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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    I have just lost a 2TB hard drive from a couple of years ago, which fortunatley I had backed up, but am now faced with copying about 400 DVDs back to my system. And that's going to be a very tedious job!

    Plus, I'm about to update my storage array to either a 12TB or 28TB configuration in the next few weeks. I only have around 6TB of material, but am now getting into HD capturing/archiving so suspect I will need the storage headroom as the volume will grow quickly.

    That's got me thinking about backup strategies. Having lost 4 external harddrives in the last six years, I'm beginning to think that external drives may not be the best approach.

    Options seem to be:
    - external USB drives
    - 50GB Blu-Ray disks (DVDs aren't really feasible for that volume), or
    - An LTO tape drive (refurbished LTO3 and LTO4 SCSI drives aren't ridiculously priced at the moment).

    So I was wondering what those of you out there with significant data archives (10TB+) are using for backup these days?
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  2. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
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    Just wondering: Did your external enclosures fail or the drives? I presume you cracked open the enclosures to verify.

    It's been my experience that external enclosures fail at a much higher rate than hard drives. Nevertheless, I currently have a couple USB2 4 TB externals, a couple 2 TB USB2/eSata externals, and a 1 TB USB2/eSata external. Plus the internal drives. I'm gonna have to get some more soon.

    You're right about HD captures and needing a lot of space. My archive is like Topsy, it just growed.

    I too am interested in what others are using to handle large archives. It's probably time to make a change.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
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  3. Not a fan of tape drives. You got a SCSI card, the drive itself, and the cartridge. That's three things to go wrong and make a worthless backup.

    Additional hard drives are about the most effective, and useful, way to go.
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    I have a LTO tape drive. Unfortunately a SCSI interface, but I found a card. It does store a lot of data, about 200GB for mine, but it's also incredibly slow and awkward to use. Since it's a linear technology, it's only good for backup of full files. Not much use for access of individual files.

    My present system is to convert most all my video files to a compact MKV format, then store the files on my video servers. I also archive these files to single layer BD disc in case of hard drive failure. I access my video servers over my gigabit LAN.

    You seem to have lost a large number of HDDs. I suspect low quality HDDs and external cases. For my servers, I just recycled left over motherboards and bought rack type server chassis that can hold up to nine HDDs. They have good ventilation, quality power supplies and they are easy to maintain.

    For me a RAID setup would just use up a lot of HDDs. I would rather back up to BD. When a better form of backup comes along, I can go to that.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    Yes, it was the drives. I cracked the cases and mounted them to an alternative interface. I have a number of hard drives, so four over six years isn't a massive failure rate. Still darn annoying though. I think one of the issues is that backup drives sit on a shelf for ages and aren't spun very often.

    My new setup will have a RAID5 array for primary storage. But as others have said, RAID isn't backup! For backup media, I think I am inclining towards a dual strategy. Keep a set of files duplicated to external USB drives in case the RAID array fails, and a further duplicate set of files burned to BD-R media (either 25GB or 50GB) as insurance.

    Unfortunately BD_R media (esp 50GB) is extortionately priced in this country, so I will have to import if I want a decent quantity.

    Still toying with LTO (either the 400GB or 800GB native capacities) simply because I don't want all the disk swapping and storage......
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  6. Member johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
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    I burn 23gbx100 blu-ray discs and put them in a 100 disc folder,repeat and do the same for the next 2tB of video,lot more reliable than hard drives,i verify every disc i burn.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    @johns0 - thanks, that's sort of what I am starting to incline towards as well.

    Questions:
    1. Any advantage (cost aside) from using the 25GB disks instead of the 50GB ones? I'm kinda thinking half the storage space
    2. Where is a good place to buy disks? The sellers in this country are extortionately expensive, so I will have to import if I am buying in quantity.
    3. What are the good BD-R disk brands nowadays?
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  8. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    1)I use only Verbatim 25GB BD-Rs in the 25 pack, #97457, about $28US without shipping. More than a hundred burns and no coasters. That works out to about $.04US per GB. For DL Verbatims, a 10 pack, #97335 is about $85US with no shipping. That works out to $.17 per GB. If my numbers are correct, the DL media isn't much of a bargain unless you really need the full file size.

    2) For importing, I would probably look at Ebay and see what's available.

    3) Verbatim seems to be the most reliable.
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  9. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    Thanks for that. I think that's how I will do it too.

    Incidentally, the absolute cheapest I can find a 25 spindle of the 25GB Verbatims here is $NZ83.87 (approx $69.30US). So I am hugely envious of the pricing you can get in the US, and will definitely have to import.
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  10. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    Ironically, people who back up their files have less hard drive crashes. (An employee at LaCie mentioned this to me.)

