Saturday, July 22, 2006

Backup: Protecting Your Project and your Time

by: David Augsburger

A terabyte of hard drive storage costs as little as 89 cents a gigabyte. With the low cost of FireWire drives and the possibility of a drive crashing during a project, it's foolhardy not to backup media on a daily basis.

There are various backup schemes. You definitely have to backup everything that doesn’t originate on time coded video tape: sound effects, music, temp recordings, Quicktime VFX, projects and settings. But it is now possible and easy to do more.

When using AvidUnity multiple drives comprise one group and this group depends on all of its drives to function. If 4-6 drives are set as a partition and a single drive goes down all media on the other drives would probably be unusable as well. Nowadays drives can be 72 gigs, multiply that by 4,5 or 6 and you're talking a huge amount of data.

Considering that such a loss might take 2-3 days to recover from, this is an important item to include in every budget.

Backing up media -- if done daily -- could immediately follow digitizing.

It's assumed that all media that has no time code reference are using protected (or mirrored) storage - data stored in two places on the group's drives. This scheme it's generally not practical for material that can easily be re-digitized because it takes twice the storage space.

It's preferable to get a drive which can use both USB as well as FireWire connections. A drive with the capacity of 250 - 500 Gigs would be ideal. Such drives are inexpensive ranging from $205 - $350.

How much time can you afford to lose on a project? Discuss with your post crew whether this type of complete backup provides easy and inexpensive insurance.


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