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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:04 PM   #26
WesCole
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Originally Posted by paulrbeers View Post
But (let me know if I am wrong about CrashPlan specifically) most of the "cloud" based storage I've used requires you to upload everything (you can't just send them a hard drive). I don't know about you, but around here both of our broadband providers only give 1mb/s upload. To even upload 1GB of storage means it would hog my entire upload bandwidth (rending my internet access virtually useless) for over 2 hours. Multiply that by 2048 (for 2TB) and you are dedicating 6months of your internet access to just uploading your library! At even $40 a month for internet, that's an investment of $240 in internet access fees just to get it uploaded (not to mention the additional $30 for crashplan).

Further, I bought 3TB drives on Black Friday for $100. I could buy two of them, (which is cheaper and faster than taking 6 months to upload), and I have the backups in my hands. If CrashPlan went belly up, I would have to find someone else and do it all over again yes/no?

To the point about not being able to hook up the drive in 10-20 years. That is a very serious problem. Years ago, we all backed everything up to tape. Problem is, tapes tended to use proprietary formats that now you can't even get the tape drives that your tape went into. With that said, SATA is not a proprietary format. Will it be around in 10-20 years? Probably not, but PATA which was around for well over a decade before SATA and is still possible to hook to your computer (I just had to buy a USB to PATA cable recently to make it work). My point being, is that if you use SATA drives, you should have plenty of time to move it to the "next big thing" before you have to worry about not being able to access your archives.

DVDR's have been proven to be unreliable (can't speak to blu-ray as I haven't looked into it). Even the best, have been found to disintegrate in less than 7 years even in the best of storage locations.

I always recommend archiving to hard drives and checking them at least once a year to make sure they do not need replaced.
Crashplan will send you a hard drive (for an additional fee) that you can copy your current files to and then send it back to them for them to add to your backup set. Then, you will just have to start backing up the new files you add. If you aren't in a hurry to backup, you can schedule the backups only to occur when you specify them, such as overnight. Also, I wouldn't factor in the cost of your Internet service into the overall cost simply because you would be paying for it anyway.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:20 PM   #27
BornAgainMac
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My approach is to migrate to whatever the standard media is at the time. Think in terms of a relay race with runners passing the baton to the next runner.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 02:17 PM   #28
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My approach is to migrate to whatever the standard media is at the time. Think in terms of a relay race with runners passing the baton to the next runner.
This is my suggestion. You're looking for long term storage, which is likely see many changes in data storage technology. There's no sense planning to change out HDD's every 5 years, or whatever, because that's only going to work for one cycle before the capacities are totally different. I think your strategy should just be "keep multiple digital copies" and check them periodically. Keep one set on the backup drives you have now, and make a set of DVDs to go with them, and maybe consider an online backup if you absolutely have to. In five years, re-evaluate and put the data somewhere else.

I know a lot of people are talking about bit errors in your files, but I think the answer to the question you're asking is definitely no. It's not at all like analog tapes, where each copy degrades the quality slowly. You could copy back and forth between two HDD's every hour for a year and not change the video quality. It's for this reason that a simple strategy of keeping multiple backups on different storage media, preferably geographically separated, will be fine. You don't need or want a SINGLE copy that is designed to last 50 years. You just need to keep moving the files around to whatever makes sense at the time, and if any of your backups fails that's why you have extra copies.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 02:33 PM   #29
mpainesyd
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Blu ray disks for archiving

Look at Blu ray disks - some brands are intended for long term data storage. I recently bought an MCE Blu ray burner:
http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/m...roduct_Count=2

I have been archiving to 25GB disks. I can also use 50Gb disks with this burner. They cost roughly the same as good DVDs per Gb. More expensive than buying a spare hard drive but a lot more robust. Of course this assumes you can find a Blue ray optical drive to read the disks in 10 or 20 years.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 06:15 AM   #30
RedTomato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpainesyd View Post
Look at Blu ray disks - some brands are intended for long term data storage. I recently bought an MCE Blu ray burner:
http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/m...roduct_Count=2

I have been archiving to 25GB disks. I can also use 50Gb disks with this burner. They cost roughly the same as good DVDs per Gb. More expensive than buying a spare hard drive but a lot more robust. Of course this assumes you can find a Blue ray optical drive to read the disks in 10 or 20 years.
Expensive, untested by time, and a rare technology. How many people burn Blu Ray disks at home?

