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Re: Long term storage, what's your solution?

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Don Hertz
Re: Long term storage, what's your solution?
on Jan 6, 2015 at 2:39:13 pm

I agree with most here - you won't find a sub-$1000 LTO drive but it's definitely still the way to go.

If you back up to a hard drive and then leave it on the shelf for a year or two without spinning up it can be like trying to start a car that hasn't been started in 2 years.

At the last production company I worked at we have 30+ external drives on the shelf housing all of our old shows. When the producers decided they wanted to do a "10 year" retrospective on the show we had to go back through a lot of that footage. Approximately one out of every 3 or 4 drives would not work.

In another instance, we had an intern restoring footage from a shoot that happened about six months prior, he made the mistake of grabbing the wrong power supply and fried the drive. No problem he thought, as we make duplicates of every drive in the facility, however, he then plugged the backup drive into the exact same power supply and blew that one out too. He didn't realize the power supply was the problem, he assumed the original drive was just dead. All the work was gone. None of these are issue with LTO.

LTO is worth the investment. Look into an external drive that supports LTFS as that's a cross platform file system standard. You don't want to be stuck unable to restore your data in ten years because the proprietary software you used to backup the files to tape is no longer manufactured.

As far as the comments about not being able to read a specific file format in ten years - that will always be a problem. Just try to stick with common, widely adopted formats. Then in an emergency ten years from now there's at least a good chance you are going to be able to find a converter that can re-compress the files if you need to. I have no expectations that I'll be able to open a full Premiere, Avid, or After Effects project 10 years from now - but I at least make sure the video files are in a common format before they go to tape.

Good luck!


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