Data Overload – External Storage Units


Let's face it, i'm pretty sure you guys aren't burning quite as many DVD's as you were in the past. Once you move onto DSLR video, you're not going to try and backup 16 or 32GB of data onto DVD media. Even Blu-Ray is still overpriced and slow to read / write. The new workflow is hard drive storage. In fact, when i'm offloading data from my set to hand over to the editor, it's all on external drives. We're not dealing in disc media. The problems with hard drives (and I know, I work on computers all day) they will FAIL. it traditional, or solid state drives, don't count on putting all of your eggs in one basket. There are many problems that WILL occur with storing all of your data in one drive.

Buying 2 hard drives to 'Mirror' the data is a great cheap solution, but a very slow process and never quite up to sync in real time. So now we're talking about Storage Units, cases that support drive bays, raid, mirroring, striping, however people want to explain it to you. The basic principle is that with a Storage Unit that can house several hard drives at one time, you can increase your total storage capacity in a single 'Drive Letter' and at the same time mirror your data across several different drives in case of failure. Just a few years ago units like these were only for Enterprise use and cost thousand of dollars. Now that technology has become cheaper, hard drives can contain more storage, these units are now being put up in homes. Especially with the craze of HD video files, it's just a smart choice to start looking into these units.

The most popular units that were targeted to the home were made by Drobo. They've been out for quite a while, but I could never find myself spending so much money on something. Now that prices have dropped incredibly for Drobo Storage units, hard drive capacities are huge, I think it's time I add this to my current workflow. Just remember when choosing a storage unit like Drobo, find one that can support the correct file system (i.e. NTFS) for your files that are larger than 4GB. B&H has a $100 dollar instant rebate on this unit (at this time of writing). Note: This unit may not support NTFS file format. Please check before you buy. If it doesn't, it would still be great for Photographers though!


One thought on “Data Overload – External Storage Units

  1. That is cheaper than before and the Drobo was something I looked into before comparing it to OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2. I ended up buying the 4 TB one although I do lose the DROBO's capability of swapping any sized hard drive. The pros of the Mercury Elite-AL is that it has an eSATA interface which makes a whole difference compared to Firewire 800. Plus it has a 3 year warranty.

    It still has the RAID configuration and its default setting is RAID 5--their website has a good explanation on the differences.

    It is a beast weighing nearly at 9 lbs for just the enclosure so plus the drives it's well over 15 lbs.

    Here's the direct product page:

    A quicktip is to actually call them and order from them directly and they'll ship FREE.

    Thought this might help!

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