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Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"

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Randy Hansen
Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 6, 2018 at 8:42:34 pm

Literally, the title states what happened.

I've worked here for about 9 months. The other day, the boss walked in with a box of a dozen or so external hard drives from the past decade containing video from our conventions, in-house training sessions, sub-contracted video productions and the like and gave me the mission of archiving all them for later retrieval (if needed).

Video quality, codecs, etc. are all over the place as I am the first full-time video professional the company has ever had on staff and there was not a video standard in place until I arrived. My guess is around 10-15 Terabytes of whatever in stored on the drives.

I may have an older 3 years old), unused server available for renovation and use solely to store the video.

Any suggestions, using the server or otherwise, about how to transfer the video to somewhere for safe storage and retrieval?


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Trevor Tyre
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 7, 2018 at 1:39:26 pm

Hi Randy, for long-term preservation you might consider LTO. This format is a great archival medium, but it's unfriendly when you need access to those files for a project, so if you have access to 10-15 TB of spinning storage then keep those files there too.

Your next task is sorting all those video assets, that's another thread altogether.

Best,

Trevor

Trevor Tyre | Partner
The Media Concierge
401 Logan Ave. Suite 206, Toronto, ON, Canada | M4M 2P2
O: (416) 778-5500 I C: (647) 994-3003
trevor@themediaconcierge.com


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Mike Cohen
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 7, 2018 at 6:05:26 pm

Check out Gentibus - it will scan your hard drive and create a searchable catalogue of folders and files. It won't organzie anything but it may be a good first step just to know what you have.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 8, 2018 at 4:26:05 pm

Add" "archivist" to your resume:-)

You have many decisions ahead. One of which is, what common standard, if any, do you want to transcode all this stuff to, so it stays readable and usable?

When we had this discussion, we couldn't afford totally uncompressed storage for the volume of material we have, so we settled on ProRes 422 for everything meant to last. I don't know that that's a permanent choice, going forward... There are more compact formats out there, and newer ones, and it's always a guessing game as to what will remain viable over the years... so you also have to plan for occasional updates and migrations of the existing archived materials as new and better formats come up, and old ones lose support. This is job security for life because the issue never remains static. I wonder that other COW users think is a dependable codec to standardize on?

And you really don't want to put all your archival "eggs" in one basket - i.e. just one server or RAID. Just makes it easier to lose everything in one catastrophic event. So, plan and budget to back-up the backups with offsite duplicate storage. And yes, that just doubled your costs.


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