A HD solution to hold 5 months of High Def footy needed

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jammiefreerider, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. jammiefreerider macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2006
    Our situation is we are going to be filming around the Alps for 5 months taking all our editing equipment and storage with us. We are a brand new start up company so almost skint. We will be filming in HD with EX1 (probably not 1080 possibly 720) and producing weekly podcasts. We will need to keep all our footage along the way as other companies may want to use our footage when we return in the spring.

    So what hard drive solution should I look for. I've thought about this so much but prices drop faster than a McCain votes and its hard to keep up. We will be operating on a MBP.

    So whats you opinions:
    Raid 1 or 0 or 0&1 or 5 or whatever

    I was roughly thinking Iomega Ultramax Pro 2TB in mirrored raid formation for reliabilty issues and sacrifice the speed benefit of striped raid.It has both eSata and Firewire so I have the option. Does eSata lose its benefit if were not using a striped raid? Its £640 for two and that would give 4TB of space which hopefully is enough...maybe....probably have to buy more as we go along

  2. calebmedia macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
  3. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    for drives, I'd seriously consider seagate's new 1500 GB drives. I currently have 4 in a solaris box and they are awesome.

    Check out these: http://www.g-technology.com/products/G-SPEED.cfm
    (scroll down the page, there is a rack-mounted setup at the top but the 'portable' one is mid-page.)
    They have redundant power supplies, fast drives, maybe you can call them and work out to get just the case and the purchase 6 of the above seagate drives. It will support multiple RAID formats and works over LAN and Fiber.
    If you would rather use eSATA and not ethernet, check out the other options on that page as well.
    Each page gives screenshots of speed data for different setups.

    I have not used them, but the drobo will only support 16TB of data with 4 of them daisy-chained together.

    Not sure about space limitations, but I would recommend having a smaller scratch disk of RAID0 that backs up to a larger RAID5 disk, and where finished projects can be copied over and archived. you'll get more speed with the RAID0 for editing but more redundancy with RAID5 in case of failure. (bring replacment hard drives)

    You can never have enough backups either. I dont know your budget or space constraints but having a backup of your backup is a good idea as well.

    Good luck with the trip and shooting, post the link to the podcast when its up.
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    I would seriously consider the recently proven option of shooting to SD memory cards using an ExpressCard adapter. Just buy a bunch of cards and make these your "master tape". Don't re-use cards, just keep using new ones. It'll be better/more reliable for archive and then you'll only need one ext FW drive to use for editing (and you can clear it between episodes).

    This is definitely the best option for a mobile workflow.

    you do not need RAID for XDCAM EX material. a simple FW drive will do just fine.

    to the above poster: drobo's are not fast enough for editing.
  5. jammiefreerider thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2006

    wow, thank god I asked this question before I bought everything. Thats a ma-husive saving!!!
  6. kaidomac macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2005
    I built a NAS (file server) last year using FreeNAS:


    It's REALLY stable and the Software RAID on the BSD system is as good as Hardware RAID nowadays - I have left it running 24/7 and have NEVER had a SINGLE problem with it in the 12 or 13 months of operation thus far. This option is great because you can slap on a motherboard with Gigabit Ethernet and share it with your whole team. It supports FTP/SMB/AFP/etc. so you have plenty of transfer options (FTP is the fastest, upwards of 40 MB/s if you're copying from a fast drive). I have 4x750gb in RAID 5 (about 2TB formatted). Like foshizzle mentioned, you can get 1.5TB from Seagate now; Newegg sells them for a mere $149 with free shipping:


    My suggestion would be to get a tower case with a quality power supply and a good UPS battery backup system, a reliable motherboard, and a low-power CPU like a 2.0ghz dual-core Allendale ($70) plus say 2 gigs of RAM ($20 for an 800mhz stick). It's overkill, but it's only slightly more expensive than a Celeron-based system and it's speedier and more future-proof if you want to re-use the machine in the future for something else. Get a case with lots of airflow (i.e. plenty of fans) to keep the drives cool and then go to town installing hard drives. Let's say a basic computer setup is $400 minus drives (Case, Fans, PSU, UPS, USB stick for the FreeNAS OS, Motherboard, CPU, RAM). If you pick up 4x1.5TB for $150 each, that's an additional $600 for a total of $1,000. Here's a RAID calculator for total size and formatted size: (I use 4 drives, 1500gb per drive, RAID 5)


    So that comes out to 4.19TB RAID 5 (formatted) for $1,000. Yup, 4TB with RAID 5 protection for a grand. Now your Iomega setup you're looking at is £640, which is about $1,000 USD, so what's the difference? First, it's networked - so you can easily share it with your whole group over a fast Gigabit network (again, use FTP - much faster than AFP or SMB). Second, it's exandable - with the Iomega enclosure you're limited to the number of drives that enclosure supports. With a computer case, you can just keep adding as many RAID sets as your case allows, or get an eSATA card and expand into additiona 4, 5, or 8-drive enclosures. It's a very expandable system. So that's something to look at.

