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Old May 7th, 2014, 08:17 AM   #1
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Back Up Solutions

Hi folks, I'm doing a bit of a rebuild on PC, wondering if anyone has any suggestions for backup options and software.

Just thinking, all my backups are in the one place - does anyone do any backing up to cloud storage?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #2
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Re: Back Up Solutions

I currently use inexpensive WD My Passport 2TB drives for archiving. They are inexpensive, they are USB 3 (so they are fast) and they are small. I disconnect after archiving a project and put them in a drawer. I buy red ones and black ones. Black ones are primary backup and the red ones are my second copy. I used to use expensive enterprise class drives for everything but realized the waste of money that was.

Software for backup? I would never put any automated software on my editing station.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Clive, are we talking short term backups or long term archiving here? They are totally different and require different solutions.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Dave is right, different scenarios for backup and archiving, but for me it's all part of one workflow, it's a process.

For me a barebones setup would be an OS drive, video drive, then two storage drives. Then as many archiving drives as needed, in my case they are external USB 3.

This is all about logic.

It begins with downloading video files to a project folder on a storage drive, then copy said folder to the second storage drive. You want two copies to begin with, right? I am now backed up. For safety you could choose to use an external for your second storage drive. I used to do this but I've never lost a thing due to drive failure or power failure in twenty years so I use only internal drives for storage now.

When ready to edit, I copy same folder to "video drive" for edting. (This means I have three copy of the project on hand at one time). When done editing I copy the folder twice to two different My Passport drives, and I'm archived and done, after deleting the other three instances of the project. I don't do long term archiving for clients so that's good enough for me.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 02:10 AM   #5
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Hi guys, why the reluctance to use software? Do you not trust it?

For me, my raw footage per wedding is around 80GB. Cards get copied to my storage drive. Software then copies these files to my secondary storage files.

After six months I manually copy to a third drive for archive.

SO you guys recommend doing it manually?

Is it bad that I trust automated software more than myself?? lol
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Old May 8th, 2014, 05:30 AM   #6
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Clive, I never said don't use software! For me it's the hardware that changes for backups vs archives.

For backing up I use a product called GoodSync. It syncs the files, times and dates etc etc across one or more copies (local HDD or network). We use it to keep projects in sync between workspace and backups all the time. I like this type of app because it also copies and deletes render files as needed (though you can tell it to ignore some things if you want), so when I'm ready to archive I can delete my render files, run the sync and they're also gone from the backup. No manual tracking of files needed. It just works.

GoodSync costs a little money (not a lot), but I bought this because I used to need both Windows and Mac backups and GoodSync worked on both, but now I'm just Mac.

For Windows only solutions that are FREE look up a Microsoft product called SyncToy. I used it for a while and it works well too.

These software tools keep your work files and backups in sync with the absolute minimum of effort and once the initial backup is done they only need to copy changes, which is usually very quick.

For archiving I use software (I think Mac only) called Bru (stands for Backup and Restore Utility) to LTO4 tapes because they are massively more reliable than hard disks which fail easily when sat on a shelf. The major downside of LTO tapes are the initial cost of the drive and the fact they are sequential rather than random access. After that it's cheaper than archiving to HDDs.

For automated backup solutions the Mac comes with an awesome tool called TimeMachine which auto backs up the mac every hour, but I don't use it for video files because I think they are too big to go on my normal backup drives, so I handle it all manually.

When we're talking about losing potentially hours or days of work I like to be in full control of what gets backed up and when.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #7
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Re: Back Up Solutions

I don't use backup software for two reasons:

1. I don't run any automated software, including virus protection, on my workstation, nor do I run screen savers. Saps system resources. I'm old school and build my own systems so I'm very picky about what software goes onto my machine. If it has nothing to do with editing, etc., it does not go on my computer.

2. What do I need to backup? You may have things that need backed up, I do not. I use chrome and gmail for the web, which saves all internet settings, calendars, etc. so that's always covered.

I save as I edit my video projects on each of three separate drives, which is where complete copies of my video reside. As I edit, the only thing that changes is the project file, not the actual video files, so the only thing that needs saved is that which changes, which is the Vegas project file. If I crash and lost my OS for any reason, which I can't remember ever happening, I would lose nothing.

