I have just started work on a project where we need to archive/backup about 8000 rushes tapes from the last 20 years onto LTO tapes and a central networking system for online viewing. (Cat DV i think) Avid being used as the capture tool. I am brushing up on Avid as i have always been a FCP user. Could anyone walk me through the best process and what file formats to save to on the LTO tapes as they will obviously be master copies??? I have been researching but am a little sketchy on most of this and require some back up from people who are in the know.
Great question so we hope we can offer some guidance. When ingesting the media the files will be stored on some form of central storage allowing many files stored together for QC of the ingested media.
Once in place the MAM (CatDV) can catalog, record or add additional information or metadata. Assuming there is no editing required this will for a simple workflow to write off to LTO. If editing is required another step can be added simply.
There are however a few things to consider.
Speed of tape writes. LTO-7 for example writes at 300MB/Sec so the storage system need to be able to provide files at that rate to the tape to ensure full speed. If the storage cannot then the tape writes can take a long time. Add in another drive to increase performance and then you need 600MB/Sec and so on. All of course whilst you are writing to the storage with new captures.
Multiple copies. To ensure you have some integrity it is best to write at least two copies of integrate cloud storage to ensure that extra copy.
Tape format. There are many different archive formats however some of these can be propitiatory meaning to restore you need the solution that wrote the file in the first place. Open formats like LTFS (Linear Tape File System) are useful as the tape can be mounted on any OS, with the relevant drivers, as a volume and data copied off. The downside is that each tape is volume so spanning data across tapes can be problematic. TAR or USTar (Uniform Standard Tape Archive) is an established universal format and written in the correct form can be very fast even with mixed file sizes.
MAM integration. Being able to have the MAM solution send files to tape once the QC process is complete is ideal and in this case CatDV can certainly do this for you.
We do have a solution that would fit your requirements and we would be very happy to discuss this with you and show how we tackle some of the hurdles mentioned above.