View Full Version : Any Archive Ideas?


Nick Papadopoulos
September 18th, 2008, 11:05 PM
Hi,

I'm currently taking on quite a large project and wanted to archive hdv projects and footage, in order to make space, and to also find out a workflow for archiving...

I was thinking of buying an external drive (ex footage is 200 GB+) and storing it all in there.

But since we all know that drives fail, and so do recordable DVDs and discs in general, I wanted to ask around, because I'm sure you guys have a better idea :)

Anyone?

Brian Luce
September 18th, 2008, 11:37 PM
What's wrong with tape?

Claude Mangold
September 19th, 2008, 12:33 AM
You could also use a DLT drive if you want sturdier tape. I have one. Besides being a bit slow by harddisk standards, it works great for long-term storage and the format is used by many so it's unslikely to become obsolescent. My drive is SCSI.

Paolo Ciccone
September 19th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hard Drive failure is actually lower than DVD. Get a Firmtek enclosure, stay away from stuff like Lacie, they have a failure rate, in my experience, around 50%, and buy Hitachi or Wester Digital drives. The enclosure allows you to swp the drives. Store your backup and store the drive in a safe place.
I have a 5 drive unit that I use for editing and archiving. Works great!

Stuart Campbell
September 19th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Hi Nick

We just print masters to tape and dump the entire project folder from the edit onto an external hard drive. They are so cheap now it just makes good sense to do it that way. You'll then have your final master on HDV tape, the entire project, digitised rushes and rendered master on a HDD and then of course you've still got your original rushes tapes!

If you are worrying about drive failure then you should also be worrying about DVD failure, tape failure pc failure etc etc etc! It could happen on anything . You could even buy two 1Tb drives and archive everything twice if you are worried.

Now Paolo you have worried me. I have a Lacie 500gb and it's been great for a few years now. Think I'll be backing it up. You say a 50 per cent failure rate? Are you sure? That's bad.

Hi to Athens by the way! I used to live there and loved it. Many fond memories.

Paolo Ciccone
September 19th, 2008, 04:48 PM
Hi Stuart.

Yes, my experience has been with 4 drives. 2 250GB, one 500GB and a 1TB. The 1TB broke with no option but to send it to a drive recovery company for thousands of dollars in repair. For that kind of drive LaCie uses two 500GB drives in Raid 0 config. One goes down and you are SOL. I learned later, that there are two types of drives on the market: enterprise level and consumer-grade.
I also learned that Seagate drives have higher power requirements. Higher power => higher heat. The 1TB drive had one of the drives failing to start properly. After a few days of being unplugged it would, sometimes, restart but after 10-20 minutes would crash again. The casing was so hot to be painful to touch. Guess what brand of drives were inside?
If you open those LaCie drives you'll see that they are very tightly packed with bare-bones cooling. Add some consumer-grade drives and you have a recipe for disaster.
Of four drives that I tried 3 failed. So it's more like 75%. Search the net and you'll see plenty of horror stories.

My 5PM (Port Multiplier) FirmTek unit is cool as a cucumber even with 5 drives in it, it does hot swap, connects to my MacbookPro with SATA, which is way faster than FW, and has adjustable fan speeds.

It's really a perfect solution for editing and backup and it allows you to decide what brands of drives and what sizes. In the same enclosure I have 750GB and 500, 250 GB drives all working together. Each drive has a task and a budget allocated so I'm not stuck to a one-size fits all approach. For mobile work I also have a 2-drive enclosure, just for when I need to travel light. They are really great.

Stefan Immler
September 19th, 2008, 05:53 PM
I have three 1TB Lacie drives that are daisy-chained (one FireWire 800 cable to the computer only). I use one for editing and storage, make a daily (!) backup on the other one and a weekly backup on the third one that I store in a different location.

But don't forget to backup your system/software! I also have two smaller 500GB Firewire800 drives, stored in two different locations, that serve as bootable (!) backups (once a week) of the system partition. Even if everything fails, I have complete bootable redundancy. And you know what? I had to use the backups already twice because my main hd failed, and it saved me TONS of time and work! When my main hard drive failed, I just took my wife's computer, booted from one of my system backups, loaded the footage from a backup drive and I could continue to work within 5 minutes although my computer had died completely!

Daily backups only take a few minutes with RsyncX, and since hard drives are so dirt cheap, there are no excuses anymore for losing footage/data.