Better to go with either
1. Several HDDs and couple of Mac Minis [or PCs] to read them (and monitors too)

2. Or use the industry standard archival tapes as ShiftClick explained. Always better to use a tech that large companies have invested billions of dollars into making sure it lasts as long as possible. Sony / Warner Bros etc are up the creek if one day they can't read their production archives.

PS - cloud storage - a useful secondary access option but requires constant feeding with dollars. Don't let it be the main archive. What happens if you have cashflow problems or bank account problems? Or you lose / forget password? Cloud storage isn't invulnerable either. Also subject to user error, accidental deleting etc.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 06:52 AM   #31
harcosparky
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Originally Posted by BornAgainMac View Post
My approach is to migrate to whatever the standard media is at the time. Think in terms of a relay race with runners passing the baton to the next runner.
Always transfer to the next new media.

You could archive all your current stuff to current media, lock it away for 20-40 years and then need to go and recover it.

What ya gonna do when you get out that 20-40 year old media and have nothing that can read it?

Does anyone make 8" Floppy Drives anymore?


NEVER USE OPTICAL MEDIA - CD/DVD/BLU-RAY ----- they become unreliable over time, or maybe they just need to be read in the drives they were burned in. In other words if you use an WXYZ Burner to make your backups, lock them away with that WXYZ Burner because they may become unreadable on a newer burner.

I had CD's here with scanned negatives burned on them that can no longer be read. At least I was wise enough to keep and store the negatives. Heck the negatives are in better shape than the scanned image files.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:00 AM   #32
Arran
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Redundant copies on multiple hard drives is good, but use different drives from different manufacturers. Identical drives might share a manufacturing or design defect. Diversity is good for survival.

Personally, I have copies of my home videos on four different drives. Three of them are 3.5" drives (imac internal, time capsule and an external drive that only gets powered up once a year to check it's still readable). I recently added a 2.5" "self-powered" drive to the mix. It also gets powered up rarely.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:01 PM   #33
mpainesyd
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Some Blu ray disks have exceptional storage life

Quote:
Originally Posted by harcosparky View Post
Always transfer to the next new media.

You could archive all your current stuff to current media, lock it away for 20-40 years and then need to go and recover it.

What ya gonna do when you get out that 20-40 year old media and have nothing that can read it?

Does anyone make 8" Floppy Drives anymore?


NEVER USE OPTICAL MEDIA - CD/DVD/BLU-RAY ----- they become unreliable over time, or maybe they just need to be read in the drives they were burned in. In other words if you use an WXYZ Burner to make your backups, lock them away with that WXYZ Burner because they may become unreadable on a newer burner.

I had CD's here with scanned negatives burned on them that can no longer be read. At least I was wise enough to keep and store the negatives. Heck the negatives are in better shape than the scanned image files.
I am skeptical of course, but some Blu ray disk manufacturers are claiming 200 year storage life or more:
http://delkin.com/i-5937153-blu-ray-...ngle-disc.html
http://www.dataarchivecorp.com/about-blu-ray.htm
http://panasonic.net/avc/blu-ray_disc/archive.html (50 years)
http://www.cucsolutions.com/optical_...EEE_Bluray.pdf (500 years!)

This does suggest that the original question about 20-30 year storage is feasible with Blu ray.
I have already pointed out that Blu ray readers might not exist in 10 years - but that is a risk with most permanent storage.technologies.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:16 PM   #34
mpainesyd
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Blu ray disks for archiving

Just had my order for 50Gb blu ray disks cancelled by the supplier - "no longer available" !
Not a good sign.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:40 AM   #35
Larry-K
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I've got a twenty year old hard drive sitting right here.

120MB, SCSI and it weighs about 5 pounds, doubt I could even read it, even if it would spin.

Go with something solid state that uses a widely accepted interface.

Call me in 20 Years, ask for the dead guy.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:09 AM   #36
n8mac
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Looking back 16 years ago when I was saving my high school art files, I had 2 choices available to me: saving to the hard drive and saving to 3.5" floppy disks. We had no CD burners because they were too expensive, slow, and untested. Then when leaving school I copied all files to a stack of floppies and kept them a few years until I got my first iMac, which had no floppy drive or burner . So I used work to get the files onto CDs, then put them in my iMac.

