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Old February 11th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default tape systems or other archive ideas

My PC's full again - one of my hobbies is shooting timelapse sequences the trouble is they eat data space. A typical sequence takes around 16gb as raw files plus all the intermediate processing space.
I cannot delete the raw data when I'm done - I've sold some stuff and the raw files are my proof that I did the work.

I've been buying USB hard drives - 500gb and now 1tb but they're expensive and fill up quickly when I do several sequences a week, plus they take up quite a lot of space and it's no longer practical to do the secure thing of one copy at home and one elsewhere.

So I've been wondering about tape drives but it seems there's a choice - cheap tapes and a stupidly expensive drive or cheap drive and tapes almost as much as a hard drive.

Any other options? Aside from starting a server farm?

I suppose I could just sell some of the cameras - it'd slow me down.

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Old February 11th, 2013, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: tape systems or other archive ideas

It depends on what redundancy you need. Tape is legacy now and still enterprise. Servers aren't required, you'd be going NAS or SAN instead.

What is your offsite requirement? I mean, I understand the rationale but what is the actual base requirement? You surely don't need all the raw images off site for proof do you? Maybe a handful would be sufficient? Its only really in case of fire.

What sort of space do you think you need?

Personally I would be looking at a RAID array in a SAN or NAS environment but you need scalability
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Old February 11th, 2013, 11:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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TBH I think there's very few companies making tape backup systems now, IBM could be the only one.
IBM Tape Storage Systems
Probably extremely expensive, and really intended for enterprise and data-centre users.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 01:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think I will have to look at Raid, all I need offsite is the raw stuff as I can reconstruct anything else from those - I can cut down space plenty if I'm brutal about what I back up - I can reshoot a pile of seeds soaking any time but it took weeks to get a carnivorous plant doing its stuff.

Considering how much I've spent on camera kit in the last few months, I really shouldn't be worrying about the cost of storing the data. Maybe a 4tb in Raid 1 config then use the old portable drives for backing up 'offsite' - which sounds grander than 'I leave it in a drawer in the lab'

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Old February 12th, 2013, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: tape systems or other archive ideas

Whats the situation geographically? You mention a lab. Where do you put the data when you get it off the camera? A lab? Home? What is offsite?
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Old February 12th, 2013, 04:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you're balking at the prices of medium capacity USB drives, you might as well forget about tape storage altogether.

I buy bare SATA drives, and use a IEEE-1394b external enclosure / interface to connect it to my computer. I can hot-plug as many drives as I want into it without needing to shut down or open up the computer. USB3 may work well, although I don't have any to test. Seagate used to ship their 3.5" drives in "clamshell" plastic containers that are good enough to keep the HDs not in use safe as I walk them to/from a drawer in a sturdy cabinet. I also have foam-lined shipping cases that hold several drives safely. Bubble wrap also works. You can always buy a new protective case, but if money is a big issue, re-using old shipping containers is a good way to protect the loose drives at no cost.
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