Currently, we are maintaining a photo archive in-house via a networked 1TB LaCie drive and a whole bunch of directories/files (the drive is at around 60% capacity at this point). While this works, it is extremely slow (the network interface of the drive is less-than-desirable, speed-wise). As digital photo sizes increase, the files are getting more and more unwieldy to deal with. And, since the directory structure is essentially made by whomever uploads the photos to the drive, there is a noticeable lack of consistency, which makes searching for a particular photo all the more difficult.
I have seen the discussions about using Flickr as a "sort of" photo archive (albeit more of a "cream of the crop" type of thing rather than an all-encompassing collection of photos), and I think I will attempt to get the "powers that be" around here to look into that more seriously.
However, we still have the issue of how best to maintain the full archive.
One approach that I've seen discussions about is running Gallery2 or Coppermine on a dedicated server, which is certainly something we can do.
Before I investigate that further, I was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation to me and, if so, what (if any) solution(s) you have found. For example, is there a device out there somewhere that acts as a dedicated photo archive server...maybe even with some sort of Web-based front-end for searching/tagging/etc.?
Any advice anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Manager of Web and Electronic Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University