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Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"

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Randy Hansen
Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 6, 2018 at 8:42:34 pm

Literally, the title states what happened.

I've worked here for about 9 months. The other day, the boss walked in with a box of a dozen or so external hard drives from the past decade containing video from our conventions, in-house training sessions, sub-contracted video productions and the like and gave me the mission of archiving all them for later retrieval (if needed).

Video quality, codecs, etc. are all over the place as I am the first full-time video professional the company has ever had on staff and there was not a video standard in place until I arrived. My guess is around 10-15 Terabytes of whatever in stored on the drives.

I may have an older 3 years old), unused server available for renovation and use solely to store the video.

Any suggestions, using the server or otherwise, about how to transfer the video to somewhere for safe storage and retrieval?


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Trevor Tyre
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 7, 2018 at 1:39:26 pm

Hi Randy, for long-term preservation you might consider LTO. This format is a great archival medium, but it's unfriendly when you need access to those files for a project, so if you have access to 10-15 TB of spinning storage then keep those files there too.

Your next task is sorting all those video assets, that's another thread altogether.

Best,

Trevor

Trevor Tyre | Partner
The Media Concierge
401 Logan Ave. Suite 206, Toronto, ON, Canada | M4M 2P2
O: (416) 778-5500 I C: (647) 994-3003
trevor@themediaconcierge.com


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Mike Cohen
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 7, 2018 at 6:05:26 pm

Check out Gentibus - it will scan your hard drive and create a searchable catalogue of folders and files. It won't organzie anything but it may be a good first step just to know what you have.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 8, 2018 at 4:26:05 pm

Add" "archivist" to your resume:-)

You have many decisions ahead. One of which is, what common standard, if any, do you want to transcode all this stuff to, so it stays readable and usable?

When we had this discussion, we couldn't afford totally uncompressed storage for the volume of material we have, so we settled on ProRes 422 for everything meant to last. I don't know that that's a permanent choice, going forward... There are more compact formats out there, and newer ones, and it's always a guessing game as to what will remain viable over the years... so you also have to plan for occasional updates and migrations of the existing archived materials as new and better formats come up, and old ones lose support. This is job security for life because the issue never remains static. I wonder that other COW users think is a dependable codec to standardize on?

And you really don't want to put all your archival "eggs" in one basket - i.e. just one server or RAID. Just makes it easier to lose everything in one catastrophic event. So, plan and budget to back-up the backups with offsite duplicate storage. And yes, that just doubled your costs.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Jun 21, 2018 at 5:04:27 pm

When I'm done with a project and have enough completed projects I back them up to an LTO tape. I'm on a mac so I use Neo Finder to make a record or every file on the tape. Then when someone says go and find the ACME Drill video I can type ACME Drill into NeoFinder and it will tell me what LTO tape it is on and then I'm off to the races...after I wait a while for the tape to transfer back to my hard drive.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Allan Barnwell
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Aug 28, 2018 at 8:13:22 pm

One format very few people mention is RDX. But for those looking for something of a compromise between using a RAID system for backup or LTO for archive, I think RDX is an excellent choice. You can get a 5TB cartridge and a USB 3 dock for under $700. Just add additional 5TB cartridges as needed. Not for everyone, but a really great option no one seems to talk about.

Allan Barnwell
TM Television


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Tim Taylor
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Sep 14, 2018 at 5:02:48 pm

You can get a 5TB cartridge and a USB 3 dock for under $700.

I'm using a dock and 6TB HDDs for backup now. I'm just too impatient for LTO.
I like the additional bump/drop protection of RDX, but It's still spinning media, right? So, temp & humidity environment is a consideration, as well as, occasional exercise of the cartridges/disks to ensure long term readability of your data.

Tim Taylor, Producer/Editor
RESolution Media Services, LLC


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Allan Barnwell
Re: Boss handed me a box of external hard drives and said "archive all this video somewhere"
on Sep 19, 2018 at 10:09:24 pm

You can read the whitepapers on RDX for the shelf life expectations. It doesn't require regular spinning up since the heads are parked which is what causes damage when normal drives sit. Thus it becomes a long-term option - but still magnetic like LTO.

Allan Barnwell
TM Television


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