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    Cloud Storage - Still need Hard Drives??
    #1
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    I have a small raid archive system with 4 hard drives of about 1TB each. It's at half capacity right now.
    But I am wondering, is that even needed anymore?

    There is cloud storage, so why have external hard drives for storing finished projects and footage when you can upload it to the cloud?
    The only reason I see worth having hard drives is for when editing. But when complete, for archival purposes, is it needed?

    Just wondering what to do when my storage fills up.
    Get new HDDs with larger capacity or upload and then start fresh?

    My files are not THAT big as what I store is mainly the footage from mirrorless cameras and not RAW files or anything massive, but I am slowly starting to have larger files, so space will soon be a problem.
    Michael Frymus
    Videographer || Photographer

    Instagram: @michaelfrymus
    Website: mfvisuals.ca



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    #2
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    I do some backup/archiving to "the cloud" (right now mix of Amazon, Google, FTP/ISP, and Dropbox) and may soon consolidate/focus on using Backblaze. https://www.backblaze.com

    The thing that's making me think more seriously about this is that for the last few months my internet connection has been gigabit fiber with about 960 upstream, 940 downstream (ie- pretty symmetrical). I use Sonic; local is and they've been our ISP for seven years now. https://www.sonic.com/gigabit-fiber-internet

    AT&T also has gigabit fiber in our area and friends with it are fairly happy with their performance. However, I prefer Sonic's privacy policies: https://www.eff.org/who-has-your-back-2017

    But that's fairly US-centric. Don't know what to suggest for Canada.

    Anyway, even with fiber, moving terabytes worth of data takes a while. I can do about 1TB in about 3 hours (sometimes less, occasionally more) So I backup project files, text & spreadsheets, graphics, and the like to the cloud daily. Some video. And I archive some stuff online (and will probably do more). But that doesn't replace physical backups here (and offsite)... I'm mostly using hard drives these days because I don't own an LTO drive, and renting them is sort of a hassle; not undoable, but it's looking like the hassle/time of LTO isn't much of an advantage over hard drives and gigabit.

    If I had a facility, maybe I'd look into Aspera and perhaps Signiant. But don't really feel the need.

    Hard drives are cheap these days; you could just keep backing up to a couple/few hard drives, store one locally and another offsite. And then start experimenting with cloud storage...with the size of the online backups determined by your internet connection and patience.

    So I'm good about backing up, but I'm only dabbling in cloud backup now. I'll be doing more in the future...but again, as a supplement to local/nearby storage. And that's mainly because while backup to the cloud can run overnight, if things go seriously wrong here, I don't want to wait hours/days to restore everything from the cloud.
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    Jim Feeley
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    #3
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    Hard drives are not a safe archive format - they will die if they are not spun up regularly, and might still die anyway. Cloud is expensive for long term storage when used with files as large as video, but could work if your needs are small.

    LTO is still the way to go for any serious use.
    Last edited by nothing; 03-09-2019 at 10:45 AM.


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    #4
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    I see cloud storage as expensive as well. If it is truly a backup or archive it is a forever payment. Internet speed are a constrain for most of us as well. The redundancy of servers is great though.


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    #5
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    Backblaze is $50USD per computer per year. Unlimited storage (and they're aggressively chasing the video space). IIRC, that includes all drives attached to your computer (such as RAIDs). Servers and NAS are different and are about $5/TB/month. But if you don't have a server, this is pretty damn cheap. https://www.backblaze.com/business-backup.html

    Cloud storage has become a competitive space. Prices aren't so bad. But try to choose a company that you'll think will still be in business for several years...

    LTO is a good way to go for archiving, but it is kind of expensive (though with drive rentals, not prohibitive), and depending on how much data you're backing up can require more than one cartridge and take a while. And while there appears to be a long-term commitment to the LTO format going forward, it's unclear what things will look like in 10 years. I think of my IT friends who've travelled through DDS, AIT, DLT, and more. And then for our space I think of all the obsolete formats and codecs...

    It's always sobering to visit the Museum of Obsolete Media
    https://obsoletemedia.org

    Don't rely on one type of media or location...
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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
    Backblaze is $50USD per computer per year...

    Wow I had no idea they were that cheap! How is that sustainable? I suspect this will go the way of unlimited MoviePass sooner or later, with possible attendant dataloss headaches for customers if it goes really wrong - but of course I could be mistaken.


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nothing View Post
    Wow I had no idea they were that cheap! How is that sustainable? I suspect this will go the way of unlimited MoviePass sooner or later, with possible attendant dataloss headaches for customers if it goes really wrong - but of course I could be mistaken.
    Ya, the pricing is astounding. I --think-- Backblaze has a decent business model. They're going after SMBs with servers, lots of computers, and whatnot. I think the incremental cost of supporting people like us is trivial. Also: Their blog and the drive-performance/failure rate info they share is pretty interesting (good soft marketing...sort of a storage version of Puget Systems).

    But, the chance they might go out of biz, or Amazon/Google might change their pricing, or LTO might fade away is why I backup a few different ways.
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    Jim Feeley
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    That is a lot lower than expected.


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    #9
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    LTO has a roadmap up through LTO12, currently on version 8. Has backwards compatibility of 2 versions and one version forward (read only). Don't think it is going anywhere.


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