Simon “Thanks for raising the topic. Its something we should all be talking about far more often.
With each new technology, we seem to be going to media with shorter and shorter storage lives. From the age of film and vinyl records which had a very long life; to tape with still a fair life; to DVD/CD/BluRay with about 17 years; to hard disks with about 4 years.
I certainly remember when I learnt about the likely lifespans of hard drives, and then was a bit shocked to learn that they can have a much shorter life when they aren’t used regularly. Had been archiving everything to hard drives and placing them in storage at that stage.
Learning that and not having tapes to go back to, started me thinking long and hard about how to store all our assets for the long term.
Am testing LTO tape – long life but clunky process. In the meantime am working on the basis that we should have three copies of everything and at least one copy kept off site. Like Petter, a Mini and RAIDs works well as part of this.
None of this is quick and its proving reasonably expensive. Am looking forward to a better long term approach to archiving media assets.
Certainly something to talk more about.
HDW : Archive was easy 25 years ago, we had tape and although not without it’s problems it worked very well for archive purposes. Today most of us are stuck with 2-3 copies of important video files on various hard drives. Hard drives are the most common, cheap archiving for todays digital age, Solid State or SSD drives are far too dear and beyond 750GB cost a small fortune.
The boys in Japan have never quite conceived the problem with archive and digital media, Sony’s SxS and Panasonic’s P2 cards are a prime example, useless for archive due to cost.
Sony have unveiled their next-generation Optical Disc Archive storage system. The system, which provides guaranteed inter-generational compatibility and ultra-reliable long-term storage, is at the heart of Sony’s vision to create a complete archiving solution for broadcasters, motion picture companies and production houses.
Optical Disc Media
A variety of high capacity media cartridges are available for the Optical Disc Archive system, from 300GB to 1.5TB. Each cartridge allows random file access using the Universal Disc Format (UDF) system. Optimised for ultra-long term media archiving, the cartridges have an estimated 50 year lifespan and are built to withstand changes in temperature and humidity, and resist dust and water droplets. Each cartridge has a built-in RFID to check the contents of the media with mobile devices for efficient asset management, such as cartridge loaning, stocktaking and shelf archiving.
This system does not seem to be available yet but by all accounts it will be expensive, but how do you equate Expense v Lost Work
Duncan’s solution “Personally, I keep all my rushes on pairs on USB2 1.5TB hard drives, really cheap and easy to do.
The original footage might have been rewrapped to QT or optimised to ProRes, but I will only then archive the assets that I created (animations, AIFFs etc.) and the masters involved. And again this gets archived to pairs of USB drives.
If I need to recreate and edit I still have the camera originals, and all the assets it’s simply a case of reinstating them from the archive.
On a daily basic, I incrementally backup up my some of my scratch drive, a 2TB internal RAID to a 1.5TB external at the end of each session. Again very easy.My aim to minimise hard drive failure will be to replace the internal RAID every year, only £200 at the most. I might well use 2x 3TB drive once their a sensible price/GB and more reliable.
Of course, I’m not working with 200 hours of uncompressed HD over 5 simultaneous projects, But I don’t think you are either?”
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