I work for a production company and am in charge of the 'vault,' in which masters and compressed versions of all work is archived.
The body of archived work currently takes up around 5TB, which is being stored on a 6TB LaCie 2big (two 3TB WD Reds). There is no RAID configuration at all, which makes me nervous!
The caveat is that none of our computers are new enough to support Thunderbolt - the connection type that seems to be most preferred by modern archival technology...
How should I go about beefing up this Vault? I know I want a RAID 1 configuration of some sort -- possibly using SSDs? Is the use of Thunderbolt absolutely essential, necessitating the purchase of a new Mac Pro or similar system that supports it? Please let me know your thoughts on this; it would be much appreciated!
Of course, I'm going to say that LTO tape is your best long term option, but you do have options in the disk world if that's where you wish to stay.
If you have a free PCIe slot in your existing Mac Pro, the combination of a Highpoint Technologies 2722 SAS HBA and a 4 or 8 drive external SAS chassis (we like the Sans Digital units here for non-Rackmount installations) can provide from 8TB to 64TB of space and you can go to RAID 5 and get a combination of resiliency and capacity.
This configuration would give you ~18TB of useable space in RAID-5 configuration. These particular drives are not designed for speed, but rather for long term storage. In a 4 drive RAID-5 configuration, the resulting volume is still respectably fast and perfect for offload/archival, but it wouldn't be a good solution for live editing.
The SANS Digital line also offer Firewire versions of the TR4 units if you don't have an available slot, but you would be limited in your RAID options without the dedicated RAID HBA.