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ARSCLIST  February 2005

ARSCLIST February 2005

Subject:

Re: Audio storage on external hard drives

From:

John Poirier <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 23 Feb 2005 10:48:38 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

BDY.TXT (168 lines)

Hi. Interesting discussion.

I've been keeping an eye on this issue for some time, as we have
digitized something like four thousand sound recordings and a very large
number of photographs.  I won't get into the details of our current
storage system.  It is quite safe in that it is based on multiple
redundancy including off-site storage on external drives.  However, it
is not viable in the long term because it is not suited for proper file
management, checking of media, or systematic migration.  We have been
urging our government IT staff to move on a proper storage system
involving at least two RAID arrays, one being off-site, as well as
off-line storage on CDs or their successors.

One posting mentions Jim Wheeler's ideas about using individual hard
drives.  I saw a presentation by Jim in 2003.  He was advocating the use
of hard drives for storage of uncompressed video, and I think mentioned
that two copies per recording could be a good idea. Two hours fit on a
340GB disc. This is a somewhat expensive proposition with current
technology, at least for non-profits.  However, I think it is a
reasonable idea for commercial broadcasts with potential for re-sale or
for materials of particular historic interest.  Personally, I'd also
make compressed copies and store those elsewheres.

I can suggest several options that may be worth thinking about:

1. The Apple XServe G5- seems to be very affordable RAID storage.
http://www.apple.com/xserve/

2. MAID (Massive Arrays of Idle Discs).  Below I have copied a May 2004
AMIA-L posting by Richard Wright of the BBC on the subject. This may be
where the future lies. I haven't been tracking the development, but will
be revisiting it over the next month or two.

3. I just bought a 1GB USB memory stick for C$120.  This sort of thing
is getting cheaper very quickly.  How long will it be before they
replace CDs as what I think of as a last-resort backup?

Cheers

John Poirier
Coordinator of Technical Services
NWT Archives
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada



-----Original Message-----
From: richard.wright /unix [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 3:57 AM
To: AMIA-L /unix
Subject: [AMIA-L] Hard Drive Mass Storage with low power, long life


All-  There has been discussion here about how best to use the fact that
hard drives have reached approx the unit cost (per byte) of tape, and
are dropping in cost faster than tape.  Keeping lots of hard drives
powered up uses lots of power, and a lot more power for cooling.  Hard
drive life is definitely shortened if temperatures rise.

The suggestion has been made to keep drives on shelves.  This is the
cheapest possible way to approach hard drives, but loses all of their
advantages except cost: rapid access, data monitoring, automated backup
& migration.

But keeping it all online has all that extra power, air conditioning,
and system hardware to pay for -- which generally makes the cost of hard
drive mass storage still something like 2 or 3 times as high as tape
robots.

There is a 'best of both' approach: MAID: Massive Arrays of Idle Discs.
You still need a bunch of racks, but there is power management to keep
most of the discs turned off.

A company called Copan is promoting this approach.  I don't want to in
turn promote them, it's just that they have the first product I've seen
which implements the approach.  No doubt there are others I don't know
about, so my apologies and perhaps readers of this message can fill in
the gaps.

MAID and the Copan approach:
http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/dmw2004/slacworkshop/talks/guha/DMF2000-CopanSystems.pdf

Having mentioned a private company, I should note that this email is
just my view and not the BBC's, and not an endorsement.

Regards, Richard
>Richard Wright
>Technology Manager, Projects
>BBC Information & Archives


-----Original Message-----
From: jhartke /unix [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 10:03 AM
To: ARSCLIST /unix
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives


I would repeat my earlier comment that any media should be periodically
retested, and its contents transferred if degradation is observed.

J. Hartke
Media Sciences, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven Smolian
> Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 11:37 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives
>
> My original comments concerning using external hard drives for
long-term
> storage still hold.  All responses here seemed about frequent
short-term
> usage.  How will they work after not being used for, say, 15 years, a
not
> unusual period of time between placing audio into an archive and
bringing
> it
> out for retrieval.  I'm still dubious indeed.
>
> Anyone have experience firing up a computer after a 15 year period of
> inactivity?
>
> Steve Smolian
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 8:26 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives
>
>
> > At 06:12 PM 2/21/2005, Scott Phillips wrote:
> >>Richard,
> >>
> >>..are you using RAID disk technology for storage, and if so , what
RAID
> >>level ? This certainly is a consideration....
> >
> > Hi, Scott,
> >
> > Welcome to ARSC List!
> >
> > If I had more money, I would be using RAID, but the costs of doing
that
> > right now are higher than the approach I've taken.
> >
> > I use ViceVersa Pro to automatically sync the work folders that new
> stuff
> > goes in, and I use Ghost to grab a snapshot of the operating
environment
> > on
> > each of the PCs.
> >
> > So, in essence, my system will be close to a RAID 1 (full
mirroring),
> but
> > separated by two brick walls and 20 feet.
> >
> > Ideally, each of the two stores would be RAID 5, but that is much
more
> > expensive.
> >

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