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Advice and Suggestions on this Archiving and Back-up Plan

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Jeff Orig
Advice and Suggestions on this Archiving and Back-up Plan
on May 21, 2012 at 5:16:39 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am a video editor/filmmaker and backing up/archiving footage has been a sore spot in my workflow for years. It has been ad hoc at best. And as a note, we have a fully tapeless workflow. Full project sizes including media, projects, and other assets tend to be around 300GB.

Another hard drive failure on Friday has made me reexamine my current workflow. I did a ton of research yesterday. And found this:

"The best of all worlds for your data safety is three levels of storage" (as per David Roth Weiss of ProMax Systems on Feb. 29, 2012) :

1) ONLINE STORAGE: RAID-5 protected storage (or 6 if you're big)
2) NEARLINE BACKUP: a 2nd tier redundant copy to inexpensive storage
3) LONG TERM ARCHIVAL: LTO tape or BluRay disc

Based on David's advice, the rough draft of my personal plan is below. If you could give me your thoughts, I would appreciate it.

For Video Projects:
1. Drobo S with 2TB Green Drives as my Media Drive (Green drives are recommended by Drobo for the S)
-- a. If I put three 2TB drives in the Drobo with dual disk redundancy, then it gives me 1.81 TB of useable space with 2 disks of redundancy and 2 bays for expansion.
-- b. Reserve the expansion for emergency use only
-- c. But keep it to 2TB so that it is easier to backup the full drive.
-- d. According to Drobo, Drobo S via FW800 is supposed to be fast enough to support video editing (4 simultaneous streams of ProRes422)
2. 2 TB Drive (hooked up via FW800 in the Newer Technology Voyager Q) nightly copies/synchronizes Drobo S using Data Backup Software (by ProSoft Engineering only because I currently own it. It there are other, better back up softwares, I am open to checking them out.)
-- a. Could explore additional back up of FCP projects to a folder on Macintosh HD
-- b. Could explore additional back up of FCP projects to Google Drive depending on size
3. Burn BluRay Long Term Archive
-- a. Toast Titanium can it take 2TB and spread it out over several BluRay discs
-- b. Test how long it takes to burn these discs and how many it will take
-- c. It won't necessarily be 100-300 years archival, but I will be happy with 5-10 years. Claims of archival length often don't match reality.

For Documents, Personal Pictures, Etc:
1. Google Drive folder copied to cloud (similar to DropBox)
2. Macintosh HD copied to an attached HD using Time Machine
3. Burn BluRay once per year of these files.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

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Jack Guthrey
Re: Advice and Suggestions on this Archiving and Back-up Plan
on Jun 19, 2012 at 8:00:46 pm

Don't use "Green Drives". A lot of them are slower than 7200RPM and spin down when not in use so overall you get a fairly large speed loss. These are fine for bulk storage where speed isn't critical but obviously that's not the case for video...

I'm not sure on the Drobo overall for video - it's a great backup drive and is good for non-intensive things like graphics but I'm not sure they are up to task for video. We lately have been recommending the G-Tech G-Speed Q or Pro ES. I personally would stick to eSATA or SAS for connectivity.

Also, for your editing drives, ideally you'd have enterprise drives in a RAID 5 array. These drives are less prone to failure themselves and if they do, the RAID 5 provides some type of security.

On your 'Long Term Archive' I'd think about staying away from splitting across disks if there is any proprietary 'special sauce' that requires a certain program to restore from these disks. All the work will be for naught if Toast abandons the tech or goes under in a few years.

Jack Guthrey
Carolinas Account Representative
Marshall Graphics Systems

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Jeff Orig
Re: Advice and Suggestions on this Archiving and Back-up Plan
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:54:36 pm

Thanks for the tips.

I am actually refining this further. I will post my updates. When done.


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