Paolo Ciccone
September 19th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Daily backups only take a few minutes with RsyncX, and since hard drives are so dirt cheap, there are no excuses anymore for losing footage/data.

Very true and if you use a Mac they are even easier with the Automated Time Machine. That saved my butt several times already.

Nick Papadopoulos
September 20th, 2008, 07:50 PM
It is necessary for me to keep the project, because I want to be able to return to the edit at a later time. Thus printing to tape is fine, when that is not necessary.

So in this case, it would have to be a hard drive option. (DLT is too expensive), but I still have an issue with storage, since the projects can range from 100+ gigs to 150... So that means maximum 10 projects per drive :(...

Any ideas for a sizable backup option?

Steve Oakley
September 20th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Seagates have been the most reliable so far with the exception of their 750g which seem to be a bad design. Western digitals I stay away from always. The best indicator of drive quality is it's warranty 5 years. Any 1 year warranty drives are consumer junk. I've had several die at 13 and 14 months.

I've also had a bad spindle of DVD-rs that photoreacted to roomlight. The discs are unreadable.

DLT is really slow and clunky. LTO is it's replacement and its not cheap. HD's are still the cheapest way

Stuart Campbell
September 21st, 2008, 02:13 PM
My 5PM (Port Multiplier) FirmTek unit is cool as a cucumber even with 5 drives in it, it does hot swap, connects to my MacbookPro with SATA, which is way faster than FW, and has adjustable fan speeds. In the same enclosure I have 750GB and 500, 250 GB drives all working together. Each drive has a task and a budget allocated so I'm not stuck to a one-size fits all approach. For mobile work I also have a 2-drive enclosure, just for when I need to travel light. They are really great.

Hi Paolo,

That's really interesting. Thanks for the warning. I'm interested in what you use (although I have PC), so what should I be looking for exactly? Is the 5PM just a case and facilitator? Do I still have to buy the drives to go in it?

and Stefan,

is a bootable backup something similar to this Ghost image thing I've heard about. I suppose what you'd want if your system went down is a method a recovering and rebuilding the entire thing as quickly as possible. How would you do that?

I have a very limited knowledge when it comes to PCs, so now (after reading this thread) I'm just a little worried as to what I'd do if everthing went tits up! All I have on an external HDD is the project folders and the rushes. Maybe I should be looking at a more comprehensive entire system back-up!!

Nick, I simply drag the entire project folder across to my HDD. Each project is normally about 150 gigs. It's the easiest way for me to back up / archive a project and it's rushes. It means I can access the entire edit at any time in the future without grief. Now my drive is full I'll have to buy a much bigger drive but they really are so much cheaper now so I was looking at a couple of 1TB drives......


....and they won't be LaCie!!!!!

Stuart Campbell
September 21st, 2008, 02:19 PM
Paolo,

Just had a look at it on the internet. Now I know! Could get kind of pricey when you add in a couple of drives!.....but.....cheaper than rebuilding an edit machine aye!

Paolo Ciccone
September 22nd, 2008, 01:20 AM
That's really interesting. Thanks for the warning. I'm interested in what you use (although I have PC), so what should I be looking for exactly? Is the 5PM just a case and facilitator? Do I still have to buy the drives to go in it?


Take a look at FirmTek, LLC (http://www.firmtek.com), the 5PM is a SATA enclosure, that means that it run as fast as the disks inside the computer. It has thermal monitoring and it uses Port Multiplier to connect 5 drives with one single SATA cable. Yes, you can buy any mix of drives and this makes it very flexible not to mention that you can upgrade the drive size without having to buy a new enclosure. I do backups with that now. I swap hard disks like in the past I was swapping floppies. Pretty amazing.

Paolo Ciccone
September 22nd, 2008, 01:25 AM
Paolo,
Just had a look at it on the internet. Now I know! Could get kind of pricey when you add in a couple of drives!.....but.....cheaper than rebuilding an edit machine aye!

And way cheaper than loosing your project/footage especially with the modern emphasis on tapeless workflow. I have one drive dedicated to backup, every day. One drive is my current editing area, 750GB but replaceble as the 5PM can swap drives and do it while the 'puter is running. Another one is my rendering area, separate in order to maximize Premiere and After Effect's performance. A foorth drive is my other stuff, stills, media files, stock footage etc. The last one is for backup. I have a stack of small (120-250GB) hard disks and back up my projects there. When you need to go back, insert the backup disk, copy the project files to your work area, you're up and running in very short time.