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Thread: Question about storage

  1. #1
    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Question about storage

    My current day job is in IT at a university where I am in charge of storage. I'm currently trying to redesign storage workflow for the department that handles video production on campus. They have been dumping all their archival footage onto the main storage system and I need to find a better way for them to mange their files while at the same time getting them off the general storage area.

    Back in the day when we shot on tape, we'd ingest the footage into a non-linear system, edit, make a master and then the raw tape and master went on the shelf. There does not seem to be the equivalent storage flow today where you now reuse your digital capture media.

    I was wondering what some of you do with video storage and what you do with archival footage that may only need to be retrieved once in a blue moon.

    The video guys are dead set against archiving to blu-ray or something similar due to long term volatility of the media.
    Last edited by lcress; 01-15-2015 at 09:56 AM.

  2. #2
    What about a LTO device like Cache-A?
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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    Agreed. I'd look into LTO solutions if I were you.

  4. #4
    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys.

    Yeah, I've been looking into maybe doing something along the hybrid route where we archive to removable hard drive. Then once that's full, mirror the drive and then copy it to LTO 5. Then keep those 3 versions on the shelf until needed again.

    Ironically, we are moving away from the current but aging robotic tape library in the datacenter and going all disk for onsite and offsite. But it wouldn't be too expensive to get a desktop LTO drive for video archiving.

    However, bona fide video production facilities have to be going through the same struggles. Which is why I was wondering what everybody else is doing.

  5. #5
    I think if you ask a 100 production facilities what their archiving plan was, you would get 100 different answers, with the reality that most are just using external USB/Firewire/eSATA drives, putting it on a shelf with hopes that they can find it again in the future, that the disk will spin up after sitting for years and that the file format that they archive in is something that is still usable in a current system.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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    I think the cost used to be a factor, but now it's somewhat less so.

    But, speaking from a London, UK perspective, most broadcasters and production houses look at it in terms of cost per GB over time when having to buy new shooting media to replace filled ones and buying HD to archive shots vs cost per GB over time when buying large capacity LTO disks for archiving and reusing filled shooting media, and have found it LTO tapes provide the cheaper and more secure option.

    In the first option, they would rather have two backups of their footage, that being the original card the footage was shot on as well as an HD with the same footage archived for safe keeping.

    Then ofcourse there's the copy used for the edit.

    In the second option, people trust LTO technology enough to not need redundant backup copies.

    Is that a wise move? Only time will tell.

    Another option could be Optical Disk Archiving (ODA) but that would probably mean you'd have to be tied into the Sony walled garden ecosystem as I don't think any other manufacturer (apart from possibly Panasonic) use it. Sony have said however that ODA is much more reliable than LTO tapes (but since they're the one's who developed the technology, they would say that wouldn't they?).

    Check 'em out.

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    If you're gonna go LTO, check out the SOFTWARE! 'cos Software is a link that is WAY WEAKER than LTO Tape.

    I used a software suite that came with Avid to do LTO backups. It saves the DATA on the LTO Tape, but it saves the INDEX on the harddrive. One harddrive crash later, pop the LTO tape back in the drive to recover my 800 Gigs of files and BAM! ...'Please locate index file for this tape.'

    I was never able to retrieved a single byte of that tape's data. That index file was lost with the crashed drive rendering the tape useless. Now that is insanity. Make sure your LTO authoring software is not created by people who have their heads right up their

    Aces of technology know that the index file should be on the tape, and not just at the beginning of the tape, but numerous times throughout the tape so it doesn;t have to spend 8 minnutes rewinding the tape to the beginning to find the location of the next file, and then another 8 minutes going to the end of the tape to find it.. Then back to the beginning again...

    You know what I mean.

    Software.

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    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mutley. Excellent points about the software.

    FYI, our main (and aging) tape system is IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager, commonly known as TSM, which is pretty good stuff. But it keeps a storage database on the server. The DB itself gets archived to tape, as well, but you've raised a good point. What if the server is bricked? Good questions on Monday for my co-worker who is the TSM handler.

    If $ were no object you'd have spinning disk everywhere with multiple copies. (which of course is the essence of "the cloud")

    I believe we have finally settled with moving video to its own storage pool and replicating that to our offsite system. Which means we keep everything on spinning disk and 6 months after implementation we'll be out of space again. Vicious cycle.

    The video folks just couldn't get their head around storing their archival footage on mirrored disks sitting on the shelf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcress View Post
    The video folks just couldn't get their head around storing their archival footage on mirrored disks sitting on the shelf.
    Tell them it's the same as greenscreening-in a different background, just that the background has to come from a tape on the shelf. They'll understand that.

    It's less of a pain that learning to use an AVID.

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