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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wracking my brain for weeks trying to find a cheap and effective way to backup my, at the moment, 1.5TB of mainly TV Shows. All of these are perfectly named with cover art for the seaons and importing great into Meedio. So my biggest worry of course is what happens if I get a power surge, fire or maybe one of my roommates accidentaly deletes everything. You get the gist. All very unlikely but I want to prepare for the worst. So here's where I'm at. First I looked into Tape Backup. The only reason being is that I work for an IT company and they have replaced all there current 10-30gb tapes with 300gb tapes. Well my biggest issue with these is that the drives to read and write to them are horrendously expensive. Second I though harddrives and just leave them in storage. The problem I see with this is that it's very expensive and I'm already crunched for space and could use that extra money for more harddrives...server etc. Well I've come down to the conclusion I might just have to suck it up and get a nice 16x DVD-Burner maybe the Plextor-704A and just spend hour after horrible hour backing things up. I can get a pack of 100 Ridata discs for about $35. Not bad for over 400GB of space. So have I thought this through enough? Is there an easier way? CAn I build a more automated dvd-backup system? Any ideas would be great, cause I'm out.
 

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Norton Ghost 9.0 can compress down 45% original size, so you may be able to get that 1.5tb onto 700-750 gig hd or dvd. Best I can think of.
 

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Don't expect any zipping program to be able to compress any video (which is already compressed) by much.


As for your options, either pony up for the harddrives, or plan on burning a lot of time sitting in front of the dvd burner.


-Suntan
 

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Reminds me of the days of backing up your HD w/ floppies or those super slow tape drives.
 

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what's the format that the shows are currently in? (mpeg, divx, etc?)


In terms of dollar per gig it won't get cheaper than the riteks.


In terms of simplicity hard drives are the way to go. How are they stored currently? Is it a RAID?


If NOT in a RAID, the thing I would probably do is buy 6 300gb drives, build a RAID 5, then copy all the current files to the RAID, and keep it as your form of storage, tucking the current drives away as the backup.


If you plan to expand or the collection is always changing then that's not the exact best plan.


I would be pretty tempted to just write them to dvd myself, and do like 50 GB a day over the course of a month.
 

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You could settle for a DLT80 tape backup unit off EBay. They take 40GB tapes and run around 250-300MB/min. I have one and have tape sets consisting of types of videos - a TV tapeset, a movie tapeset, documentaries, etc.


I only backup once every 3-6 months. I just change a tape whenever I remember to over about a 1 week period. Each tape takes about 2 hours. Eventually it completes and I have a warm secure feeling. I keep an entire set offsite "just in case".


Dir
 

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I agree about the tapes.

I have an sdlt320 which will backup 160GB uncompressed on a tape at a rate of about 50 to 60 GB per hour.

Works great, is very reliable and I feel better knowing that I have a copy of my stuff. :)


Now, this might be a bit expensive at first.

A decent catch on a 220, which is a bit slower and only 110GB per tape, on fleabay might be around $500 for the drive... (Add about $20 per tape)

BUT, it is easy to use.


Remember that if you choose a solution that is not convenient to use, you will never take the time to do your backups, and that could become a problem...


I would be careful using writable dvds.

I t seems that the media used can degrade pretty fast, depending on the manufacturer you get.


Good luck whatever you choose.


Arno



Arno
 

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Once you have the tape drive, the tapes are only about 10 cents a Gig...

When you have terrabytes of data, it can make a difference.


I am not sure that hard drives would be that much faster either...

In either case, I know for sure that the tapes will be more reliable...


Arno
 

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I've thought about this pretty extensively. Honestly, hard drives are the cheapest way to go. This is a drag really. Tape is great but when you get into the recurring costs and initial outlay, it really doesn't seem worth it.