    I wrote up a comprehensive tutorial on how I did it, PM me if you'd like a copy :)
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Just because you are on the road I don't think you can ignore backups. The general rules is to hace at least three copies of your data on three physical media and at two different geographical locations. We count raid devices as one physical media.

    What this means is that you should be mailing copies of the footage back to someone who can archive it fr you. Mail the memory cards, tapes or whatever you cameras record to home after you've copied them. The person at home makes a copy. You have to think about theft of the equipment or fire and so on and also the biggest cause of data loss, stupid operator errors.

    You don't say how much data you will be storing but I'm thinking many TB. If so you've outgrown those little g-tech external boxes.
    Sounds like you are going to need a "roadable" RAID box. Get one of those rack mount arrays then get a shipping case with a rack mount inside. They make nice ones. Look at the shops that sell to bands. Some of those cases are designed for amps and PA equipment. Most are designed so the front and rear covers come off, some are water proof and some have internal shock mounts. Our company puts a few hundred computers and related equipment in these kinds of cases. It is the best way to go if you are going to live on the road. The rack is shock isolated and they withstand airline shipping and rough handling

    Here is an example
  8. kaidomac macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Yes this ^

    There's no other feeling compared to doing a big project and losing ALLLLLL of your data thanks to poor or non-existing backup systems. It's a horrible, horrible feeling. I've lost data due to lack of backups twice (including personal files), and I will never, ever, ever, ever operate without a quality backup system in place again. At home I use a computer system with a RAID setup and a backup drive, a NAS, and an online backup service. Your data is worth more than any hardware system out there!!
  9. jammiefreerider thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2006
    We dont have the money or space for all that unfortunately. Would it be better for 2 separate Firewire drives as supposed to 1 mirrored raid. My thoughts are that the raid would be better because I will only have to write once not twice. I got told daisy chaining wasnt a good idea. Time is severely limited so the quicker the better.

    Im looking at getting 3-4TB. Its 2 person team with banger car and loads of ski and snowboad kit as well. Space, time, money we have very little of.

    cheers for the input everyone btw
  10. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    What I would do is buy 4-5 1 TB drives (the 1.5TB drives don't seem too reliable yet) and put them in individual FW cases (don't RAID anything). Shoot on SD cards. After the shoot load them on to one of the FW drives (I would copy the disk image to the drive, not just move the files). Then mail the cards back home.

    I would reserve just 3-4 of the drives for simply storing the footage. Then use one of the drives as an edit drive. When you finish an episode, Media Manage the footage on the edit drive so that only the footage used in the timeline remains (plus handles, say 3-4 sec). This way you have one copy of all of the master tapes on hard drives and on memory cards. Plus all the media actually used is living on a second drive. Now the important media is backed up a third time (and is easy to access if you need to cut from it later).

    kaidomac: a nas might be fine for backing up the footage, but it's not fast enough for video work. directly connected storage (FW/eSATA) is the only way to go.
  11. kaidomac macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Oh yeah, it's absolutely not fast enough for live editing, but remember he said he was going to be filming for 5 months - an archival system (i.e. large Gigabit-connected NAS) would be a very useful thing to carry along with the rest of the gear. I have 4 drives in my Shuttle-sized mATX NAS and it has a handle so it's easily totable. Plus, hard drives get slow the more you fill them up (except for SSD's, but those don't have affordable capacity yet), so having FW/eSATA/USB drives constantly at maximum capacity isn't the best way to go for performance. The method I use on my Macbook is to record the footage locally and process it if I have time, then archive it on my RAID-protected NAS. This works well for a big project, especially when you're on-the-go.
  12. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    yes, but filling the drives is fine if he has a separate drive specifically for editing (which doesn't get filled).

    btw, to the OP don't fill any drive past 75-80%... ever.
  13. kaidomac macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Yeah it sounds like a bunch of directly-connected drives will be the way to go for the OP. Newertech has a nice enclosure for $149 that supports RAID 1 (Mirroring) with up to two 1TB drives:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/GM8U2KIT0GB/

    I've also heard very mixed reviews of the 1.5TB drives. I'd stick with something reliable like a Seagate 1TB or a Samsung F1 1TB. OWC also makes their own dual-drive RAID enclosure for a little cheaper at $119:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFW924AL2K/

Share This Page