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10 Things to Consider When Selecting a Video Storage System

4K or 8K uncompressed video present challenges for acquisition, workflow and storage, which are intertwined. Video Storage System used for archival purposes has different requirements from storage shared among team members, in terms of throughput and capacity. Both of these, archives and active shared storage, will most likely need to be supported concurrently.

To keep things simple its best to start from the point of workflow and which platform you are working with. Like DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro CC, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Smoke and others. Then, the associated hardware and configuration of your studio, which could be anything from a MacBook Pro all the way up to multiple networked workstations.

Selecting a Video Storage System

When deciding on storage system speciation there is a tradeoff to be made. First, is the storage to be used short term for editing and completing a project or for archiving finished work?

If you are editing on a laptop and just need to bring in the material to complete a project, then an SSD drive is your best option for speed and efficiency. A good example is GLYPH Atom RAID SSD, which is double the speed of your average SSD.

When you are at the other end of the spectrum and using a workstation(s) then those environments require stable, larger-capacity, higher-performance storage. Playback response, file transfer times, transcoding, rendering, media access by multiple users are all affected by your choice of storage hard drives.

Read Also: AiThority Interview with Omar Arab, EVP of Corporate Business at VeriTran

The simplest shared storage, a box the size of a small desktop computer with 2 hard drives inside, is something similar to the LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 8TB (2x 4TB) Dual-Disk RAID Drive. For higher end platforms, an all-in-one solution like the QNAP TVS-1282T3 12-Bay NAS Enclosure with additional hard drives, is ideal.

10 Things to Consider in a Video Storage System

Below are ten things to consider when choosing a video storage system:

#1 Types:

Solid State Drives (SSD) provide very fast seek time, reducing latency as there are no moving parts.

Helium Hard Disk Drives(HDD) – have a mechanical spinning disc and can reach capacities beyond 10TB per drive.

#2 Capacity – the amount of data a drive can store. Available in quantities of:

Gigabytes – 1 GB = 1000 Megabytes

Terabytes – 1 TB = 1000 Gigabytes

Petabytes – 1 PB = 1000 Terabytes

#3 Sustained throughput – the amount of data that the hard drive can read or write continuously.

#4 Interface – the physical connection of the drive to the host computer. This is an important element because the interface can be a bottleneck for the data moving on and off of the drive, affecting sustained throughput.

#5 Serial AT Attachment (SATA):

USB 3.0 is rated at 5 Gbps. That’s about 640 megabytes per second.

10 Gigabit Ethernet (10Gb), for shared storage.

Thunderbolt 3 is rated to 40 Gbps, which is the fastest option.

Firewire Legacy connection older Mac’s FireWire 800 — moving data at 800 Mbps is the slowest.

#6 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM’s)–  This is how fast those platters spin in an HDD. More RPM’s mean faster media access.

#7 Drive Cache or Buffer (HDD Only) – like RAM in a computer, an HDD has its own bit of memory to quickly read and store data. The greater the cache size, the more data can be stored there, meaning media access performance gains.

#8 Sequential Reads and Writes (SSD Only) – the possible sustained throughput of an SSD for either of these disk operations.

#9 Reliability – True data protection also involves geographic diversity, so a natural or artificial disaster at one location won’t affect data stored at the other location.

#10 Linear Tape-Open (LTO)– Digital tape storage for archival content. It is when dealing with many hundreds of terabytes of video recorded data that the value of LTO over hard drives is truly seen.

For example: You have 150TB of data to store. That would require 100 1.5TB external hard drives, at a cost of around $75 each, or $7,500. LTO would incur one drive at about $1,300 plus100 cartridges at about $25 each, or $2,500, bringing the grand total to $3,800.

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