Storage and the maintenance thereof…

December 22, 2009

I have roughly 8TB (terabytes) of storage spread over multiple machines and external arrays. I have pictures, videos, movies, ISOs, games, data, backups, and important info spread over those 8TB over multiple machines and external arrays. HOW do I keep track of everything and achieve what I need so that I can find it when I need to?And to add insult to injury I have a personal laptop and my work laptop and depending on which one I have with me when inspiration hits I may start to do an edit one OR an After Effect composition on another… Just this week I had to go over 3 laptops and two machines to find a video I had been working on as a company logo. I finally found half of it on an archive drive; the background and texture files I had been using were found on another drive.

There has to be a better way…

I am using Adobe Lightroom Trial as a way to track my pictures and it works well so far for new pics though I haven’t tried to incorporate my old pics yet. But videos are another story and here’s why: I edit church services every weekend; I take a copy from the church of a 2 hour service. There is no storage at the church so at most I keep one extra week or two on their computer but at home I have most of the services going back to 2008. There are some weeks where we have a concert or some other special program.

So I have about 60-65 2 hour services on my home editing computer. I convert the AVI to MPG to make it smaller (and since I am exporting to DVD format it will end up as MPG anyway). So I have the Original, Full service (10-15GB) and then the edited version exported from Sony Vegas (5-6GB) and then the final ISO created by Sony DVD Architect (3-4GB). Add to that an audio rip (to create CDs) of 700-800MB. So even if I only have one service that is already 18-21GB… per week. And that doesn’t include my own projects. I did a 20 minute slideshow with family pics and it was a 35GB AVI file!

Sure I can just delete each service when I’m finished but then I would lose footage that I inevitably need by the end of the year for a special presentation, or footage that I can use for a video resume.

Because HD prices are so cheap (1TB for ~$100) it is always easiest to just get more storage, but the downside of that is remembering where everything is and finding it when you *NEED* it! And that is something I am trying to figure out. A large SAN or NAS array is out of the question due to initial cost and electricity usage until I can find a way for it to basically pay for itself.  So I keep looking for solutions.

Any ideas?

I am definitely keeping the church’s DVD ISOs for at least another year. But I may make one more edit and then get ride of the original files. After all I can’t keep looking back in 2010. 😉


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