29 Nov 2010

Back It Up

The elephant in the room for any production studio is where and how to store an exponentially expanding stockpile of digital video and photography media. Even well before launching Uncage the Soul Productions in 2004, I was collecting an archive of digital footage and photography from personal trips and projects. And each year, as the volume of projects, and resolution and quality of those project files increase, the question of how to safely store and back-up all that data becomes a point of concern. You have heard it before, and let it be emphasized here again, that trusting your priceless photo and video files to one hard drive, which WILL fail at some point, is a bad idea. Stacks of hard-drives strewn about is a catastrophe waiting to happen. In the past year, Uncage the Soul has invested in a sophisticated storage and backup system, because for our clients, there is and should be, the expectation that their files are safe and won’t be lost. At our studio we store all project files on an expandable Dell Powervault Storage Server with a connected DroboPro Storage Device. Both are configured as a RAID 6 array meaning that several drives within the system can fail without data being lost. In addition, all project files since 2004 are backed-up off-site on additional DroboPro Storage Devices, so that there can never be a single point source of catastrophic data loss. For a filmmaker, investing in big black boxes that just sit there is a tough pill to swallow, but having produced nearly 34 Terabytes of archived media in the past three years, the piece of mind is worth it.