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Clients & tapeless video retention

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Navarro Parker
Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 2:43:18 am

Going to a tapeless workflow has meant a geometric increase in storage needs. In the past, it was no big deal if a client returned three years later and needed to recut some footage we shot. We could just dig through storage boxes of DV tape. But now, it's pretty expensive to keep buying Fibre Channel RAIDs to keep everything online or nearline. Burning camera memory cards to DVD/Blu-Ray is incredibly slow and error prone.

I was at Motion 09 last October and in one of the sessions, a speaker mentioned this novel idea -- a client contract that puts a time limit on stored footage. It went something like this: At the onset of any job, clients sign an agreement that the production company would hang on to their media files for 1 year and after that it's deleted. They could pay an upfront storage fee (which would essentially be the cost of a 2TB hard drive) in which case it was held onto to 5 years.

Anyone have a contract like that? I'm not sure how to word it exactly.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 6:05:20 am

We give them 30 days and then promise to delete it, which we never do because the moment you do, the phone will ring and it will be them wanting to know if they can book a week, at full rate, for editing the old footage. If you keep it on the drive, they will NEVER call.

>>> Note: this is a serious post with a touch of humor thrown in >>>

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Mike Cohen
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 1:52:08 pm

We keep everything - or at least a trimmed project. Only problem is drives you have not used in a while tend to die. This has actually happened twice with seagate drives - Seagate will replace the drive but not the data.

Just last week a client asked for an AVI of the final edit from a 2007 project. Thanks to my handy excel I knew just where to go.

Mike Cohen


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Nick Griffin
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 2:49:32 pm

Harrumph. Posted my response before seeing Mike's.

It's not Seagate or any other specific brand of drive that fails, it's ALL drives... eventually. Drives are still rated in MTBF hours. That's "Mean Time Between Failure" - the AVERAGE time at which they will lose data integrity. In other words HALF fail before that number of hours and half fail after. As far as I know no company has yet to develop a hard drive which will NEVER fail.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 2:43:10 pm

Sorry for harping on a subject discussed by me before, but...

While it's still necessary to archive final shows and graphic elements, the simple choice for us was to go XDCam instead of P2 or one of the other card-based forms of recording. For about $21 apiece we have 23gig / 1 hr+ camera original disks sitting on the shelf. To me this seems like a major advantage.

As to archiving with hard drives, which we do for some things, it's important to remember that drives fail. And, I believe, that drives which sit un-used for long periods of time, tend to fail more than ones which are occasionally spun up. So for data which is truly valuable (especially to a client who is trusting you to maintain said data) it's probably best to have it backed up to more than one hard drive.


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Ed Cilley
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 3:45:45 pm

There a couple corporations I work with who chose XDCam over P2 for the same reason Nick mentioned. It takes man hours to manage and maintain all the data - versus logging the disc into the library. And if you need to revisit a project a couple years from now, you can grab the clips you need.

In answer to the original question, we charge a fee of about $150 per project to archive to LTO tape. Every project goes through this process and the line item for Project Archiving is never questioned because we talk about that ahead of time. Data Tape backup is something the IT sector has been using for ages. It is reliable and tested. An LTO-4 tape will hold 800GB of data which allows multiple projects to be stored on one tape. Desktop or internal tape drives are fairly cheap and tapes are about $60 right now. As with any media, there is risk of failure, so multiple tapes are suggested.

As far as storing data on HDD (Hard Disk Drive), you don't need to ask too many people about their experiences with crashed drives to know this is NOT an practical and efficient solution. There is nothing wrong with having a pile of HDD on the shelf with project material. But don't use this as your only archive/backup method. And if you don't spin them them up occasionally, don't expect the data to be there in a couple years.
http://www.larryjordan.biz/articles/lj_hard_disk_warning.html

Ed

Avid and FCP Preditor
_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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Mark Suszko
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 8:53:22 pm

Technically, isn't XDCam a blu ray disk?


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Ed Cilley
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 6, 2010 at 10:56:12 pm

Yes, XDCam is a blu-ray disc. And...?

Avid and FCP Preditor
_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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Nick Griffin
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 7, 2010 at 1:27:14 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Technically"

Yes, kind of. The technology is the same but the camera deck and the desktop drive won't play a consumer Blu-Ray and a consumer Blue-Ray won't go into the XDCam drives. Remember the short-lived DVD-ROM disks, circa 1999? If you took the shell off you had a type of DVD, but you couldn't put a regular DVD into the drive, first because it needed the shell to fit and second because it was a different format from a standard DVD. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

(At least that's my understanding of the difference between Blu-Ray and XDCam. No doubt there are others here who know far more than I do.)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 7, 2010 at 3:16:23 pm

My sneaky way of suggesting that BluRay is not a bad idea for long term storage.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 7, 2010 at 9:26:52 pm

Without getting into format wars P2 vs XDCAM, any tapeless workflow has advantages over Disc based recording as well as bringing long term storage problems along with it.

