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Archive methodology checkup

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Mark Arenz
Archive methodology checkup
on Jul 25, 2014 at 8:05:35 pm

Since the state-of-the-industry for media & project archiving changes so quickly, I tend to ask this question once or twice a year. Projects are getting bigger and archiving solutions aren't keeping up.

Here are the options I know of with a rough idea of price-per-gig based on the prices I'm seeing on B&H and Amazon. They're arranged from cheapest to priciest per gb:

LTO-6 / $55 for 1 6.2T / $.008/gb

Blu-Ray discs / $24.99 for 25pk / $.04/gb

USB Drives / $119 for 2T / $.059/gb

SATA / $60 for 1tb WD / $.06/gb

SONY ODA /$35 for Sony ODC300R / $.11/gb

SONY ODA / $150 for SONY 1.2T / $.12/gb

HP RDX / $99 for 320gb / $.32/gb

SSD / $115 for 256gb / $.45/gb

SD Cards / $50 for 64gb / $.78gb

Amazon s3 cloud / 49tb/month(avg) / $.03/gb/month

Note: the price per gb on each medium should be doubled since we ought to be backing everything up twice.

We're still caught in the middle. SATA drives are still a great bargain for large-format archiving jobs where Blu-Ray would be an all-day exercise, but I just don't trust it.

Then there's LTO. It's clearly still the price leader even with a $3-5k entry cost, but we've had tapes go bad on us, and at that volume a failure is catastrophic. Dual backups don't help you when the drive itself is ruining tapes. The biggest advantage of Blu-Ray is the ability to install the capability in each production room. Buying a blu-ray drive is a couple hundred bucks. LTO would have to be a single station running over the network if we assume that we don't need a SAN. Even over a gb network that will slow things down considerably.

Any thoughts?



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Mark Suszko
Re: Archive methodology checkup
on Jul 25, 2014 at 9:09:58 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jul 25, 2014 at 9:17:38 pm

Everybody already knows I have a superstitious dread of LTO based on a horrible user experience in the past. Other people like it fine, swear by it.

I share the same concerns about it you state. I'm still a BluRay fan, and I'm thinking, H.265 is just about here, promising double the density we got from h.264, at the same quality, maybe better. Couple that with BD's inherent capacity, and I think that becomes a reasonable solution for small to mid-size users who don't want to do a SAN for some reason.
I like too that the BD duplication process is fast and independent of the computer platforms, except for QC testing of the dupes.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Archive methodology checkup
on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:39:41 pm

I don't know a thing about H.265. Will it support alpha channels? That's a big deal for me.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Archive methodology checkup
on Jul 26, 2014 at 3:44:22 am

Right now its still at 10-bit color. But I think eventually (within the year?) they will get to 16-bit.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/162027-h-265-benchmarked-does-the-next...

I personally don't care about preserving alpha in this new codec as I'm storing completed, "flattened" projects as masters. The extra room it opens up makes space to lay off sub-master layers, though.


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Mark Arenz
Re: Archive methodology checkup
on Jul 27, 2014 at 5:01:28 am

Who's using SATA drives regularly for archiving? That's fairly cost effective and very fast. However, I feel like every drive I use is a liability. I pull them off the shelf every month or two, hook them up, and hope for the best. That's not sustainable over time if I grew the library to dozens or hundreds of disks.



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