 array – this includes the Aperture Library.

3) USB External Pocket Drive (Aperture Vault).

Using Aperture’s built in Vault feature, photos will be backed up to a 2.5″ portable USB drive. This is not automatic, and will be done occasionally.

Aperture Library Backup Procedure

Import Photos

Photos come in via camera import or dropbox import (I use dropbox to sync my photos instead of iCloud. I don’t like that one has 0 control over iCloud. With dropbox, I can pause the sync (if for example i’m on my laptop connected via cell modem and don’t want to download a gig of photos. I can also opt to upload photos over 3G/4G as well as WiFi, iCloud is WiFi only. This allows me to quickly upload a set of photos from the iphone without having to wait for a wifi connection and then for icloud to sync).

Photos are imported on my iMac, the primary/master copy of the Aperture Library is stored on the internal SATA drive on the iMac.

Cloud (off-site) Backup

I decided that I should have an absolute backup just incase my house were to burn down or something. As such I’ve signed up for SymForm (link). SymForm allows you to trade local storage for redundant, encrypted, distributed storage on their cloud (which consists of other people sharing space. It’s similar to Waila in concept, but better implementation).

The Synology NAS will sync the Aperture Library via rsync daily (late at night); thus maintaining a copy on the NAS. Then the SymForm client that’s built into the NAS will take care of syncing the Aperture Library to the cloud. Were doing the sync to the cloud on the NAS because its not as light on resources as a simple rsync, I don’t want to tie up my iMac with the cloud syncing business, which can take days – weeks depending on the size of the latest import and my local network congestion.

Time Machine

TimeMachine is enabled on the iMac, backing up everything (including the Aperture Library) multiple times daily. This data is stored on the NAS.

USB External Pocket Drive

Using a 750GB 2.5″ portable pocket sized hard drive along with Aperture’s Vault feature, this will be updated occasionally (when the drive is plugged in and I get around to it). This primarily will serve as a last resort backup incase both others fail.

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