-Trouble
 

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I am currently running a raid5 media server with a hot swap spare. I backup ONLY the files I absolutely do not want to lose, to external USB HD drives. For the stuff that is most valuable to me, I also backup to DVD. I will take some risk with about half the programs I have on my 2 TB raid5 server, it would not kill me to lose them but I take extra precautions with my irreplaceable files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well to answer some of these questions and maybe raise new ones I would answer first by saying that all of my shows are in some type of MP4 variant ranging from 175mb to 700mb per episode. So what I'm gathering is that many of you are in the same or have been in the same situation before. There is no cheap and convenient way to do data backup. I have my doubts as well about DVD+R longevity but nothing else seems to compare in the dollar per GB ratio. If only the Tape Drives could be had for a good deal less it would certainly be the best option. Currently I'm not running a RAID 5 server. I know this is something I should've prepared from at the beginning but now it's rather hard to switch over when I have no space to store these temporarily while I format the new raid array. Ideally buying a whole bunch of harddrives and just copying over the data would be the easiest and fastest solution but I don't have $600 laying around just for data backup. Hmmm well keep em coming. Anyone know of any cheap dvd storage backup arrays?
 

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With terabyte (+) size home media servers, many of us are experiencing the same issues we face with our servers at work. With that in mind, I'd suggest that tape sucks as an archival medium because it is slow, the drives are fragile and it is difficult to guarantee that the backup software will still support your drive in the near future (been there, done that with a couple of TB of data at work). Automated DVD carousels share the same liabilities. IMHO spinning (hard) drives are the only way to go, and once you factor in your time they are probably less expensive per GB than your alternatives. You have to have a UPS for your server (don't you?), and any other archival medium that lives on site with your server is subject to the other dangers you mentioned (fire, flood, theft, foolish roommates).


One of the challenges of bigger personal drives is that I, at least, tend to accumulate a lot of crap that seems a LITTLE too important to discard but not important enough to archive. For the life of me, I cannot think of any TV programs I'd be willing to store 1.5 TB of -- that's a compost heap, not a server! :eek:
 

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All of the comments in the thread are good.


I will say as somebody who is responsible for the backup of 1 TB+ servers at 3 different companies, tape is in my mind less than ideal. I have had 2 tape drives fail in the last year, in a way that can't be fixed, and these were 1k+ drives. When most of your investment is in a drive, if that drive goes tits up then most of your investment is screwed. A DVD writer you can replace for $40.


That said, I use hard drives exclusively to do backups in my professional life for all my clients. I tend to just JBOD them in a spare server or PC and span all the drives into one big volume and backup to that. I'm not concerned with redundancy in the backup volume because it's just a backup and I can replace a failed drive easily.


There are quite a few 300GB drives that are popping up at $125 or less now, dropping like a rock too.


Good that you are storing them in mp4 divx etc - that means that you have like 400+ hours of tv...you might consider dumping the crap though.
 

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havix, you could do the following:


1) Buy 3 hard drives

2) Buy a RAID card that will support RAID-5, and support dynamically expanding/adding disks to the array.

3) Configure the array with those initial 3 disks and copy 2 disks worth of data from your current drives to the array (basically the maximum that can fit).

4) Format and add those drives (that have been moved over) to the array, and repeat until complete.


You could even get away with buying less than the initial 3 disks if you can consolidate data onto as few drives as possible and/or backup the data to some other medium (maybe use some space at work temporarily? :))


I'd use RAID-5, and backup the especially important data to DVDs.
 

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I would say that miltimj's method would be excellent and most effective for converting to raid5 (remembering to get all the same kind of disk as you have currently).


Remember though that RAID is not backup, it is merely redundancy. It doesn't protect against any of the things that you feared - dumb roommates, fire, theft, natural disaster, etc. If the controller corrupts you're up **** creek too. So really you still need a backup solution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by miltimj
havix, you could do the following:


1) Buy 3 hard drives

2) Buy a RAID card that will support RAID-5, and support dynamically expanding/adding disks to the array.

3) Configure the array with those initial 3 disks and copy 2 disks worth of data from your current drives to the array (basically the maximum that can fit).

4) Format and add those drives (that have been moved over) to the array, and repeat until complete.


You could even get away with buying less than the initial 3 disks if you can consolidate data onto as few drives as possible and/or backup the data to some other medium (maybe use some space at work temporarily? :))


I'd use RAID-5, and backup the especially important data to DVDs.
 

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I absolutely agree, bluegreenturtle. (Hmm, never thought I'd type that sentence..)


Thus my caveat as a last sentence... it implies my opinion that it's too much to actually backup, so only backup what's important.
 
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