For while now I have been thinking on how I should store, backup and archive the videos that I shoot. Initially I used multiple hard drives and although this worked great it became unmanageable very quickly. It was difficult to find old videos from a few years ago as it could be on any one of ten hard drives.
Anyway finally I now believe that I have the most organised and most cost effective method of storing my data. To find out how I did this please read on read on! :=)
Ok so my plan was to use a number of systems linked together and have them backing up the data in triplicate also storing a copy of the data offsite in a secure location. My biggest challenge was that I need to store each project individually and that could be anything from around 70gb-150gb per day filming 1080p FullHD shooting 4k would be even more!.
So starting to organise the footage I needed a system. To me this was pretty simple. I was going to organise the data into folders on my storage see below. This made it very easy to find the project I was looking for as everything would be perfectly organised..
First I created the folders and then added the data. I used the following format Year, Month, Date. I also added search tags of the bride and groom so I could search by name if needed,
The final movie edits goes into the folder called Final Cut and is named with the bride groom or customer name
First of all I wanted two types of storage.
1, Video editing - This dive needed to be ultra fast storage that I could carry anywhere. A few different drives made the benchmark for what I needed however the one that stood out was the LaCie 2TB Rugged SSD Portable Hard Drive - Thunderbolt & USB 3.0. This drive was fast enough to keep up with my editing demands and small enough to carry in a camera bag or pocket. This drive is only used for editing current projects.
2. Project backups - For my project backups I wanted a reliable drive that wasn't too expensive and that I could use in a small NAS device that I already had. Key things for this was that it was small and silent. so I went with four Western Digital Blue 1 TB Laptop Hard Disk Drives and decided to add them to a Synology NAS using a disk volume.
As I already had a Synology DS409slim NAS I didn't need to buy this however I was going to use the four Installed Western Digital drives. The DS409Slim is a true miniature powerhouse in the network-attached storage device market. It was the first 2.5-inch hard-drive-based NAS server that offers hot-swappable drives. The performance tests on this device are excellent and, like other Synology products it comes with a vast array of features, great expandability, and a top-notch user interface.
RAID5 - RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Discs – in my case, four separate hard drives in one external enclosure. Each hard drive contains a stripe copy of the other hard drives data, meaning that if one of the hard drives fails there is no data loss. After filming a wedding the first thing I do when I get home is backup all my footage from the memory cards to my orange drive this is then copied again to the NAS from here its then copied to other NAS devices within my network..
Once I had the drives installed and the synology running the RAID 5 set I copied all my previous footage onto the NAS.
Now all my data was now stored in one place on the Synology NAS however i needed to back it all up! I didn't want to pay a cloud provider to do this so I thought of an idea of using old pc’s or laptops using Nas4Free to hold the backups of the Synology. Nas4Free is an open source NAS server that you can use free of charge on an old pc. Using the NAS servers together I would be able to replicate (rsync) the data from Synology to Nas4Free. One of these could be stored off site and the data could be sent encrypted to my other Nas4Free servers. To find out more about Nas4Free see here.
The Nas4Free machines would be old laptops nothing special however they would have 2TB Hard drives and would be using rsync to hold the backup data.
A bit about Rsync
rsync is a utility that keeps copies of a file on two or more computer systems. It is commonly found on Unix-like systems and functions as both a file synchronization and file transfer program. The rsync algorithm is a type of delta encoding, and is used to minimize network usage. additional compression may be used and SSH or stunnel can be used for data security.
The Backup Jobs
I created the backup jobs on my Synology NAS and set them to replicate using rsync on a daily basis. This is backed up at a block level so this could run over a slow connection to my other Nas4Free Servers onsite and offsite.
only changes are copied during rsync hence the low bandwidth
Now i have my data stored in three places two onsite and one offsite. Offsite Backups are encrypted using SSL
So essentially I always have 4 copies of every customer video, in turn this is backed up daily and stored offsite at the same time.
A diagram of my setup!
So my process is...once i have finished filming a project
- I upload my SDcards to my MBP using the import.
- Then from here I copy from my MBP to the Windows Laptop
- I then have a script that then robocopies from windows to my primary NAS. Share.
- Then my nightly backup will take care automatically replicating to other NAS4Free machines then to USB backup.
Let me know how you store your footage...
Thanks for reading