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buying hard drives to start a project

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Yulal Lapira
buying hard drives to start a project
on Jan 16, 2019 at 3:46:18 am

Hi community! 

I am starting to work on a feature documentary and I am looking to buy my hard drives. The production has a limited budget and so I am trying to get the best bang (while maintaining smooth editing). Another parameter to consider is that the director has already got himself his own drivers arrangements (3 X 10tb drives) and it could be great to keep both of our stations synced. Lastly, we currently have 22 TB of footage and have some more shooting days coming (though I don't expect the amount of footage to grow substantially.) 

So far I have come up with these three ideas:

3 X Lacie d2 10tb [via daisy chain] = $1,500
3 X G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 10tb [via daisy chain] — $1,650
Drobo 5D3  + 3 X Seagate BarraCuda Pro = $1600

Would love to know what you think are the pros and cons, as well as if I am missing a better option. 

Thank you in advance!

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Jeff Pulera
Re: buying hard drives to start a project
on Jan 23, 2019 at 7:48:29 pm

The idea of 3x10TB drives may work, but is far from ideal. Not sure how you and director would keep files "synced" between two systems. And even for one editor, you will have media spread across multiple drives.

The most important issue I see is that the data is not protected - if any drive has a failure, you lose all data on that drive. Individual drives will have limited performance depending on what kind of footage you are working with. Also note that when drives get like 80% or more full, performance can take a real hit so you don't want to fill those 10TB drives too full.

Although budget is always a concern, some type of desktop RAID would be a better solution. RAID 5 is a popular choice for video editing, typically using 4 or more drives in one housing. The capacity of 1 drive is lost towards redundancy, so for instance a 32TB (4x8TB) drive in RAID 5 mode would be like having a 24TB drive. If any single drive fails, replace the failed drive and all data rebuilds! The only catch is that is 2 drives fail at same time, all is lost, but odds are against that happening.

Besides redundancy, a RAID unit is also going to be much faster than any single drive, since multiple drives are ganged together to multiply the data transfer rates.

From the sound of it, 24TB is not going to be large enough for your project. The G-Tech G-Speed Shuttle Thunderbolt 3 with 48TB (4x12TB) would accommodate your needs. Of course, one can choose RAID 0 for maximum capacity and speed, but with NO protection - any single drive fails and you lose it all, so not recommending that path.

The LaCie 6Big Thunderbolt 3 48TB (6x8TB) is another option and would be like a 40TB drive in RAID 5.

These solutions are not inexpensive, but then consider what re-shoots or lost edit time are worth.


Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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