John Harrington (Washington DC Photographer
) over at the Photo Business News Blog
today made a post titled "Protecting the valuable asset of software serial #'s".
In this post, John makes an important point - one that I agree with. Your software license keys are important assets that need to be backed up. How much did you pay for Adobe Photoshop
? John talks about keeping copies of the license keys stored in paper files or stored digitally.
I have made multiple image file backup posts warning you that hard drives are going to fail (they will), and want to expand slightly on John's related backup topic.
I maintain an external USB backup hard drive (currenty a Western Digital My Passport 2 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
- I love it) that includes full copies of all the installation CDs/DVDs for all of the software I have purchased or downloaded - including Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, Microft Office, Microsoft Visual Studio, Canon EOS Solution Disk, laptop device drivers, etc. In the root folder for each software application, I add a text file that includes the installation serial number for that software. This drive along with an OS recovery DVD goes with me everywhere. I can rebuild my laptop hard drive from anywhere I happen to be (or just re-install an application) using the external hard drive.
Storing software on a hard drive has other advantages. I include this hard drive in my off-site backup drive rotation - a fire at my primary location will not affect my ability to access my licensed software. Loading a new computer (an enormous and regular task for me) is much faster when the installation software is available on a hard drive. The where to store all of the software installation DVDs becomes a non-issue since, after copying them to the hard drive, you seldom need any of them (definitely still keep them).
Check out John's book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition
- it is a must-read for anyone professionally engaged in photography or considering doing so.
On topic is that Amazon just introduced Amazon Glacier
Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup. In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable. With Amazon Glacier, customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions.
Companies typically over-pay for data archiving. First, they're forced to make an expensive upfront payment for their archiving solution (which does not include the ongoing cost for operational expenses such as power, facilities, staffing, and maintenance). Second, since companies have to guess what their capacity requirements will be, they understandably over-provision to make sure they have enough capacity for data redundancy and unexpected growth. This set of circumstances results in under-utilized capacity and wasted money. With Amazon Glacier, you pay only for what you use. Amazon Glacier changes the game for data archiving and backup as you pay nothing upfront, pay a very low price for storage, and can scale your usage up or down as needed, while AWS handles all of the operational heavy lifting required to do data retention well. It only takes a few clicks in the AWS Management Console to set up Amazon Glacier and then you can upload any amount of data you choose.