We are a P2 house and here is our workflow:

-All content is ingested in to a RAID 10 drive, eliminating the risk of disk failure.

-Content is created with Metadata in advance so it is simply placed in pre-selected slots for storage with no need to log.

-The content is also backed up to a raid 1 drive for long term storage with independent control interface.

-The Raid 1 drives are archived to VXA tape back ups for deep archive along with all project files.

-If the client does not wish to retain or archive the content the drives and VXA tapes are wiped.

3 years and we have not lost a single frame of footage.


Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Gary Hazen
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 7, 2010 at 2:04:32 pm

We chose XDCAM for this reason as well. They are developing a 100 GB disk - nearly 200 minutes of HD footage on a single disk. Given the amount of data that can be stored on a single disk shelf space isn't a problem.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:43:12 am

We are facing this issue pretty hard as well. Had a Seagate go down and did a data recovery that cost about $700. Got about 25% of it back.

So now we have backups of our backups. Point of clarification, if you have a backup hard drive and you delete the footage from your computer you now do not have a backup anymore! You only have a single copy of the data (on the "backup" drive). The only way to have a backup is to copy the data to another disc etc. Two copies of data is having a backup!

Honestly I am hoping for a solid state storage solution. Would love to have SD cards in, say, the 1 terabyte range for under $50...a person can dream.

800 gigs on an LTO huh? Hate to adopt a new format only to have a big tech breakthru a month later. Even 100 gig XDCAM discs aren't close to being large enough.

We have not started charging clients for backing up data...yet.



Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
Owner/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Ed Cilley
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 8, 2010 at 2:45:37 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "Would love to have SD cards in, say, the 1 terabyte range for under $50"

1TB will take a while, but it will come. Just five years ago 16GB of flash memory was huge - not so today.

[Rich Rubasch] "800 gigs on an LTO huh? Hate to adopt a new format only to have a big tech breakthru a month later."

LTO is now 4th generation (LTO-4) and LTO drives are backwards compatible two generations. Our LTO-4 drive will read LTO-3 and LTO-2 tapes. I wouldn't consider LTO a passing fad with concern for a big tech breakthru.

But that's an interesting comment. There is always concern that what I buy today will be old technology tomorrow when the latest thing comes out. After much research, we settled on deep archiving with data tape - similar to Emre above.

Whatever commitment (or lack there of) you make for backing up data (even copies of copies on HDD) is a decision. There isn't an industry wide Best Practice for this process. But there are some good suggestions in this thread.

As far as the original question - do we have a contract for long-term storage? No. We just archive every project and include a line item on the bill.

Avid and FCP Preditor
_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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John Baumchen
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 8, 2010 at 2:40:17 pm

We're about to embark on the P2 tapeless work flow ourselves and have decided to use blueray to burn the video onto a DVD as data files for archiving. At 50GB, we should be able to get most footage onto a single disk. Not sure if we should also put in some sort of tape back-up as well.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:23:13 pm

John,

We have a Rimage P2 archiving solution (60K) to Blu-Ray and we do not use it.

I would recommend a tape based system with a raid 1 back up.



Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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John Baumchen
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:29:48 pm

Emre,

Thanks for your suggestion about the tape. Would you let me know the details of what tape system you're using?

Cheers.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 9, 2010 at 12:59:14 am

We use a system by VXA,

http://www.tandbergdata.com/us/en/products/search-result/?action=2&product=...

It has been adequately problem free but in hind sight we might have gone for LTO, cost was an issue and this was cheaper.

Each edit bay has a RAID 1 drive (G-Safe by Gtech) that is used to archive content (1.5 TB).

The VXA is a multi tape drive that holds 10 tapes (1.6 TB)

Every night the footage is automatically backed up. Once the drive is full we assign new RAID 1 drive and the old one gets transfer to a holding spot. It is NEVER turned off just monitored with its external display. The VXA tapes are swapped out and the old tapes are archived.

Note: We are extremely displeased with G-TECH, 12 failures in 10 months, zero customer support. But thats another thread...


Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Herb Sevush
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:55:29 pm

Navarro -

Ah yes, the elephant in the room, the pig in the garden, the P2 tapeless workflow ...

AS has been stated on this forum tape is much more reliable than any disk backup. But instead of Data tape I might suggest a novel approach - video tape. It's cheap, small, easy to store, comes with this thing called time code that enables you to recapture at a moments notice.

I don't know the long term prospects for XDcam in terms of storage - does it flake, degrade or scratch - but I do know that in the past few weeks I've been digitizing show masters for a series I did on PBS 10 year ago from BetaSP - a few dropouts here and there - but nothing crashed and nothing was lost and you'll still be able to find a BetaSP machine 10 years from now if you have to.

The one major tapeless project I had I backed up to DVCPRO HD tape when I was done. If someone wants to recut it 5 years from now, short of a fire, it'll still be there.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 10, 2010 at 5:24:49 pm

Tape is much more reliable than any disk backup.

