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How to store massive amounts of video on the cheap

fredklein (532096) writes | more than 3 years ago

Data Storage 4

fredklein (532096) writes "I recently started contractor work at a relatively small video conversion business. They accept jobs from the public as well as various photo studios and photo labs. They digitize everything from photos to VHS to old reel-to-reel film, putting it on DVDs. However, in the process, they end up with at least two DVDs to archive- one of the raw video, one of the edited. I'd like to move them to a completely hard drive based system, where the incoming jobs are saved right to video files, edited, then stored, all without being burned to DVD (except for the customer's copy). This, of course, requires massive amounts of storage. 20 jobs a day, roughly 5Gig for the 'raw' video (DVDs are 4.7Gig, but...fudge factor), another 5Gig for the edited, means about a Terabyte a week to store, or 50+ Terabytes per year. And that's not mentioning backups. I'm looking for any ideas on how to handle such a huge amount of video data, preferably while keeping costs at or below what the original DVDRs would have cost."

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4 comments

Why NOT use DVDs? (1)

apraetor (248989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224912)

What is the problem with using DVDs? I realize you can end up with a rather large collection, which will need cataloging and organization, but for data that is so infrequently accessed it might be the best option. Blank discs are cheap -- by switching to hard disks you are paying a premium for the instant-accessibility, which would seem to be a waste.

Don't, unless they pay for it. (1)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224926)

I operated my own video production business for 5 or so years (off and on full time). Each shoot generated about ~80GB of video footage and 15GB of renders. I used to store DVD backups, but the cost of chopping up footage is measured in hours of my time. I switched to using a SATA docking station and purchasing a 1/2 dozen 1.5TB drives. Projects & renders are copied to a pair of HDDs and that is it. Drives are used to store footage until a pair is full.

In your case you churn through a lot more footage, but do you really need to save it? Change your services and offer lifetime(1) backups with various limitations (such as the lifetime of your company.... not of the customer). or backups for 1yr, 5yr, 10yr, etc. Then bill appropriately. Factor in the cost of the external HDD pairs and then you have a decent storage mechanism AND you get paid extra for it AND your customers get even greater confidence taht you care about their productions (if they pay for it).

For the customers that don't pay, just keep a 1 month backup (in case they want additional copies) and then nuke the source (you don't need the source after all... just the finished render). If a client wants changes to the production after the source is gone, then re-bill for importing from their source footage. Their fault for not choosing an archive service add-on.

Backups (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226124)

You're going to need backups, anyway. DVDs should fit the bill well. Their only drawback is the physical space, but you have that problem with any media.

I'd suggest storing the raw video onsite, and the edited video as an offsite backup in case of fire or other offlinel disaster.

Re:Backups (1)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266262)

Unless you have regularly tried to chop up and burn 80GB of video data onto 4.3GB single sided discs... the idea seems ok. but after you have tried it, you realize you waste all yoru time tryign to find the individual clips that equal close to the capacity of a single DVD (assuming you chopped up the video by scenes or that your capture card correctly identified scene stops and starts to create new individual clips). I wasted hours and hours trying to take each project (roughly 80GB of data per shoot / project) and chop up the clips into groupings for each disc... and then burning the disc.... Much faster solution is either getting a drobo and maxing out the storage, or using individual drives.
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