mynetI been asked many times how my storage system is setup to work with Adobe Lightroom and how the backup is done.

To answer that I think its necessary to look at the entire network setup and my goal with it.

Being an IT technician I had Apples “it just works” philosophy in mind when planning a system. The system has to be as simple as possible with minimum maintenance and I gotta be able to use any computer to work with any file and it all have to stay in sync.

 

To achieve that the system had to be somewhat like this :

a) Redundancy #1 – Datas must be safe and atleast be obtainable from two other sources than main incase of harddrive failure etc.
b) Redundancy #2 – Incase main internet connection fails (and by that remote access to datas) it has to work with alternative connections like neighbours wifi or cellular data connection.
c) Accessability – Datas must be reachable from just about anyplace with any device so ftp, cloud, ethernet is keywords.
d) Accessability – Has to be simple so family, friends etc can use it if needed, yet have restricted access.
e) Maintenance – System must be possible to scale easily with new devices or new storage space etc.
f) Maintenance – System should support easy patching/upgrades with one download and clone it to multiple machines as needed, saves time & bandwidth.

 

What I ended up with is this setup :mynet2

Mac server :- Multiple drives ( OS-X startup drive, Timemachine drive, Photos drive, Video drive, Files drive, Windows7 drive. )

NAS (network access storage) drives is connected to same network, USB drives can be attached either to these NAS boxes or server as prefered.

OS-X will be the default operating system launched, Windows7 can be launched directly if prefered.

With few exceptions, all computers in the network will have just about same folder naming and structure to easier identify and backup the content.

 

Meaning;

Whatever I add or change in \<documents> folder on any of the computers in the net, it will be replicated across the net, then onto the nas, then onto dropbox if needed.

Exceptions is devices who cannot access windows folders, and instead uses dropbox to sync, and-or system specific folders that dont need replication.

If I use one of the desktop computers to edit my document or play a game I should be able todo the same thing with any of the laptops even if I should be visiting the neighbor or be on vacation with it.

 

Normal startup is as follows :

DSL router, Mac server, and NAS boxes plus external USB drives is turned on by one powerswitch button. They can be turned on-off individually but this one button method is used incase someone else needs todo this.

OS-X boots into desktop.

OS-X tries to access Internet in order: ethernet port#1, ethernet port#2, wifi to router, wifi to neighbour(s, 3 nets), wifi to 3G/4G hotspot.

OS-X launches FTP & Web server.
OS-X launches SnagIT screen capture software.
OS-X launches Cinch
OS-X launches SizeUP
OS-X launches DropBox
OS-X launches EyeFI software.
OS-X launches Synk PRO (decimus)
OS-X launches AirServer
OS-X launches Alfred
OS-X launches Steam(2) Mac version.

OS-X launches Parallels virtualizing software, which again launches Windows 7 from its own drive.
….. Win7 launches Skype
….. Win7 launches Teamspeak
….. Win7 launches Steam(1)
………. Windows updates itself as needed from shared internet connection.
………. Steam(1) keeps itself and all software/games within it updated.

OS-X checks for updates through Appstore.

OS-X scans for Apple devices(iPhone, iPad etc) in the local net(lan & wifi) and if any is found its updated and backed up as needed.

OS-X Timemachine will now be running and detect any changes to OS-X system drive and backup any changes. This includes backups of any iphone/ipad etc but not the other drives in the system.

 

NAS boxes should now be online and ready to use.

Each NAS is originaly divided into several virtual drives for easy track of data.

NAS1 > Photos_A
NAS2 > Photos_B
NAS1 > Files_A

and so on type system.

 

When the NAS(1) becomes available OS-X will mount it as drives based on its virtual drive name. These virtual drives will now be shared & accessible by any compatible device on the local net.

 

Synk PRO (SP) will now be running in the background.

SP will detect when machines in the network becomes active and start scanning their shared folders for changes.

Backup of content will then be done to-from these machines as needed, to/from equal drives & folders on the server.

 

SP will now scan certain physical harddrives on the mac server and backup those as needed to NAS1+2 as needed.Lightroom

 

Changes to \Photos drive on mac server will be synchronized with same virtual drive on NAS1, then NAS2.
Changes to \Videos drive on mac server will be synchronized with same virtual drive on NAS1, then NAS2.
Changes to \Files drive on mac server will be synchronized with same virtual drive on NAS1, then NAS2.
Changes to \Documents on mac server (holds dropbox) will be synchronized with same virtual drive on NAS1, then NAS2.

 

This is more or less how it works by itself with very little maintenance.

Creating and setting up drives and folders, plus setting up SP for the first time is what takes time. From there on its fully automated.

Incase server should go down (havent happend in past 8 years!) its possible to move entire system over to another Mac with some tweaking.

 

On a practical level heres how it works :

I create say a text file on an iPad with Pages, saves it to Dropbox.

Dropbox software will then synchronize it with the cloud as soon as it can.

Soon the file is in the cloud, its then starting to download to any other device and machine I have connected to that account.

Mac server will then get it and SP will back it up. SP will also compare the copy it got, with any other machine currently on my net and update as needed.

 

If I watch an Youtube video and decide to save that to \Videos and whatever folder I create there, it will be sync’ed across all machines on the net but not to dropbox. If I do want it on dropbox, I must place it in correct folder for that to synchronize.

 

Steam exists in both Mac & Windows version and have its own system for patching which works pretty well aslong as you own just one machine.stlogo

Downside is if you have more than one machine, and dont want to dl say same 10GB on X machines.

As Steam account system does not allow multiple logins to same account we can use that in our favour.

 

Mac server runs its own Mac version of steam, and this keeps updating itself as needed. SP will then replicate this folder to other macs as needed.

Mac server also runs Parallels which again runs Windows7 which again runs Steam. This steam also keeps itself updated as needed. SP will pickup this steam too, but only replicate it to any windows machine on the net.

However, if I take the macbook out for a trip and decides to try something on steam it will disconnect on the Mac server and connect on the Macbook.

If by some lucky shoot something then has to be updated on Steam it will do so on the Macbook as needed and then when home again Mac server & SP will update from the Macbook to the Mac server (and then to the NAS). Same thing for the Windows version.

Sometimes Steam can screw up when updating itself and wont let the user connect again, if this happens it will ask : retry or use offline mode.

Should this happen then this url, and deleting the old .blob file is most likely the solution:

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7241-EYON-2343

 

>>> PART 2 – LIGHTROOM >>>