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Archiving Solution Advice - Drobo?

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Chris Brooke
Archiving Solution Advice - Drobo?
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:17:28 pm

Hello,

I'm hoping some of you peeps can advise about best practice for archiving.

Since my workflow went entirely tapeless I have been stupidly ignoring the fact that I badly need to invest in some form of digital repository.

I work as a video producer and the repository will be used to store rushes, production files and master videos from completed projects.

While I do not intend to edit from such a repository it will need to be accessed on a semi regular basis when clients come back to ask for updates to existing materials.

I currently have around 4TB of data stored on external WD drives - OF WHICH THERE IS NO BACKUP - and frankly it terrifies me.

I have a small home studio which has an old HPXW8200 Avid suite, a MacBook Pro and an iMac. The iMac networks everything together and the external drives containing my archive connect to it, and through which all the data is accessible to any machine.

Over the last few weeks I have been considering a Drobo storage solution. Although I here they are slow, this should not be an issue because, as previously stated, I will only be using the system for storage, not for editing of streaming.

I'm attracted to the Drobo because of the positive reviews I have read about the continues backup and drive repair feature.

However, what puts me off is, as I understand it, any drive which has been in a Drobo, can only be read by a Drobo. In other words, I could not take a drive out of the Drobo and have another machine access the data.

This leaves me wondering what would happen if the Drobo itself failed? What if Drobo go bankrupt and I am unable to purchase another device in the future?

In summary, what is the best (if any) way to future proof my archive and all the rushes and productions contained therein?

Should I just stick to using external drives and spend the time manually backing up each one as data is added?

Should I just buy a cheap USB internal hard drive reader, copy each drive when full and put them in a box until needed in the future?

I would be really interested to hear what suggestions of experiences people may have.

Thanks.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Archiving Solution Advice - Drobo?
on Feb 21, 2013 at 6:32:18 pm

YES - after all these years, I can finally say a good application for the Drobo - it will work perfectly fine as a network backup drive product. It is useless as a shared storage server (as many people try to use it for), but works perfectly fine as a backup system.

But you have already stated the obvious -
"Should I just buy a cheap USB internal hard drive reader, copy each drive when full and put them in a box until needed in the future?"

Reply - YES. This will do the same job as the drobo for you.

and-
"This leaves me wondering what would happen if the Drobo itself failed? What if Drobo go bankrupt and I am unable to purchase another device in the future?

In summary, what is the best (if any) way to future proof my archive and all the rushes and productions contained therein?"

REPLY - then spend more money and buy an LTO solution from Tolis Group or Cache-A. Does it cost more money ? Yes. Will this "future proff your archive" - yes.

Bob Zelin



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Chris Brooke
Re: Archiving Solution Advice - Drobo?
on Feb 21, 2013 at 6:47:09 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks for this.

I've been having an interesting chat about this with some peeps over on DVInfo.net

Here;s the link if your are interested http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-discussion/514482-archiving-solution-ad...

In summary to this discussion I am now leaning towards the initially cheap and cheerful option of buying a USB SATA Doc and backing up that way.

In response to the DVinfo thread I wrote:

I think I should have been more clear about defining what I mean by storage and backup.

A backup on an LTO tape is just that - a backup. It's not a way to store data in a way which is immediately accessible.

There are many reasons why I often need to tap in to my archive at a moments notice. It may be because a client needs an update to a video (e.g. a new logo), a complete re-edit of existing material, or maybe I want to dig out an old after effects composition which I think will be of use in a current project. Therefore whatever, storage solution I choose needs to let me quickly access individual files.

Maybe what I should be looking at is having my archive on HDD, and a taped backup of those (kept off site) rather than a simple HDD copy of the original.


Bob, are you aware of any possible problems using individual large SATA drives (2TB+) as storage (one original, one duplicate) rather than RAID? I have also heard they should be plugged in once in awhile to keep them 'alive'....


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Bob Zelin
Re: Archiving Solution Advice - Drobo?
on Feb 23, 2013 at 6:19:03 pm

http://ww2.productionbackup.com/node/40



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