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backup to LTO in the field?

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Kim Rowley
backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 2:51:23 pm

I have a 2 month shoot in various nations in Asia coming up starting in January 2010. I will be bringing 2 HVX 171 cameras and shooting SD DVCPro50. Since I will be generating a great deal of footage I'm looking at options for offlaoding (and protecting!) my files while in the field. Has anyone ever contemplated bringing a portable LTO machine? Or is that a bad idea? And if so why? I went to Africa last year with 2, 2TB Western digital drives in RAID 1 and that went OK but this time I am afraid of running out of space...
Any suggestions?
Thanks!


Dual 2.7 GHz G5, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9650, Xserve RAID, AJA IO, 2 20" Cinema Display, FCP Studio 2 (6.02), OS X10.4.11


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 4:22:53 pm

[Kim Rowley] " Has anyone ever contemplated bringing a portable LTO machine? "

I am evaluating a Cache-A LTO4 at the moment. While it's a great machine, I don't know if I'd want to travel with it. It's an 8ish thousand dollar (US) piece of equipment that is meant to live in a rack or on a shelf. It is a little computer after all.

I would save the money, buy a lot of extra hard drives, and run JBOD in a cheap 2 drive SATA enclosure (bring an extra just in case). Use ShotputPro to automatically offload to both drives at the same time. If you brought 4-6 1.5 TB SATA drives, you can store a lot of redundant footage and save you the hassle of trying to setup your LTO wherever you are, plus if your LTO goes down for whatever reason, getting more hard drives will be a lot easier than trying to track down a few SATA drives. Running JBOD also reduces the Raid1 headache. Although Raid1 is very useful, JBOD is a lot easier to manage (in my opinion).

Jeremy


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Kim Rowley
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 5:37:40 pm

I see what you mean... I already use ShotputPut and HDLOG by Imagine so that's a plus. Can you just give me a clue as to what JBOD is? These days being an editor isn't enough. You need to be an IT geek too! Thanks Jeremy.

Dual 2.7 GHz G5, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9650, Xserve RAID, AJA IO, 2 20" Cinema Display, FCP Studio 2 (6.02), OS X10.4.11


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Noah Kadner
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 5:40:10 pm

JBOD- just a bunch of disks- poor man's RAID. It really depends how portable you want to be. I wouldn't go run and gun with an LTO drive in my backpack, but if I were set up in a central production office or hotel room for a 2 month location shoot- I'd consider bringing along an LTO. Kinda depends on the production too- is there a completion bond requirement?

Noah

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:17:21 pm

[Kim Rowley] ". Can you just give me a clue as to what JBOD is? "

Noah clued you in, but basically we run something similar to this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817707092

It was cheap ($60 US) and has two drive trays that are swappable.

When I format the drives, I simply format them separately so I have two drives on my desktop (JBOD, no raid). I then point Shotput at those two drives and do the offloading. I can then take one of those drives out and ship it home, or give to someone else (client/producer), or leave somewhere safe, whatever. The other drive comes with me. As I fill both of them up, I swap in for two new drives. It's very easy and has been very reliable for field operations. If a drive goes down or screws up, you simply swap in a new one and off you go. If you get custom enclosures that are NOT swappable, you have to send that drive back including the enclosure to get fixed. When in the field in odd places of the world, I tend to choose the path of least resistance and try to bring the least amount of specialized hardware as possible so that if the shite goes down, I can still make my backups. Camera equipment, though, is another story.

LTO I am using back in the studio once the shoot is over. Lugging around the heavy machinery would be weird, especially for tow months around Asia in distant airpots.

Hope that make sense.

Jeremy


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Trevor Ward
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 5:40:22 pm

Never used LTO. But I just got back from India. I bought the CalDigit Mini. It's 1 TB but I put it in RAID 1 mode so it ended up being 500G. They are so small and they are bus powered so no extra cables.

I'd almost suggest buying 4 of them, set up as RAID0. Making 2 duplicates. As soon as the first 2 fill up, ship one back home and keep one with you. That way if you get robbed or shipwrecked, you'll have one safely in the hands of DHL or safely in the hands of Tom Hanks on a deserted island.

-trevor ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
orlando, fl


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Kim Rowley
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 13, 2009 at 7:13:11 pm

JBOD ...duh! Thanks Noah..reminds me of one of my first jobs way back when, when after a shoot I was told to be sure to remove the "LRB"... I found out later it stood for "little red button" under the Umatic cassette :) Thanks to all for the comments.

Dual 2.7 GHz G5, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9650, Xserve RAID, AJA IO, 2 20" Cinema Display, FCP Studio 2 (6.02), OS X10.4.11


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John Fishback
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 4:17:21 pm

If you go the route of separate naked drives be sure to checkout Weibetech's Anti-Static Drive Cases http://www.wiebetech.com/products/cases.php

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 2 (FCP 6.0.5, Comp 3.0.5, DVDSP 4.2.1, Color 1.0.3)

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Kim Rowley
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 6:42:26 am

Excellent suggestion, John. Thanks for the tip.

Dual 2.7 GHz G5, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9650, Xserve RAID, AJA IO, 2 20" Cinema Display, FCP Studio 2 (6.02), OS X10.4.11


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Matthew Romanis
Re: backup to LTO in the field?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 8:06:33 pm

My two bits worth.....
We have an LTO 3a, which works fine at the office, but the transport mechanism is not very robust. I wouldn't trust it travelling across town let alone to another country.
Go with lot's of ejectable drives instead, or has been suggested earlier, get the Caldigit VR in multiples.
I have a 3.5"x 2 Caldigit 2TB mirrored drive enclosure and it has been very trustworthy for almost two years now..
Matthew.




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