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Need backup/archiving options, any opinions?

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Chaz ZelusNeed backup/archiving options, any opinions?
by on Jan 10, 2009 at 1:01:45 am

Hello fellow cowsters,
I own and operate an event videography company that has recently made the switch to HD. As you can expect, the amount of data per project has increased dramatically, and we are rapidly becoming overwhelmed. As an example, I just recently finished a wedding that clocked in at over 300Gb for the entire project folder.
As far as our production flow is concerned, we shoot Panasonic P2, dump the data to external G-Raid drives, unwrap, cut, finish etc. So far we've been keeping up because the price of data storage is relatively cheap, at least in the short term.
However, as we finish projects we are looking to upgrade to a more reliable and hopefully cheaper backup/archiving solution, preferably solid state (disk, tape, etc.) for reliability and ease of storage. We currently operate about 15Tb worth of storage, but we can't go on buying new drives.
I feel I don't need to go into too much depth here, but to continue with the previous example, pairing down the data from the wedding to only absolutely necessary files would still leave me with a chunk of data somewhere around 100Gb.
I am posting this in the hopes that some of you are encountering the same problems as we move into the world of HD. I have done some poking around, but thought this might be a good place to start.
Thanks for your time!


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Mark SuszkoRe: Need backup/archiving options, any opinions?
by on Jan 14, 2009 at 4:48:54 pm

Chaz, nobody else answered your question, I think it is unique for every situation, I'll just offer what we want to do in our own shop.

We have Panny 900's shooting to DvcproHD tape and simultaneously to firestore hard drives. The volume of our HD is way less than yours, we decided against putting hard drives on shelves as an archival method, and are planning to burn everything to bluray for HD archival and also as a distribution medium for those clients that can't take product via FTP. My theory for this is that BD is the best overall value *for us* and offers multiple ways to access the material even without a computer, thru game systems, stand-alone set-top players, as well as computers with BD-capable drives in them. It is that ubiquity and flexibility that I think helps give a standard more longevity. Not to mention it is darned cheap to burn multiple copies fast when you need them. A little harder to locate, load, and send out multiple hard drives that will work with anybody's computer:-)

Does BD have the overall capacity to handle your much larger files? I can't say, perhaps you'll have to span the big ones across multiple disks. No solution is perfect for everyone.

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Perrone FordRe: Need backup/archiving options, any opinions?
by on Jan 28, 2009 at 11:38:19 pm

Oddly enough, I sit here archiving my projects from the past 8 years onto BluRays. The 25GB ones are about $6 a disk on the spindles and the 50GB ones are still clocking in north of $30.

To my mind, you really have two options for archiving.

1. Tape (LTO, DLT)
2. Optical (Blu-Ray)

If you go the Blu-Ray route, the hardware can be repurposed to create disks for clients or for yourself. You can even get a portable one like I did so you can burn and watch Blu-Ray on the road. If you go the LTO route, you can backup MUCH faster, but it's a non-portable solution, and you'd need access to another LTO machine if anything ever happened to your own.

I chose the Blu-Ray route for any number of reasons, and am VERY glad I did. What I cannot understand is why your media is so large! I transcode to DNxHD and it's about 18GB per hour. So 1hr of footage runs about the same cost as an HDV tape. That's pretty fair in my view, and the prices are continuing to fall.

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khanh nguyenRe: Need backup/archiving options, any opinions?
by on Apr 1, 2009 at 12:56:09 am


I read on dvinfo that you have the older version of the cineform codec 3.3.0 I read about your "trick" with vegas when searching for a solution to my issue (similar to yours). Neo Scene messed up my cineform 2.8 (which came with Vegas). You said in your thread over on dvi that you'll help out ppl with similar issue.

khanh215 at


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Chaz ZelusRe: Need backup/archiving options, any opinions?
by on Feb 4, 2009 at 8:17:07 pm

Mark and Perrone,
Just wanted to thank you guys for responding. I am personally leaning towards blu-ray at this point. As you said, the biggest appeal is the fact that the hardware necessary can double as archiving and also a service we can offer to our client.


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