    At any rate, if you want a really super-easy solution, get a USB hard drive dock with two slots for two external hard drives. This way you modify, copy, delete, etc, and, of course, back-up to two drives at the same time. If one fails, you have the backup.

    The failure of, both, a drive and its backup in the same instant is long-shot, but regardless, backups systems don't account for other disasters, such as fire, theft, etc. This is why you should have, maybe a third, backup in a different location. (I use my parents' place - hundreds of miles away.)
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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  11. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    As for disc backups...

    Although I haven't had any significant bad luck myself with disc failures, if you search online you will see from the experts that BD discs are a bad idea for backups. The grooves are way too small, and any slight scratch can ruin data. The probability of this is much higher for BD than for DvD/CD. BD in many ways was a bad design by Sony et al. It was not meant to be a good product, only a means to win the Great Format War of the last decade.

    As well, for workflow reasons, if you modify files often, this is a pain, and re-writable BD (or any re-writable disc format) is much more expensive per GB, typically quite slow, buggy, and furthermore less reliable.

    As for disc backup, I would only use them for finished files nevertheless, with several backups. Having said that, I too will take a shot at your questions.

    1. Any advantage (cost aside) from using the 25GB disks instead of the 50GB ones? I'm kinda thinking half the storage space
    Yes, half the physical space, but half the reliability. The problems with the discs and grooves mentioned above are worse with dual layer.

    However, I use both. I store the same data that's in one 50GB disc to two 25GB backup discs. This is the best of both worlds to me. (But I do find the 25GB discs are cheaper per GB, ceteris paribus, than 50GB discs.)


    2. Where is a good place to buy disks? The sellers in this country are extortionately expensive, so I will have to import if I am buying in quantity.
    Not sure what the shipping would be to your part of the woods, but blankmedia.ca here has some fabulous deals several times a year.


    3. What are the good BD-R disk brands nowadays?
    I agree with Verbatim, and it's always a preferred choice in these Forums (as expected, mentioned in this thread). However, if you wish to use multiple backups, then a less expensive brand can work too.
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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  12. Originally Posted by Chopmeister View Post
    So I was wondering what those of you out there with significant data archives (10TB+) are using for backup these days?
    x3 WD My Book 4TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive 2-year warranty
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  13. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Zealand
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post

    Not sure what the shipping would be to your part of the woods, but blankmedia.ca here has some fabulous deals several times a year.
    Checked them out. They have a good range and the pricing is fantastic compared to what I can get locally. Unfortunatley, they only ship to Canada and the US. Otherwise, I would have been happy to spend quite a bit.....
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  14. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    Originally Posted by Chopmeister View Post
    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post

    Not sure what the shipping would be to your part of the woods, but blankmedia.ca here has some fabulous deals several times a year.
    Checked them out. They have a good range and the pricing is fantastic compared to what I can get locally. Unfortunatley, they only ship to Canada and the US. Otherwise, I would have been happy to spend quite a bit.....
    Didn't know, and I'm really sorry to hear that.

    I've been buying from them for years, and always get great service and great deals, so haven't looked elsewhere, and wouldn't be able to recommend anyone else. Hopefully someone chimes in with another seller for you.
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Want my advice? PM me.
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    Fantom external 2TB hard drives.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XITVCA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thdifa-20&link...SIN=B002XITVCA

    Verbatim BD-R for backup of HDD, stored on spindles in a closet.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056DV0L4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thdifa-20&camp...4&linkCode=as2

    DVDs now backup to HDD, instead of HDD backup to DVD. Why? WDTV!
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  16. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    I should have been more clear when I said the following in Post #10
    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    ...if you want a really super-easy solution, get a USB hard drive dock with two slots for two external hard drives. This way you modify, copy, delete, etc, and, of course, back-up to two drives at the same time. If one fails, you have the backup...
    I use this docking station:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/638197-REG/Aluratek_AHDDUB100_External_SATA_Hard_Drive.html

    If you want among the most inexpensive backup solution per GB, load the docking station with these:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/974142-REG/western_digital_wdbh2d0020hnc_nrsn_2t...drive_for.html

    Of course, I would use these drives for archives/backups, not for grinding work (SSD for that). However, I've used almost a dozen of these drives over the years, even dropped a couple, and haven't had one die ever yet. Even the docking station gets its regular dose of abuse too and still runs.

    This is a max 2TB solution, since I run some XP machines. Will upgrade backup system eventually, but this will serve for several more years.

    If you still want a disc solution, LordSmurf's link is the cheapest 50GB disc solution I've seen for a good brand discs.
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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