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Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?

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Carlen Cyphers
Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 2:25:39 pm

Background: I am a hobbyist who takes drone and video footage of our family vacations, etc. I don't do this professionally or for a living.

Lately, I have been learning about proper storage optimization for video editing. I am doing some upgrades to my computer storage to be better suited for video editing.

However, one thing I seem to be pretty overwhelmed by is how to properly backup/store my archived media files/projects. There are so many different options. Obviously there are normal external hard drives, RAID external hard drive setups, cloud storage (Google, DropBox, Amazon, OneDrive, etc), and even some DIY enclosures that allow you to build your own external hard drive/RAID setup.

I am looking for some guidance here because I just don't know which of these methods I should be using and what may be the most cost effective solution for a hobbyist such as myself. I'd like to spend less than $200 for now on a backup solution. I've thought about looking into cloud storage as well.

What are your guys' suggestions?

I really appreciate any feedback/help here.


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Todd Perchert
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 2:51:22 pm

This is the million dollar question. How do I archive my media? There are many ways to go about it. None are completely safe. What you are comfortable with and paying for will be the driving force behind what you do.

Cloud storage is pretty cheap, but has a premium if you ever decide to download your material - then there's the upload times...

HDDs are cheap, you can buy bare drives and use a "toaster" appliance to dock and store those safely someplace. Same with external drives, but they are slightly more cost. If you do single drives like that, you will want to copy your files to two or more drives.

RAID drives are not an archive, and they are not a backup - unless you can afford to have a pair of them to backup to. If you've ever lost data from a RAID 5 or 6 system, you will understand this all too well. They are nice, but do have deficiencies.

If you do go with a HDD with a spinning platter, make sure to spin them up every once in a while for a few minutes.

I'm sure others will have good thoughts on all this as well.
Good Luck!
TC


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Todd Perchert
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 2:52:35 pm

After all that. I'll say I usually go with multiple HDDs. Store them safely. Spin them up once in a while.
TC


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Carlen Cyphers
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:02:12 pm

Thanks a lot for the reply. What HDDs would you go with? Do you use some sort of bay to house them in? Obviously need some sort of way to hook them up via USB 3.0 or 3.1.


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Todd Perchert
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:43:35 pm

I get bare internal HDDs. They're cheaper. Use a USB docking station - like https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1058320-REG/startech_sdock2u33_usb_3...

Then there are HDD boxes that you can put them in to store. Something like
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M5BCCQ5/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01...

Use a good file/folder structure. Name files well. Label drives/boxes well for ease of locating.
Helps to have a spreadsheet or doc with a listing of each drive.

TC


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Carlen Cyphers
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 4:10:25 pm

Thanks! Maybe something like this would be nice:

http://www.vantecusa.com/products_detail.php?p_id=45&p_name=+NexStar+MX&pc_...

Would something like WD Blues be my most cost effective option?


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Eric Merklein
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 14, 2018 at 4:14:22 pm

Hi there.

Personally, I do not trust the cloud to store any media and like Todd said, download times can be forever. And one of these days someone is going to hack places like Google storage, and tat ain't gonna be a good thing.

I agree that backing up to your own drive system and lock the backup in a fire, flood and theft proof place.

Eric


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Robert Withers
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:12:55 pm

Hi Carlen,
I think of backup/archival storage as two items. 1: The backup I keep next to my edit station in case the drive I am editing on fails. 2: The backup I keep "off-site" (in my case a safe deposit box) in case my apartment burns up with editing station and backup.

I use spinning disks for these though of course you could use flash storage. You will probably get different opinions and data from different people regarding the long-term persistence of data on different media. Spinning disks do need to be "spun up" or accessed periodically to keep the memory from fading. I have no experience with archiving on flash storage devices.

I don't use any clouds for off-site storage because of my slow upload speeds. I tried one service once but it was not practicable.

You can use RAIDs (multiple disk arrays) for either of two different purposes: to speed up disk access during active editing, or to create an automatic backup during active editing. The second approach would create an onsite backup -- you would still need an offsite backup.

I can't think of any reason to use a RAID for a separate onsite backup disk. That would seem overkill.

Hope this helps,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Carlen Cyphers
Re: Cloud or External Hard Drive for storing media files/projects?
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:33:07 pm

Great thanks for the feedback - very helpful.


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