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Old December 26th, 2017, 11:28 PM   #1
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I need data storage advice!

Currently I have an iMac with a 3 TB internal hard drive. I use Time Machine to back everything up to a pair of 6 TB external drives.

Since I started getting into shooting and editing video, I'm rapidly filling up my internal drive. (I also have tones of photos.) The internal drive is already about 2/3 full. I know i need more storage but I'm not sure what kind or how to keep it backed up. I can't put a larger drive into the iMac.

I've heard people say they keep their video data on a separate drive, so it's not using up all their internal drive, but I don't know how that would work. Can Time Machine back up data that's not on the internal drive? What if you can't keep it plugged in to the iMac all the time? There are only so many USB ports and they're already in use.

Any guidance on this stuff would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 01:28 AM   #2
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Re: I need data storage advice!

Whether this will help or not I don't know, but here goes! Having just changed from a tower which had 2 x 2Tb drives for video (as well as a system drive), which I used to back up regularly to external drives, to a laptop which has a 500Gb SSD system drive and a 1Tb HDD, I have similar considerations.

I replaced the 2Tb internal drives with USB 3.0 external ones, one for input video, the other for output and I am able to work happliy like that. I still backup to different external drives. I re-thought the strategy a little for convenience and now use the internal HDD as my working output drive and when a project is finished, I move it to the external drive. So my input video is on an external drive and that means I can use it on another laptop with the same NLE if necessary, as all the settings are saved there too.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: I need data storage advice!

I do my editing on a quad core Mac Mini Server that only has a 256gb internal ssd. So I have the operating system and my current video project on an external 1TB 3.0 Samsung T3 SSD, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to back this up daily. I have a pair of 5tb external drives where I store all my video, and a second pair of 5tb disks for backups.

The Mini is dedicated solely to video, I use my laptop for all the "everyday" stuff. And I have another Mini as a media server, with over 600 movies, 600 TV shows and 3000 songs on it. It gets backed up nightly with Carbon Copy Cloner to a pair of external drives.

I use Time Machine to constantly backup my MacBook Air to a Time Capsule, but am not so keen about using it for my video machine. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup all my video. It's fast and makes an exact copy of everything.

I recently went from a very slow (sub megabit) DSL internet connection to very fast 150/150 mbit FIOS. So I'm now using Backblaze to constantly backup my laptop and my Windows computer to the cloud. Have not added my video machine or my media server to the BackBlaze account, but I will probably do that eventually (it costs $50/year per computer).

Now I'm just working on personal video projects at the moment. If I was doing this professionally, I'd probably want one or two more "layers" of backup for the video machine.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #4
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Re: I need data storage advice!

Itís important to think about backup and archive as two separate needs, because you meet them differently.

If your internal storage is getting full, that may suggest that you have a mix of current and not-current projects stored internally.

If so, get the old projects into long-term archive storage. I like using a couple of 2-terabyte laptop drives, for example, that cover archive and a second copy of your archive. Small and USB powered. I keep buying those as needed. Store the second copy off-site if possible.

With the old projects archived, it may be that you have all the working and backup space you need?
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Old December 29th, 2017, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: I need data storage advice!

Thanks, everyone. I think what I probably need to do for now is move a lot of older stuff onto a couple external drives, just to archive them, and free up space on the internal drive.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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Re: I need data storage advice!

It will also help your Archive solution if you adopt a specific strategy for your working projects
For example: Create a master folder for ALL assets needed for a Project
Smith Wedding
-- Photos
-- Video
-- Music
-- Audio
-- Titles
-- Project Files

That way, you can archive backup Smith Wedding and all its subfolders.
it's important to occasionally test the process by restoring the archive, and then seeing if you can re-create the final output (DVD, MPEG files, etc)

This sometimes means having duplicate files archived. For example, you may have a library of music files, but it's important to copy (and not link), the music files to your Project hierarchy.

Finally, many NLE programs have some sort of Package/Archive function.
It will gather all of your assets used in a project, and create a huge archive file (like a Zip file).
Backup this single file, and your good to go. (Make sure you test unpacking and relinking)
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Old January 5th, 2018, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: I need data storage advice!

I have started using a USB 3, NexStar HDD Duplicator dock by Vantec. It is USB, so the drives are not hot swapable. You insert two HDDs. Use one for active editing and the other for archiving. I use it strictly as a dual dock, but the duplication feature is there if I want to use it.
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