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Best archiving solutions

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Tim Boknecht
Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 5:04:32 pm

I have a year's worth of projects on my editor that I need to archive so I can remove them for space. How are you smart people out there archiving? Blu-rays are expensive and don't hold much.

I'm thinking a large external drive committed as a backup would be a more cost effective and time effective solution, but is there a better alternative?

Tim Boknecht
Media Producer
Bravo Productions


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Michael Hendrix
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 5:27:26 pm

We back up to LTO-5. The drives are expensive but the media is fairly cheap. I think a terabyte backup is around $10.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 5:37:14 pm

[Tim Boknecht] "I'm thinking a large external drive committed as a backup would be a more cost effective and time effective solution, but is there a better alternative?"

If your looking to hold on to this material for 1-2 years, an external hard drive is your best bang for the buck. Longer term than that your running an increasingly larger risk of drive failure and data loss. LTO 5 drives cost about $3500-$4000 but the media is fairly cheap, about $10/Terrabyte. The media is as safe as video tape and, depending on your setup, reasonably quick to retrieve, although not as fast as a hard drive. Safest long term storage is on the cloud, where costs keep decreasing while speed keeps increasing, but for now it's still relatively expensive and slow.

The cow has an "Archiving and Backup" forum that you might find very helpful.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tom Daigon
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:31:18 pm

I like blu ray dvds for data storage. Faster then tape and most PCS have a drive.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Walter Soyka
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:54:20 pm

I respectfully disagree with Tom.

LTO-5 is very fast -- it's actually faster than most people's hard drives. The maximum data transfer rate is 140 MB/s. I'm writing an archive now that's averaging about 130 MB/s. By contrast, my back-of-the-napkin math says that Blu-Ray writing at 12x maxes out at 54 MB/s.

I am also pretty uncomfortable with the longevity of writable optical media. I have seen too many not-that-old CD-Rs and DVD-Rs fail to read to have a lot of faith in BD-R. Tape is not perfect, but it's built for archival use.

My personal backup/archive strategy is a paranoid mix of multiple RAIDs (two online, one nearline), cloud (via BackBlaze) and tape (2 copies each, BRU PE on LTO-5).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:01:02 pm

As someone who used to be in charge of backup for a large broadcast facility: LTO is the way to do.

Kevin Monahan
Sr. Content and Community Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Mel Matsuoka
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:06:46 pm

I respectfully agree with Walter :)

Archiving important data on self-burned optical discs is a very bad idea. They're okay for short-term archiving, but if you expect to restore that data in 5+ years without any errors, don't count on it.

I love to tell my story about the time I spent a whole weekend transferring my old CD/DVD-R "archive" discs to an external hard drive, and discovering that nearly 30% of the discs would simply not read anymore, despite being in physically flawless condition. Many of these discs weren't much older than 4-5 years. too.

LTO tape is designed for mission-critical archiving and backup, and is well worth the initial investment in the tape drive. Backwards compatibility with prior tape generations (up to two generations prior to whatever your current drive is capable of) is part of the LTO spec, so it's reasonably future-proof. There is a good reason why banks and hospitals use LTO, and if they're good enough for those types of applications, then it's definitely good enough for archiving my clients TV commercials.

Regarding the speed of LTO, I'd agree that relying on tape alone for both archival and backup isn't very practical if you find yourself constantly pulling old projects out of the archives for client modifications. For this reason, I use a hybrid tape/harddrive archival system. I archive the same data to both a "bare" hard-drive (using something like an eSATA/FW800 hard-drive dock like the Voyager Q), as well as an LTO5 cartridge.

When both sets of data are backed up, I take the LTO tape offsite and keep it at home, in case my office burns down or is vandalized by zombies. I keep the bare-drive archives on-site (storing them in anti-static boxes, like these ones from Wiebetech), so that when I need to quickly access old project files, I can mount them in a drive-dock and use them as a quasi-"near line" archive source.

This method works very well for me, as it strikes the perfect balance between speed, economy, redundancy and longevity.

Whatever archive system you implement, in my hard-learned opinion (In 2007 I lost a "backup" drive containing 2 years and over $100,000 worth of client projects), it's more important to concern yourself with redundancy instead of which actual method you use to actually archive your data. For example, if you go with Tom's BluRay method, you need to make–at a bare minimum–two verified, physical copies of each disc, and preferably keep them in different physical locations. If you only archive to external harddrives, then buy at least two harddrives––one for each redundant set of data.



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Chris Tompkins
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:12:39 pm

We back it all up to redundant hard drives, (USB) put em on the shelf, spin em up every 6 months.

All non-video files back up to the cloud as well.

Chris


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Tim Boknecht
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:36:40 pm

Thanks to all for your answers!

Chris, why do you spin them up your externals every so often? The context leads me to believe this is important somehow...

Tim Boknecht
Media Producer
Bravo Productions


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:34:02 am

Hard drives can freeze up from inactivity, dry rot or bit rot,
Google it.

