April 20, 2021 at 5:55 pm
so I work at a tv station, and we have a main server that’s 76TB shared between 3 locally produced tv shows, a promotions dept, and a commercial sales dept. in order to keep the server from filling up, I usually store finished projects on to 5TB and 8TB external drives and have them put away in a cabinet, available to be used again whenever it would be needed in the future.
since the pandemic started, we have all been forced to work from home, connecting to the server via vpn. Many of those previously stored away projects have been recalled and the only way i would be able to access them is if i had them connected to a computer at the station..and they basically sit there, spinning the entire time. which worries me since i risk drive failure.
does anyone know of a safer solution when it comes to storing these archived projects to be accessed anywhere without simply adding space to the server (or is that really the only solution i have).
like is there an external drive, or hub or jbod that can stay connected for long periods of time and spin up only when it’s being accessed? etc..
April 22, 2021 at 12:21 pm
How about LTO tape to archive your completed projects. 6TB of capacity for around 50 USD, once you’ve purchase the drive. They are simpler than hard disks and safe for 20-30 years, way beyond the lifespan you might expect from a spinning disk.
Full disclosure, I represent Archiware.com who provide a software product ‘P5’ that leverages LTO tape and makes a great media archive solution. Paired up with an LTO drive, P5 provides an archive workflow where your completed projects are written to tape (2 tapes for redundancy) and indexed into a database, including previews/proxies and metadata. So you can search and find media files and projects easily years after you archived them. See https://p5.archiware.com/solutions/video-archive
Adding TB’s to your primary edit storage isn’t really necessary as completed work doesn’t need to stay there. Hard drives on shelves is a problem waiting to happen. A reel of tape in its plastic cartridge will last a long time, if kept away from heat and damp.
So tape + proper archive workflow is my suggestion. You can also use your LTO drive + tapes to take a proper backup. Tapes also easy to move to 2nd location for safety.
P5 can also write to cloud storage. If you can upload your media files quick enough via your internet connection, and happy to pay monthly storage costs. Makes the hardware aspect of the storage issue someone else’s problem in exchange for some monthly cash.
Hope this helps a little Eddy!
April 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm
An LTO tape library configured somewhat as a “Tape NAS” would be ideal. I’m vendor neutral and deal with all the software and hardware vendors. A disk system that only spins up when you need to access files isn’t quite a thing, other than single hard drives that’ll be in a semi-sleep state, but performance is terrible, and the words “archive” and “hard drives” do not go together.
Archiware P5 Archive Edition using LTFS would be similar and as David mentioned you can pick and choose files to send to cloud storage for remote workers.
Another option is a XenData server using LTFS as well, but this is a rack appliance that attaches to the tape library.
Both are great options and have their differences.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss in more detail.
April 23, 2021 at 3:28 am
You could get a JBOD, connect it to a Mac mini, or an older unused Mac or PC (depending on your drive’s format), connect that to your office network and access drives from home. After use, you can manually unmount the drives. In some JBOD enclosures drives spin down when unused.
I have a 4-bay Orico enclosure which spins down drives when I unmount the drives from my Mac. To access them again, I mount them again with disk utility.
Not sure if this improves the life of drives compared to leaving them spinning. But since your archive data is already on drives, migrating that to LTOs will have a substantial cost depending on how many drives you have. This could be a cost effective method.
For larger JBODs take a look at Datoptic. They make 16 bay JBODs. With Thunderbolt too.
April 23, 2021 at 7:06 pm
This what I use for remote file access.
April 23, 2021 at 7:22 pm
One thing I’d add to your suggestion is for that Mac mini to have Backblaze running on it so everything gets backed up off-site. Sure, it will chew up bandwidth for a while, but worth it.
April 26, 2021 at 5:45 pm
Using hard drives for backup or archive is not a good idea. Especially if you don’t occasionally spin up the drives. Tape is many times more reliable. Due to budgetary constraints (I’m poor;-)) I’m still using LTO5 which is still working fine.
It’s not IF a hard drive will fail, it’s when!
May 6, 2021 at 3:32 pm
LTO is the obvious cold storage choice, a ZFS dataset for final projects that also syncs to Backblaze B2 is a solid system in my head as well.
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