We are searching for a way to manage the vast amount of media files that we amass on a daily basis.
We have long-term clients that have terabytes of data that we may or may not need every time they come in. We don't have enough room on our eSata array for all of our client's files all of the time.
We have decided to have our clients choose to either have their old files deleted or archived. If they choose to archive, we suggest they buy a RAID that we can plug into the system and edit from. Otherwise they are bringing in 1TB USB2 pocket drives. One client brought in two 1TB drives that we set up in a redundant array.
Once the files are on their drive, we can delete them from ours, but it makes me real nervous. What happens if their drive goes belly-up? No matter how's fault it is, it's still my problem.
The other obvious choice is for us to get more storage. Where does it stop? At what point does the client start paying more for storing files on our drives? Is that just the cost of keeping a client long-term?
What other strategies are editors using to manage clients' large folders of media?
We typically archive our clients' media to two raw mirrored hard drives. One of the drives is stored in a fireproof safe at the office and the other is stored in a fireproof safe in an off-site location. That way we know the data is safe if disaster strikes in one of the locations. Every couple of months we spin up the drives to make sure everything is ok. We use DiskCatalogMaker to keep a record of where everything is.
We considered archiving to LTO tape, but liked the mirrored hard drive method because it is affordable, data is kept in two locations, and the media can be quickly copied to the system when it is needed by using a drive dock.