Archive Hard Drives- ok to fill almost 100%?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by videoed, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. videoed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    going through our archives, taking many smaller, non-efficiently packed archive hard drives, organizing them, putting them on newer larger hard drives, then re-archiving back to smaller hard drives, but this time more space efficient.

    now I know when we are editing video it is very commonly held that media drives should not exceed 80% capacity (or somewhere around there) for purpose of editing, etc.

    but how bout for archives that are meant to rarely if ever be referenced?

    should we still stop a bit short of 100% capacity? how much?

    Thanks!

    ed
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #2
    I would stay at 80-85% full regardless of the purpose of the drive... never go above 90%.
     
  3. gameface macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    On my archive drives I go to 5% and have never had issue. one thing to remember about archiving to drives, they aren't made to sit all the time. I would mount and spin them up once a month or so. At least every couple of months.
     
  4. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #4
    If the drive is only being used for storage then yes, you can fill it up. I'm not sure why the person above thinks that you have to keep it at 85% but I can tell you that I have some drives that are maxed and they are just fine.

    That being said, I am in the process of buying more storage space for the server that is tapped....

    It won't hurt the drive or your data.
     
  5. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #5
    do you have a technical reason for this? or just parroting something you read on the internet?

    for an archive drive, there is no reason to leave free space. i have several 2 TB archive drives. one of them has 1 GB free, and the other one has 300 MB free. pack them as full as you can, there is no reason not to.

    The purpose of leaving some "breathing room" is for drives that contain active working sets of data - applications create temporary files, you are cutting and pasting, copying and saving, you need some free space for that. none of this applies to an archive volume that you are dumping some data onto and then only -reading- from it in the future.
     
  6. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #6
    If the drives are for a complete archive and if you need to retrieve that date, you'd copy it to different media before use, then yes fill 'em up... However my advice was for most users who "archive" to an external and when they need to use those media files again, will edit from that external drive (rather than copy back to a free drive).

    Drives are dirt cheap, so I don't see why it's such a big deal to leave 15-20% free in case you need to work from this drive in the future.


    please, watch your tone
     
  7. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #7
    There's no reason not to approach capacity on an archive drive. Just be sure not to have all of your data eggs in one basket - single hard drives are not considered good form for archiving anything important.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    I always leave cushion on my archive drives because inevitably someone will want to revisit a project (which will add bulk to it) or they'll find a 'missing' asset they wanted archived and I don't want part of Project X to be on Drive #4 and the rest of it to be on Drive #17. If you only have a couple of drives for archiving it's not that big a deal but in my case I have about 60 drive pairs (each HDD has a clone) currently used for archiving so splitting projects across non-continuous drive numbers becomes a headache down the road.

    Of course w/all this being said, HDDs are poor choices for archiving. So if you have no other choice but to use them everything should be archived to at least 2 HDDs kept in different geographical locations and periodically checked for data integrity. You should also plan on migrating all of your data to new storage mediums (and possible new codecs) every 5yrs or so.


    Lethal
     
  9. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #9
    What should we use for archiving. I was planning to archive all files used in a project on dvds along with short clips that i want to keep such as outtakes? Is that right or wrong?
     
  10. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #10
    Tape drives are the best available solution for the time being.
     
  11. smokescreen76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #11
    Lethal Wolfe, have you ever heard of LTO? 60 paired hard drives? Which need to be spun up every 6 months or so? And have a shelf life of maybe 5 years. That doesn't sound like good economics to me.

    We have a Cache-A LTO 4 machine. The 800GB tapes cost about £30 and have a guaranteed shelf life of 30 years.
     
  12. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #12
    Dude, turn off the smoke machine, your visibility doesn't extend beyond the first paragraph:

     
  13. smokescreen76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #13
    Sorry, but I have no idea what this is referring to??
     
  14. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #14
    I think it was referring to the fact that you responded to LethalWolfe as if you didn't read this part of his post...

    LethalWolfe didn't seem to be recommending this HDD-based system, but rather illustrating just how cumbersome/complicated using hard drives for archiving can get.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    Storage capacity is a drawback for DVDs, but if what you are archiving fits on a DVD or two it's no big deal. You should still make multiple copies though preferably using different DVD brands (incase one brand had a bad run of blanks leave the factory). Periodically checking it and rolling over to new media and/or codecs every 5 years or so though should still be done. That's true for all digital formats because while you will still probably not have a problem reading a DVD 10-15yrs from now the formats your assets are in might not be supported anymore.


    I tried for a couple of years to get the company to adopt LTO w/o any luck. Initially the resistance was because they felt equipping a single machine with a drive and using Retrospect (or whatever) was too cumbersome and limiting. Which to a degree it is. The suggested alternative was laying off everything to tape. While that works with traditional video companies we are not that so I strongly resisted that idea. When the Cache-A came out w/it's drag and drop interface and network connectivity I thought I had a winner but the company balked at the price.

    Not too long after this we reached a point where we had to act and 1TB HDD prices were very cheap (about $120) so here we are. Our total HDD cost so far is still below what we would've paid if we'd gone w/a Cache-A system when they were brand new. This is only an interim solution though and eventually we'll move to a more tiered system where the archiving will be done via an in-house, cloud-based system that all offices nationwide will tap into. We'll have online (primary Xsan), nearline (secondary Xsan) and offline (HDDs) storage and archiving will be offsite. The door is still open to replacing the HDDs with LTO it just depends on where some other pieces fall into place.


    Lethal
     

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