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Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?

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Noam Osband
Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 24, 2011 at 6:58:41 am

I'm going to make the leap from buying enclosed external hard drives to creating a setup that in the long run will be cheaper and easier for saving the large amount of data I'm accumulating by working in HD.

I know nothing about this topic and I've been trying to teach myself what to do going forward. So, this might sound painfully obvious but help me out: is a RAID setup the only option here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but a RAID setup seems like, essentially, a game plan for backing stuff up and then I just need to decide what kind of RAID and what particular hardware to buy to implement this. Am I right here?

If anyone has links to any articles or threads on the internet that discuss this topic really well, let me know too.

as always, many thanks!


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 24, 2011 at 12:44:38 pm

The main selling features of a raid are:

Faster thru-put.
Redundancy/protection.

These depend on how you configure your raid.

If you just want mass storage, get a ext. box that holds 8 drives. Or 6, or 4 -
Buy drives as you can/need them. The drives continue to have more capacity moving forward.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 24, 2011 at 3:07:09 pm

It's not the only choice. There's a certain logic to using raid, because it's a good system for working so when you go back to it you just plug it back in and you're working straight away.

If you don't mind moving files around there are alternatives; for large amounts of data (which is really what we're talking about) tape drives are pretty safe, or cheap USB drives might fit the bill if you store them carefully. You'll just have to copy the files back onto high speed drives to work with.


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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 25, 2011 at 4:26:26 pm

It seems to me that External Drives are a much better backup solution then a RAID. The main problems with a RAID for backup are:

1) All your data is on the same "drive" all the time. Despite the redundant hardware of a RAID, Loss of all your data is still only one failure away. A simple corruption of the GUID and you're sunk, for example.
RAID's are only redundant against hardware failure, not data corruption do to software problems and user error. You need to have totally separate copies that aren't even plugged in at the same time to be safe from software related problems.


2) what do you do when then RAID fills up?


I'll tell you what I use

I have an internal RAID that I edit from, but all my footage is backed up to pairs of external drives. That means that while I'm editing, the data is in 3 places, (the RAID, drive A, and drive B) and when I'm done I delete it off the array (the less data on it the faster it will run) and I still have two copies on two totally separate drives.

Those drives are External enclosures into which I stick bare internal drives. $70 for 2TB is pretty cheap, and I have FW800 and eSATA. When the drives fill up, I buy two new drives, take the old ones out of the cases, stick the new ones in, and drive A goes in a safe, and drive B goes in a drawer by my desk.

If I need the data again I grab the drive from the drawer and stick it in a cradle, and bingo there's the data again.


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Noam Osband
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 27, 2011 at 7:11:23 pm

Hmmm.....that seems like a good idea. Any recommendations for a enclosure for the un-enclosed hard drives? I know nothing about these products. What are considered the top, most reliable brands?


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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:14:08 pm

The ones I use aren't made anymore... Sadly. Any of these:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Raid_No&ci=8413&N=4294542361+419...

The ones made by Macnally seem to be well reviewed. I'd get one of the ones with FW800 and eSATA. Then you'll be covered no matter what computer you come across. Also, if you format them ExFAT you'll be able to connect them to windows computers too.

As for the drives that go inside, Newegg has better prices because they sell OEM drives, they're exactly the same drives just without the store packaging. These are the one's I'd suggest at the moment:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007603%20...

Western Digital's 2TB drive would be in this list but they have a high failure rate. Sadly, I own two of them. However, when one died, I had the other for backup and so nothing was lost.


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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: Very basic question: is a RAID setup the only option for backing up lots of HD footage?
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:38:12 pm

Hmm. Possibile issue with ExFAT:

http://superuser.com/questions/321161/disable-automatic-fsck-exfat-on-dirty...

Until recently, I've been using HFSJ+ volumes and MacDrive for windows compatibility, but I Switched to ExFAT cause MacDrive can be annoying, and I don't feel like buying another copy of it for a laptop I have... I haven't run into this problem yet. We'll see how it goes.

JM


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