Rainy Day Advice- Back It Up!


I love it when it rains in LA. These are the days when I make myself a cuppa tea and settle in at the edit station, wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater and shut out the world, emerging once in a while to stand by the door, watching the rain fall and traffic crawl along Ventura Blvd.

Days like this also remind me that rainy days do indeed come to us all in the form of lost files, dead hard drives, and so forth. In this business, that can be a really terrible thing, meaning not only some lost work but also possibly lost footage for clients.

We subscribe to DropBox, which is absolutely great for our website design and social media marketing client work. But 50GB or so just doesn’t cut it when you’re dealing with multiple HD and 4K video projects at one time.

To give you an idea, we have 5 video projects in production right now, and all have been shot at least partially on the RED One. This comes up to about 4TB of storage, all told. If you have a safety of each live project you’re working on, that means you’ll need 8TB of storage (and half of that should really be stored off-site for safety). But it doesn’t end there- when you go above 1TB, you get into the world of RAIDs, which means multiple drives. Which means multiple points of failure. So double that storage need to 16TB. This is just for projects we’re currently working on, of course.

There are times when our media storage costs exceed our rent.

You also never know when a client will need old footage. One project we just finished up used footage that was 5 years old. No joke. Your mileage may vary, and it’s not cost effective to hold copies of every file you work on for years, but it seems to me that a smart backup strategy will include some form of a longer-term storage solution.

Our strategy is always evolving, as it should. Disk prices drop, storage requirements change. No matter what backup strategy you choose, though, you absolutely must use it religiously.

After all, a rainy day is coming to you at some point. It’s best to be prepared.

(kickin’ photo by Eyeline Imagery)

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About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.