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Backup of user data

04.09.10 (Tech Stuff)
Here is just short write down about how are customer's data archived by us.

Why
We keep all original as well as processed files in uncompressed form because it is vital for our work. Unlike prints, source files cannot be "made again" when lost so we do care a lot about how to archive them for times to come.
Also even when we deliver DVDs or downloads to customers, all prints ordered through us are made from original uncompressed files.

Backup procedure
1) During the photo shoot most of the times we shoot on two CF memory cards at the same time. Our cameras automatically backup files to two cards so when one is broken (same as with cameras it happens even with best ones) or lost, second takes place. We are also still rather using smaller memory cards (4-8GBs) then fewer big ones to make sure that we do not depend on just one or two devices.

2) After photo shoot we immediately backup all source files to optical media (mostly DVDs) and hard drives which are then moved to different destination for off-site storage (bank safety vaults).

3) We upload the source images to Amazon WS to encrypted off-site backup in Ireland.

4) As we process the project photos before delivering to the customer, we keep the files on the high end server platform where are all intermediate states in safety. Also the server is nightly incrementally backed up to another city.

5) Finished project files are then uploaded to AWS and stored on hard drive in the bank vault. We also keep all encrypted photographs on our server for at least two years after they were last needed.

So basically there are three independent backup methods working against all ods to lose the valuable customer's data. So far (as of over 20 years in business) we didn't lose any single photo or project file.
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