Tape backup for video?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cwright, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    I'm looking for the a cost effective way to backup/archive my video projects. I'm currently working off four internal drives and backing up just my final renders on DVD and external drives. I need a way to backup all my raw footage as well, which can be up to 100gb per project.

    I've been looking at the Imation RDX but I'm not finding much in the way of user reviews for long-term use, which concerns me. At that link though they are offering the USB 3.0 docking station free when you buy 3x 1TB disks at $235 each, which would solve my immediate needs and leave me just needing relatively inexpensive tapes for future projects.

    Can anyone recommend that system, or suggest a better alternative?
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The link is to a HDD in a custom enclosure that resembles a data tape. No sense spending the money on that instead of just getting an enclosure that allows you to easily swap drives and a bunch of bare harddrives.

    Archiving to data tape is the best way to go but the up front cost is going to be more than HDD and data tape isn't going to be as fast and convenient as just dragging and dropping to a HDD. HDD aren't designed to be used for long terms storage but if you go that route always do them in matched pairs and make sure to spin up the drive every 6mo or so to help keep the internals properly lubricated.

    Unlike analog archives that were largely set it and forget it, digital archives should be migrated every 5yrs or so to new media and possible new file formats so you don't end up with an archive of 5 1/4 floppy disks full of Lotus Notes files that nothing can read anymore. With this need for migration that reduces the need to use an 'archive grade' storage medium that can last for 100yrs.

  3. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    +1 on migrating every 5 years or so. A musician friend of mine has some of his past performances on 3/4" Umatic. Finding a post house that will rent out a 3/4" player so he can back up his stuff via my BlackMagic card is proving to be a challenge and is not cheap. And we are less than 30 minutes to LA.

  4. OCICILIONI macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    video backup

    Take a look at Other World Computing external storage solutions. The Mercury Elite Pro Qx2. It is a customizable enclosure in which you can put 4 external hard drives in Raid 5 configuration. With this unit you can have the safety of redundancy, and if a drive fails you are able to hot swap it without losing any data. It can connect via firewire 400, firewire 800, usb 2.0 or esata. And they include the cables.
  5. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Thanks for all the info. Looks like I'll be passing on the Imation kit then. I've looked at some data tape solutions, and you're right – very expensive. Also they all seem to be SCSI based. Why have none of those drives been updated with modern I/O?

    Thanks for the input. I had actually looked at several RAID 5 setups, including this OWC model, since at some point I'll need both a large drive array AND a better backup solution, but due to budget constraints I thought I'd try to wait on buying the RAID. Maybe I should go for it now anyway. The Mercury Elite looks great. I could almost swing the $1k for the 12TB model... but then they show the Enterprise model which is "Recommended for video", but it's $2,419 for the 12TB! I understand the better warranty, etc for enterprise drives, but speed-wise, is it really necessary? I would assume that given this is a RAID volume it would be even faster (via eSATA) than my internal drives, and be a good solution for my new work drive. Right?

    I'd be curious to get input on other models too. I've looked at the Drobo, which I decided against due to reports of it being slow and the proprietary RAID system, and also the Synology, which would be nice given the 5 bays (or maybe the 8) versus 4 on the OWC. And also USB 3, even though I'd be using eSATA on either anyway.

    Are there any other solutions I should be looking at?

  6. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Most are Enterprise type options and they dont do TB/FW/USB of any sort.
    In the past it was DLT for us but that proved too costly for our needs.
    Now we let the IT dept handle that part.
    We just purchased a ton of G-Tech FC XL RAIDs (discontinued) and use that as back up. Also added Dantz Retrospect as bu software for XServe and clients.
  7. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
  8. initialsBB, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Apparently Cache-A's LTO solutions are autonomous, meaning you don't need to shell out the money for both the LTO drive and software like Retrospect running on machine that is more or less dedicated to the task of archiving. I've never used these decks but they have been recommended by people I trust.

    LTO isn't exactly cheap upfront, but it has a fairly low maintenance cost once the system is set up.

    PS : Hard drives have a problem with what some people grimly call "infant mortality", meaning that they have a higher chance of breaking down in their first 200 hours of use. Once this 200 hour period passes, they have very low failure rates until they reach their wear down period after a few years... The problem this poses is that if you purchase a new hard drive, use it for a backup and then store away you face the risk that it could break down very quickly after the first backup. This situation may have changed with recent manufacturing processes, but I wouldn't count on it. For this problem it can be recommended to wear in hard drives before committing them to backup-and-store strategies, such as running some kind of benchmarking software on them for at least a couple of days. This can be mitigated by sourcing different brands and models in the backup pool.

    source: http://www.3dchannel.fr/marques/cache-a/etude
  9. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Thanks for all the info on LTO drives. At some point that will probably be the solution for me, but I don't think I'm ready yet. I think my first move is to get a new RAID 5 setup (with new drives) as a work drive, and use my existing 3TB internal drives and blu-rays for backup.

    (maybe I'll need to move this to a new thread...)

    On that note, I do like the OWC solution that was mentioned before, but I'm looking at cheaper solutions.

    Here's one: http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid-plus/tr5utbp.html

    I can get that for $280, plus 5x $150 for 3tb hard drives. So $1,030 total for a 15TB RAID, vs $1,880 for the OWC 16TB RAID (which is 4x4TB). It also supports USB3, which the OWC does not. It's a little frustrating that they advertise that the included PCI card supports 6gbps SATAIII, but on the manufacturer site it indicates that the enclosure doesn't actually support SATAIII speeds. Why can't I find any enclosures that do?

    Anyway – Any thoughts on that model or any similar cheaper RAID boxes? From what I've read so far all the mediocre reviews are generally referring to the included PCI eSATA cards being crap. But I've already got a CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 on order, which I know is a solid card for my MacPro.

    So given all that, would there be any reason that this SansDigital box would not be a good storage solution?

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