Both have advantages and disadvantages, with a 6000 tape library we are very quickly moving to get rid of them all. The space used to house them will be turned into edit bays to generate money. Big cost savings there.

But instead of Data tape I might suggest a novel approach - video tape.

Video tape cannot store project files, different formats require decks. DV, BETASP, DIGIBETA, MPEG IMX,DVCPROHD, HDCAM, HDCAMSR, HDV...etc Thats a lot of money to buy or rent.

a few dropouts here and there
Digital back-ups are lossless and no drop outs. There is also no time wasted digitizing, plug and play.

The one major tapeless project I had I backed up to DVCPRO HD tape when I was done. If someone wants to recut it 5 years from now, short of a fire, it'll still be there.

Our content will there even if there is fire with offsite storage and 3rd party cloud computing. When you commit your tapeless content to tape you also loose all the metadata, clip based editing/re-linking and option of MXF aware database search.

I just wanted to point out its not just black and white when comparing both workflows. There are things I miss about tape but at this point in our growth it seems so far away.

I still have Beta and DV decks available for the occasional client that has tape but that number has diminished greatly. (less than %10 of our projects are tape based.)





Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Herb Sevush
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 10, 2010 at 5:53:34 pm

Emre -

Your firm is obviously on a much larger plane than mine, but still a few observations

with a 6000 tape library we are very quickly moving to get rid of them all. The space used to house them will be turned into edit bays to generate money. Big cost savings there.

Yet later on you talk about the safety and wonders of off-site cyber storage. I work in NYC where the cost of office space is at a premium and I store my tapes in an off-site warehouse where costs are minimal especially with the size of digital tapes.

Video tape cannot store project files ...

Obviously not, but project files are tiny in comparison to media, perfect for digital off-site storage.

When you commit your tapeless content to tape you also loose all the metadata, clip based editing/re-linking and option of MXF aware database search.

If you create master files of your clips, that you later lay off to video tape, and edit with these master clips, you will have total re-linking capabilities. It is true as you pointed out that you will also lose all the MetaData.

different formats require decks.
DV, BETASP, DIGIBETA, MPEG IMX,DVCPROHD, HDCAM, HDCAMSR, HDV...etc Thats a lot of money to buy or rent.


All too true, but I'm assuming your talking about a facility that already owns a good number of those decks and is now having to deal with tapeless workflows. If your a start-up and if your clients are not bringing you tape then you don't need all those decks for backup, just get a Panasonic HD 1400 for HD and an SD93 for SD, around 24K combined, and your all set.

In my original post I was just trying to suggest that archival storage is the unspoken spectre of tapeless acquisitiion. I know the future will be tapeless but I think that for the present, especially if your a small company, the rush to tapeless may be foolish.

When the time comes that remote digital archival storage becomes a finacial reality on a tight budget, then I'll be all for it.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 10, 2010 at 6:38:30 pm

I hear you herb and agree,

There is no one solution for companies of different sizes but I dont think Tapeless workflow is out of reach of small companies.

But here is a small cost breakdown of archiving and storage for small companies:

-P2 express slot card reader $2000 (not needed if you want to use your camera.)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Panasonic+AJ-PCD35+5-Bay+P2+Drive&...

-10 Slot VXA machine $1200

http://www.amazon.com/Exabyte-VXA-2-PacketLoader-Packet-Autoloader/dp/B0000...

-VXA tapes 160GB at $70

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006HYOH/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=4...

-Caldigit Raid 1 Drive for online storage $500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=592...

So for under $5000

You have and storage and archiving system that can support any NLE and be very reliable. You would not need any decks since a P2 camera can shoot HD or SD.

You can bill your clients for archiving (hard drives, vxa tape) just like you would bill them for deck rentals or edit bay rentals.

Of course XDCAM would cost you nearly nothing to archive but it has its disadvantages as well.

I just wanted to present some alternatives with prices.






Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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John Baumchen
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 10, 2010 at 7:39:40 pm

We've decided to add a data tape backup to the SAN as well as Blu-ray burners on each edit station.

So the project files and video will be on the SAn, backed up on datatape AND blu-ray disks. That should provide enough redundancy and format variation should we have to edit a project in the future or need to restore some files.


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Nick Pearce
Re: Clients & tapeless video retention
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:40:42 am

Hi,

A few posts around tapeless workflows and content retention that may be of interest, or not!

No Tape on the Shelf
http://www.matrixstore.net/2008/09/12/left-on-the-shelf/

Secure Video Retention
http://www.matrixstore.net/2010/02/11/matrixstore-video-and-regulated-indus...

Tapeless Workflow Challenges
http://www.matrixstore.net/2010/01/27/video-workflow-challenges-and-matrixs...

Whilst this is content from a vendor blog the issues discussed mirror those in this thread.

N
DISCLOSURE: I work for a company selling disk base solutions....

Archive for Final Cut Workflows
http://www.object-matrix.com


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