Chris


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Tom Daigon
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:58:12 pm

Out of curiosity I checked out some LTO 6 systems. This is a company I checked out last NAB.

http://www.cache-a.com/productspro.php

At a $10,000 prices point I will continues to use Blu ray disks. :D

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Herb Sevush
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:04:00 pm

Cache-A is a complete appliance with it's own hard drive. It is highly recommended by everyone who uses it but it is a lot more than just an LTO drive. That's like saying your looking for a hard drive and since an HPZ820 costs 6K then that's too expensive for a hard drive. An LTO drive costs around 4K, which still might be too much for you, but that's what they cost. Against that you have to weigh the cost of loosing your archive because of the increased chances your optical media simply won't open.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tom Daigon
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:09:10 pm

Thanks Herb. Thats good to know. My research into that technology hasnt been extensive. So farmy projects dont need a long shelf life. And Ive read reports the Blu ray disks fair better over time then CDs or DVDs.
I guess time will tell. FWIW I have Blu rays from 7 years ago that still play fine :D

PS My Z820 was $14,000 before the $4,000 discount :-)

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Walter Soyka
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:14:54 pm

[Tom Daigon] "PS My Z820 was $14,000 before the $4,000 discount :-)"

Perfect! You can buy a tape drive with the money you saved! :)

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:13:22 pm

[Tom Daigon] "Out of curiosity I checked out some LTO 6 systems. This is a company I checked out last NAB.

http://www.cache-a.com/productspro.php

At a $10,000 prices point I will continues to use Blu ray disks. :D"


I looked at Cache-A, too. Very cool, but it was too much money for some features I didn't really.

I chose to go with a TOLIS Group hardware bundle. You can get LTO-5 for around $4k, or LTO-6 for just under $5k. Unlike the Cache-A, this is not a self-contained appliance, so you would need a computer to attach it to. I've got mine attached to a Mac Pro.

Did it cost me a lot of money? Yes. Did it take a lot of my time to archive all my old projects from the collections of hard drives around my office onto tape? Yes. Was it worth it the first time a client wanted to pull some old assets from a project I did for them four years ago? Yes. Do I feel better knowing a fire at my office won't erase my entire business and production history because I've got tapes at home? Yes.

I do wish you the best of luck with the BD-Rs, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take and I wouldn't suggest it as an archival strategy unless you can tolerate the big risk of losing your data after a few years.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Tom Daigon
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:17:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] " unless you can tolerate the big risk of losing your data after a few years."

I think thats speculation . As I said above, I have 7 year old Blu ray disks that still play great. I think reports of their early demise have been greatly overstated (to steal and butcher a phrase from Mark Twain). :D

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Walter Soyka
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:56:06 pm

[Tom Daigon] "I think thats speculation . As I said above, I have 7 year old Blu ray disks that still play great. I think reports of their early demise have been greatly overstated (to steal and butcher a phrase from Mark Twain). :D"

Fair -- I am speculating.

And also to your point, BD-R's phase change technology is supposed to have much, much better longevity than CD-R/DVD-R's dye technologies (though as always, it seems that disc quality varies quite a bit by grade and manufacturer).

I am not saying that anything burned to optical is doomed for bit rot in under three years -- nor am I saying that tape guarantees 30 years of flawless recovery. It's certainly possible that I'll suffer a tape failure five years from now while your BD-R works fine, or vice versa.

I'm just saying that BD-R's different physical structure notwithstanding, burned optical's history in longevity is poor compared to tape.

Also, one copy of data is way to close to zero copies of data.

Maybe I'll start a BD-R archive in addition to my LTO-5...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Tom Daigon
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:01:30 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Maybe I'll start a BD-R archive in addition to my LTO-5..."

And I will check out what LTO-5 has to offer at NAB. Maybe theres a price drop since LTO-6 is being promoted :D

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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marcus lyall
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Jan 19, 2013 at 3:52:38 pm

LTO5 and Presstore.

If you can afford the multichanger LTO5, then get this. Huge timesaver. But expensive.
The big problem with archiving is having to change the media.
Nothing better than going home for the weekend and finding that the whole 10tb has archived itself.
Nothing more boring than forgetting to put the next tape/disk in morning, noon and night.

We tried Retrospect, Bru and Presstore.
Presstore is expensive but by the far the best.
Bru is great if you like Terminal. (or was when we were using it).

The thing about backup software is to buy the right one first time.
Otherwise you back everything you have up, then realise the software is crap, and have to do it all again with the next one.

Other good thing about the multichanger is that you can schedule a nightly backup and stick 10 tapes in. Then you don't get the situation where you thought the backup was running but the tape was full.

That can get expensive too.



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Charo Sanchez
Re: Best archiving solutions
on Apr 5, 2013 at 10:45:41 pm

LTO is the standard for long term media archiving. It provides very reliable storage with a 30-year cartridge lifetime. LTFS solves the interchangeability problem. LTFS provides LTO interchangeability between archive systems that support LTFS.

If you want a cost-effective solution, check out XenData Workstation archives -or feel free to contact me directly. Our Windows 7 workstation solution can manage a large offline LTO tape archive and is extremely easy to use.

Charo Sanchez
csanchez@xendata.com
http://www.xendata.com


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