I have a small photography business. Currently, I'm sitting on 15TB worth of images, and it's growing about 100-150GB a month.

Current setup
I have 1 internal and 2 external drives. Currently, I have an account with Carbonite, but it's limited to the number of internal and external drives, but it allows for "unlimited" amount of cloud storage. Adding more drives results in a GB cap per drive.


  1. I can reliably store each completed photoshoot (edited and RAW images) in a "cold" storage.
  2. Safely store current in progress photoshoots reliably until work is completed, then it's moved onto the "cold" storage.
  3. Reasonably priced. Currently, $150USD/yr is my budget. Considering the amount of data I have (15TB), and it's growing at about 100-150GB a month, I'm looking at about a $300USD/yr budget.

Possible solutions

  1. I've thought about a way to bypass Carbonite's limitation by setting up a hardware RAID (0) so that Carbonite treats the current (and future) drives as one external device.
  2. Set up my own backup system where I simply buy multiple drives for cold storage, enough where I duplicate the 15TB twice. I then physically store one set in one location (400 miles away), and the other at home.

I'm unsure which route to take. For one, this would be my first time setting up a RAID, and I'm uncertain if solution 1 would work as Carbonite might reject the drive.

With solution 2, the downside is the upfront cost and of course the maintenance. I would have to spin the drives and check their integrity every so often (2 month cadence?). The number of drives will increase as time goes on, increasing maintenance time.

  • 1
    You're trying to backup a (small) business' of data using a home backup account setup. A business backup service (try Crashplan maybe) would have more options that could handle this sort of thing. Oct 1, 2019 at 3:41
  • 2
    That said, we don't recommend solutions here on Superuser. It's not what we do. You can read more about us in our very helpful Help section. Oct 1, 2019 at 3:46
  • 2
    At $10 per TB per year your pricing expectations are unrealistic if you are looking for robust storage. Considering robust storage require multiple copies (minimum 3 copies) on HDD costs alone you would be looking at > 6 year payback. Also, Look at Amazon S3 Glacier.
    – davidgo
    Oct 1, 2019 at 8:10
  • @davidgo, what do you mean by 6 year payback?
    – mrkotfw
    Oct 2, 2019 at 20:03
  • You appear to want to spend $10/tb/year. A TB of HDD typically costs about US$25, and you need at least 3 of them per TB of data, so you are looking at $75 per TB of data archived. $75 per TB at $10 tb per year gives a 7.5 year payback. This excludes electricity, costs of moving data offsite, RAID controllers etc. Of-course, prices go down, and your budget was up to $300 per year with more data.
    – davidgo
    Oct 3, 2019 at 0:30


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