PCs have built in restore funcionality, but I disable it, it is taxing and no need for it.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; May 9th, 2014 at 12:11 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Back Up Solutions

I can understand short term backup for working projects, but for wedding and corporate work, I really don't see the need for archiving for perhaps years as some people seem keen on doing. I expressed this same point of view on the bluray thread, but it does seem appropriate here as well.

Over 30 years of producing wedding and corporate video, I have only once been asked if I still have a copy of a seven year old wedding. Keep a copy of what you give to your client, be it DVD, Bluray etc, but you are not going to have clients coming back years afterwards asking for a re-edit, so why worry about long term raw footage storage? The exception of course may be for historical or broadcast storage, although I doubt that in those cases it would require re-edit from original footage.It would be interesting to know if others have had any need to use their archives years later.

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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:17 AM   #9
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Clive, I don't know what you edit with, I forget. But if you use Vegas, then Edward T's Excalibur will automatically save your project in multiple locations, if that is the kind of functionality you need.

On PCs it's so easy to drag and drop folders places I just am not sure why someone doing primarily editing would need to auto- backup their drives, unless they are just not comfortable doing things manually.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:24 AM   #10
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Re: Back Up Solutions

We wrote an article about backups here STORAGE AND BACKUPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FILMMAKERS | Minty Slippers

On the PC we use idrive for cloud backups. We done use it for video files as broadband upload speeds are just too slow.

For local backups/sync we use Toucan (free). You can create jobs and just hit the sync button when ready. We use this to update our offsite drives. Toucan | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives
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Old May 12th, 2014, 05:55 PM   #11
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Re: Back Up Solutions

As if to bring the point home, I just took a hard disk off the shelf to grab some footage from. It's been sat there for about 6 months and while it's still working it's giving the tell-tale signs of imminent failure with random clicks that says the drive is re-homing / re-seeking, so who knows when this puppy is gonna fail!

Good job I have everything on tape too, I only picked up the HDD because it was going to be quicker than restoring from tape.
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Old May 14th, 2014, 04:47 AM   #12
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Re: Back Up Solutions

I have all my original footage backed up in triplicate on three WD 2T USB 3.0 drives, and I am working off of three G-Drive mini FireWire powered drives (power cuts daily here in Mali, so cannot trust plugging in drives). But the project is huge, especially after transcoding to prores onto the work drives, so I edit in pieces, saving the smaller pieces as projects with media manager in FCP, saving new smaller projects with only the footage used plus handles of 2 seconds on clips just in case. But still, the work drives fill up fast! The workflow seemed good and careful, but a brand new G-Drive mini just went down with a month of work on it... Before I saved out the smaller projects. All is not lost as I have the project file backups and original footage, but transcoding hundreds of gigabytes of footage is bloody time consuming!
I thought I found a brand I could 'trust' but am taught once again that no hard drive is safe, and backing up is critical. If there was trustworthy power here, I would have a huge array of drives that backup my work constantly!
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Old May 14th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #13
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Re: Back Up Solutions

Brian, the WD Passport 2TB drives are USB 3 and are USB powered, rather than from a power cord/adapter. don't know if that would help you. They are not fast enough drives to edit complex projects from but they are surprisingly fast for simple things, and are a safe way to back up.

Wait, it sounds like what you really need is a battery backup unit. You don't have one?
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Old May 15th, 2014, 03:14 AM   #14
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Re: Back Up Solutions

I use the WD 2T drives for backing up the original footage, USB powered, but my old MBP does not have USB 3.0. I usually have three streams of HD, and things are a little slow even with the FireWire 800.
I had an APC battery backup, but found it totally unreliable. It would fail before i could even shut down FCP. Replaced the battery, still unreliable, so now I just run off the laptop power until I can start the generator. The only problem is using a plugged in matrox mini which has screwed up a few project files when the power cuts, so I leave it out of the mix until I have to do color correction.
Moving back to Canada this coming fall/winter, so will limp along like this till then. Then I will buy a new Mac Pro and a gazillion terabyte hard drive array!
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