Since then with each Mac I used I just copy all files to my internal HDDs, then back up all my files on an external HDD. Two things still hold true: You will always be adding new files requiring more space and thus require you to copy your files to something bigger, and you need to keep copying your files to the latest medium you can afford. You can't expect anything you copy to now to still be usable 20+ years down the road. Some of those CDs I burned work, and some are totally unreadable. Now the latest iMac has no optical drive.

Just think about 20+ years from now what will still be relevant and able to store your petabytes worth of data? Those DVD/Bluray disks will be coasters and SATA interfaces will be history.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:32 AM   #37
utekineir
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in 20 -40 years will you still have an usb/sata port?
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:21 PM   #38
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Here's the best solution:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articl...-Here-to-Stay/

The authors have a sense of humor: "[DNA has] a proven track record as an information bearer."

I've linked to a news article, which cites the original (which I got around to reading today).

Here's what they encoded as a test:

" . . . all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets (ASCII text), a classic scientific paper (PDF format), a medium-resolution colour photograph of the European Bioinformatics Institute (JPEG 2000 format), a 26-s excerpt from Martin Luther King's 1963 'I have a dream' speech (MP3 format) and a Huffman code used in this study to convert bytes to base-3 digits (ASCII text), giving a total of 757,051 bytes . . . ."

They encoded it in DNA, transported the DNA to another location, and decoded it with 100% accuracy.

Cost? The encoding costs are estimated at $12,400 MB (-1) for encoding and storage, and $220 MB (-1) for decoding.

So it's not cheap, but it's long-lasting and (unlike other solutions proposed here) isn't likely to become obsolete. The authors write, "As DNA is the basis of life on Earth, methods for manipulating, storing and reading it will remain the subject of continual technological innovation."

Also, DNA storage requires no active maintenance other than a cold, dry and dark environment. They suggest that DNA storage may be cost-effective for archives of "several megabytes with a ~600-5,000 yr horizon . . . ."

See? Perfect. 5,000 years ought to be enough.

Indeed they are serious in this, and if anyone reading this thread finds it interesting, he or she should take a look at the original article.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:22 PM   #39
phrehdd
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So what have we all seen posted here -

Mechanical drives can fail
Tape backup can fail
Blu ray disc can fail
DVD disc can fail
CD disc can fail
Tape backup player/recorders can fail
Blu ray, DVD and CD burner/players can fail
SDD can fail
and so on....

It seems that one should not count on anything to last 20-30 years (though I honestly do believe there are disc media that fulfill the purpose quite well). Instead, one should have

multiple backups
test the backups
in case of failure of backup/archive, replace from other backup/archive
be prepared to transfer to newer technologies as needed
keep backups in more than one location

Testing archived information is as important as the archive themselves. No point in storing something only to find down the line it is not functioning properly. This is similar to a fail over test.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 04:49 PM   #40
Essenar
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The more important question to ask is whether or not you'll have the hardware/software to connect the device.

My best advice is to have multiple hard drives, check them every year and replace when necessary.

Also, get a really stable machine: I hate to say this, but most likely this machine will not be a Mac for the following reason-

You will disassemble the machine, shrink wrap and air seal EACH component. Store each component in an air sealed container. Keep back up/replacement parts handy.

Include a paper printed instruction guide on how to assemble, power AND operate the machine.

I know it sounds crazy, but if the zombie apocalypse does indeed happen, this would be the logical safe move.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 03:20 AM   #41
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Www.youtube.com
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:17 AM   #42
RedTomato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essenar View Post
The more important question to ask is whether or not you'll have the hardware/software to connect the device.

My best advice is to have multiple hard drives, check them every year and replace when necessary.

Also, get a really stable machine: I hate to say this, but most likely this machine will not be a Mac for the following reason-

You will disassemble the machine, shrink wrap and air seal EACH component. Store each component in an air sealed container. Keep back up/replacement parts handy.

Include a paper printed instruction guide on how to assemble, power AND operate the machine.

I know it sounds crazy, but if the zombie apocalypse does indeed happen, this would be the logical safe move.
In a zombie apocalypse, my archive hard drives would be most useful as small heavy objects to throw with great velocity at the approaching hordes.

Seriously man. If civilisation falls, your archived data files aren't going to be of much use. I'd rather stock up on baked beans.
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