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Video archive structure and process?

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micah sawyer
Video archive structure and process?
on Mar 4, 2013 at 9:27:56 pm

We are trying to get a handle on archive and backup of our projects.

We have 6 editing machines (FCP and Premiere)
A few years back we dropped a ton of money into the apple final cut server (which they could never get working) and now just use the SAN as our main editing / storage. (we have around 50 TB)

We also have a Drobo that we use to mirror some of that. But we are running out of space again and figured there has to be a better more thought out way to approach this.

Whats the "Right" way to do this? In my head it's something like.
SAN = All the LIVE projects + last 6 months of closed projects
DROBO = projects closed 6 months - 1 year ago
TAPE = All projects greater than 1 year, copied to 2 tapes. 1 Kept local, 1 Kept remote.

But I have no Idea if there is a "Right" way.

Thank you!

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Tim Jones
Re: Video archive structure and process?
on Mar 5, 2013 at 3:40:57 pm

Actually, we're all sort of "making it up as we go along" in this space. While other IT environments have long-argued and documented processes, most of those processes don't really apply to our space.

Your "rough" outline is a very valid one and it will support your workflow. However, I'd add a 4th super-layer involving tape - When you ingest or create, also create tape backups of your working data. This provides a "roll-back layer" and an "oops, that's really ugly" recovery layer.

Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!

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micah sawyer
Re: Video archive structure and process?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:15:22 pm

Are their products or software that help automate this process? Or is it mainly "Keep good folder structures and excel sheets to track tapes"?

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Mathieu Xavier
Re: Video archive structure and process?
on Mar 19, 2013 at 5:10:40 pm


There are lots of ways to tackle this issue, here are a couple I've seen in production (at various studios):

1) FileMaker + Blu-Ray

Each project gets an entry in a FileMaker Db and a Blu-Ray disc is burned of raw shooting materials. Also a final project Blu-Ray is burned at the end of the project.

(This works but doesn't back up current projects after ingest, or work in progress).

2) Backups + Spread sheet

Backup all data to tape, and archive final projects to tape, keep track in a spreadsheet.

(Not my fav method, but it works for some places).

3) Backups + Archives using PresSTORE

Use Archiware PresSTORE Backup to run continuous backups to tape or to disk. For work in progress. And use PresSTORE Archive to archive finished projects and raw shooting materials to tape. I like the Archive module of PresSTORE because it keeps a local database of the Archives that is searchable. The best thing is that it makes proxy video thumbnails that you can actually see what it is before restoring. Also you can add a few metadata fields to the archive like producer, client or whatever is most useful.

4) Use a DAM/MAM solution to keep track of projects and archives

This used to work more or less with Final Cut Server since it supported Archive devices that would move the primary representation off to a cheaper disk or tape, but keep the video thumbnails in the database.

You can do this with Cantemo Portal or with Axle Video. And other solutions as well.



DAM / SAN solutions

Mat X Network Consultants

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