Digital Storage Savety

I just recently wrote about the switch to owning and operating just one machine. The one machine setup is great, but there is one major downside: this machine has very limited internal storage. It is a blazing fast SSD but in the model I bought it is just 256GB of disk space (even though there is no disk involved). But I solved this problem and here is how.

The Internal Disk

Since it is limited, I decided to put stuff where it belongs and the internal disk should not be cluttered. So I put the following things on there:

  • Mac OS X installation (obviously)
  • Documents
    • Blog writing documents
    • All the rest of documents (they do not really need space)
  • Programs / Applications
  • DropBox / Google Drive
  • Source-code I am working with
    • Web-Development / Design
    • XCode Projects and such
  • Portfolio Library (A iPhoto Library of all my favorite photographs. I will write about this how I store my photos in an other post.)
  • Downloads and Settings

That is about it. Summed up, thats about 180GB and currently leaves me with ca. 70GB to play with. But where do all the other things go?

The External Disk(s)

Currently I am using one disk that essentially is always plugged in to my MacBook. It is a 1TB 2.5" (SATA-3 USB 3.0) drive. And to be clear: it feels kinda like it is internal. This external disk is mainly used for:

  • iTunes Library
  • All the Lightroom Libraries
    • the photos in the libraries are stored on this drive too and on the Drobo (also known as ‘The Beast’)
  • Video editing files (source files as well as Premiere / After Effects projects)
  • Finished Videos
  • Movies

That disk currently totals at about 700GB used storage and 300GB left to be used. But the question is what to do with the files if the external is full too?

The Beast

Well there the DroboPro comes into play. That is my storage beast. It currently can hold up to 3TB in RAID mirrored storage and is easily expandable to about 21TB max. This is used for my archive:

  • Lightroom
    • Already edited shoots (archived) / everything that is no longer on the 1TB 2.5" drive
  • Backups of some data
  • Video
    • Finished Video projects
    • Source-Files (archive)

The Drobo is currently filled with about 1.9TB of archived data and is not even close to full. Great device.


All this obviously needs a backup solution. But thats a matter of a different post since this is already quiet long.


All this sounds like a good solution to me. It is awesome that you nowadays can plug in an external drive and it feels like built right into the machine. And also the capacities are crazy and cheap.

What do you think? Do you have so much data to store as to have to think about how to do it, or are you happy with a simple external backup drive and thats it? Let me know in the comments if you have a better idea to how to manage storage or if you have any questions.