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 Storage 
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:14 pm
Posts: 128
Location: SW Va
Post Storage
I'm running low on Hard Drive space and I need to backup all my photos and videos soon. Hard Disk Drives are unreliable, DVDs and CDs can scratch, Solid State Drives sometime just fail for no apparent reason. The only thing else I can think of is Data Tapes. What's your preferred method of storage?

Also, what kind of storage do you use in camera? I've heard there's different levels of reliability between Micro SD, SD, Memory Stick Duo, etc...


I digress, wouldn't it be neat if we could store data on vinyl? Impractical maybe, but an interesting thought in my opinion. How many megabytes would a vinyl record hold anyway? I know it's analog, but.. so what?


Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:22 pm
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Post Re: Storage
I have two NAS raid systems for my storage:

1. Thecus N5200 with 5x320GB quality drives (and a ready spare) running RAID 5 (one drive could fail and as long as the array rebuilds before another fails all is safe)... This is what I use for 'current projects', it's gigabit enabled and fast as.. fill in the blank.

2. Drobo with 4x750GB quality drives (and a ready spare) it's slow so this is my 'archive'... It's currently a little over a third full.

You might consider the Drobo because it's easily scalable... You can start with small drives and swap them out for bigger ones as you go. I just maxed it out because I needed the space. Some projects I zip and burn to DVD for archive as well. It's quite safe as long as you case em good and keep in a safe spot. Today Bluray is an option (suuuper slow) $400 burner and $10 per 25GB is almost affordable.

FWIW, I also use the Thecus N3200 at my office (since we are not as data laden as I am at home!) it's working great and handles the demand from 8 people with no problems. For about $750 you can get 1.4TB (n3200+3x750gb) of safe space


Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:52 pm
Post Re: Storage
Drayg0 wrote:
wouldn't it be neat if we could store data on vinyl? Impractical maybe, but an interesting thought in my opinion. How many megabytes would a vinyl record hold anyway? I know it's analog, but.. so what?


that sounds like make magazine material! :lol:


Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:34 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:16 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Storage
A typical job for me is about 10Gb (shooting cars for magazines).

I have about 20 external usb drives at the moment and have recently started to recycle them. I'm deleting old stuff or burning to DVD but it would actually be cheaper to just buy more drives considering the cost of the dvd's but more so the time it takes to burn them. I just don't want another 20 usb drives. If I haven't used something for a few years then I really don't need it at my fingertips!

I use fast raid 0 drives in my PC for any work I do so the speed of the usb drives is not an issue. At this stage I usually have another 2 external copies of the RAW data in case the raid 0 dies. I store all finished work (mostly still photography in my case but also timelapse) onto 2 different external USB drives. USB2 is actually quite fast but I wouldn't want to work from usb connected hard drives, even 'though it doesn't really take long to copy even very large chunks of data. I keep the drives seperated, one in my office the other in the garage (mainly in case of burglary, a fire would potentially be devastating).

My concern with any redundant raid (eg 5) array is that you are relying on the hardware/software to read that array. If either breaks then you might be stuck with a very large amount of data that you can't read. The beauty of simple (and cheap) usb drives is that in the event of a failure you can remove the hard disk from the case, place it into another case or PC and Bob's your Uncle, you can read the drive. You can only read raid 5's in the hardware/software that created them so you are reliant on that box! I've spent too many years working on electronics to trust them that much, I just wouldn't do it.

The NAS setups seem ideal for sharing data across a LAN but I wouldn't sleep well if I had to reply on them for my backup.

JJ

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Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:31 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:14 pm
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Location: SW Va
Post Re: Storage
Wow, so far you guys sound like you have some pretty hardcore setups for storage. I on the other hand just have a total of 450 gigs of space on five hard disk drives that are split between two computers, one of which is an external drive.


Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Storage
jjphoto wrote:
My concern with any redundant raid (eg 5) array is that you are relying on the hardware/software to read that array. If either breaks then you might be stuck with a very large amount of data that you can't read.


If that's a big concern simply implement a raid 1 and you'll be effectively doing the same thing as redundant externals. Any single drive could be simply accessed by plugging it in to a system. While 5 does rely on hard/soft combination to read it's not 'that' exotic to recover... Just about any raid controller can rebuild or read the array and they are becoming completely commonplace in motherboards. The exception in my system is the Drobo.... It's a propitiatory raid system so I'd have to replace the unit to recover the data if it failed, tis true - that is a drawback.

I guess I just prefer this method to having things scattered all over the place. I have enough trouble organizing (not my strong suit)!


Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:12 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:20 am
Posts: 207
Location: The Netherlands
Post Re: Storage
I think Ill wait with expanding my backup scheme untill I get a new Mac.

at the moment I have a PowerMac G5 with 2 500 GB drives inside, one (secondary drive) for all photography/time-lapse/website stuff that I do.
and the other (main) for normal stuff, programs, games, movies and I also copy my masters (straight form the memory card) to the main drive first, then import them in aperture (which has it library on the second drive). so this is also kinda like a backup.. (even stuff that I already deleted in Aperture is still there..)

as for external (backup) drives.. I have 1 500GB that I use for backup of the secondary drive HD. A 400 GB drive for backup of the main drive (excluding the photo masters, otherwise it wont fit.... I need to clean up...)
and a 250GB drive that has an out-of-date backup of my secondary drive...

once (we can dream a little cant we?) I get a Mac Pro Ill get 4 large internal drives, and use at least one, maybe to of them as backup, and then add some appropriate external backup solution.

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Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:40 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Storage
Obviously Bluray burners will help.

In addition to the whole external HD thing, I am considering an online backup service like Carbonite, which *claims* to offer unlimited space for backing up your hard drive. I'd like to dump about 200 GBs of timelape RAW image sequences on their server. At $50 a year, the price isn't too bad. Hopefully security would not be an issue.


Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:57 am
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Post Re: Storage
I've been curious about the online storage solutions as well... The HUGE drawback is the upload/download times. I cant imagine what the time factor would be per GB.


Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:14 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Storage
Well, it might take a while, but heck, I let my computer run for days at a time downloading bit torrents. So even if it took a week to upload, you'd still have a little bit of peace of mind, in case your house burns down.

I am also trying to make a habit of making backup externals with my most precious files and giving a copy to my brother, so I have my footage physically stored in two places at all times.


Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:17 am
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Post Re: Storage
just make sure you are able to do incremental updates to your online backup :)

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Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:20 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:12 pm
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Location: Sedona, AZ
Post Re: Storage
My 2c...

I work off a laptop. It has a 32gb SSD and 320gb mechanical. New pics end up on the 320gb, if I'm going to work on stuff I copy it onto the SSD first and work off that. Way way faster, SSD is the best upgrade I've ever purchased in 25 years of geekery (pick wisely though, there are some duffers out there).

For long term storage I prefer hard disks for the price and ease of access there's nothing to beat it yet. The 320gb is backed up onto a 750gb in an external enclosure (120 bux all in), just noticed Tigerdirect have 1Tb disks for 180 bucks :) The 750 is sporadically backed up onto another 750 in another enclosure and left at a friends house.

Hope that helps!


Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Storage
Ser Olmy wrote:
just noticed Tigerdirect have 1Tb disks for 180 bucks :)


OMG... now we're talking!


Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:13 am
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 251
Post Re: Storage
timescapes wrote:
Ser Olmy wrote:
just noticed Tigerdirect have 1Tb disks for 180 bucks :)


OMG... now we're talking!


Checked that out at tigerdirect.ca (Canada - where I live) and found this...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB Hard Drive
Combining proven components, state-of-the-art technology and expertise in volume manufacturing, the SeagateĀ® Barracuda 7200.11 drive
Only $149.99

Wow, 10 TB for about 1500 + tax...and I got my 1TB externals for $300 just 12 months ago.

Cheers,
cd


Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:19 am
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Post Re: Storage
It's getting pretty inexpensive to do internal SATA raid these days, too. Just a couple of weekends ago, I walked into the store and walked out of the store (no crazy shopping around online and waiting for stuff to come in the mail =) and built an internal RAID5 SATA array...

1x "3 slot, 4 drive" SATA tray (~ $100) (uses up 3 bays in a mid-tower, would've got the 4 bay, 5 drive version - but I like my DVD burner being internal =)
3x 500GB WD SATA2 drives (~ $80 each)
1x RocketRaid 2300 PCI-X card (~ $150 - it does off-load some on the processor, so it's a lot cheaper than a pure hardware raid card)

Bam, 1TB usable RAID5 for less than $600.

!c


Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:03 pm
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:36 pm
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Location: Antarctica/California/New Zealand
Post Re: Storage
Desktop tower with internal raid array is very nice.
I have first two slots in my 4 bay array configured as a Raid 0 dual SAS drive for a very fast working drive, and the next two slots as a raid 1 with two 1T drives backing each other up.

Lots of external drives for other files and backups etc.

My older smaller drives I will copy the latest files to then store at another location for physical space diversity as they fill up.

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Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:24 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:54 am
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Location: Oslo, Norway
Post Re: Storage
Here is my solution to the storage problem:
One SATA 3'' disk, 1TB, one external 1TB USB disk. I synchronize both running a cronjob rsync script. The external one is only for backup, so I normally do not read from it, what makes this configuration reasonably fast.
For holidays etc. I carry a laptop and an external USB 500GB disk, 2 16GB CF Sandisk Extreme III, 1 8GB CF Sandisk Extreme IV (for fast timelapses with 1 seconds intervals) and one slow 8GB Sandisk Ultra II for pictures. I have not run yet into space trouble, and this system is easily expandable!

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Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:11 pm
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