Tutorials

Video Production Backup Protocol

  • January 17, 2020

Data Backup Plan for Video Creatives

Introduction:

This will allow you to have enough storage space for the next 24 to 36 months. I’ve taken your points of concern that you mentioned in your messages to me and I have come up with the following approach based on my personal workflow and expectations of what you will need in the months to come. If you have any questions I will be happy to assist you during this process. 

Naming Project Files Protocol: A simple and effective working strategy:

Everyone has their own approach to naming and organizing their video projects so you might already have one that is tried and trusted, nevertheless, I thought I would share my personal filing system which I find very easy to work with and share with other editors or videographers so that they can edit from, and send it back to me. So far everyone I have worked with has found it easy to work with.  

Uploading files to your primary storage device:

For this I would recommend using an app like Adobe Bridge 2019 which will allow you to save all the Metadata that you require.
I personally change the video file names by creating a custom name within Adobe Bridge 2019 to “Custom” and rename the video files so that it contains the original file name + the name of the Project, Scene, or Shoot Location as in the screenshots below:

Low Cost Effective Backup Protocol for Video Creators: 

Low Cost Effective Hard Drive Backup Protocol with Redundancy:

This is the approach that I would recommend you use for a small to medium sized production company.

Creating and Using Proxy Files 

Using Proxies will make editing your projects remotely quick and simple and this is an approach I would highly recommend adding to your workflow for any project bigger than 100 GB. Sometimes it’s just faster to edit the RAW Video Files than waiting for Proxies to render in Media Encoder but if you are working on anything sustancial, the first thing I would recommend doing after copying your files to your NAS Drive / Primary Storage Drive would be to create proxies and then send a copy of them to the SSD that you are going to be editing from.

This will also help you if you need someone to edit your project for you remotely or on the other side of the earth. You can simply send the proxies to the Editor, instead of the original video files, and allow them to be edited, the editor can send back the Project files to you and you will be able to open the project with the original files and toggle off/on the Proxies, allowing you to export the video file in its full resolution but be able to send and receive files from the Editor a lot faster.

The Hardware I would recommend you buy to store your video projects:

This is the NAS system that I would recommend:

The Synolody is an awesome NAS system to use if you are looking to setup a small video editing hub to work from. This NAS Device has 4 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports allowing you to access the drive from 4 different PCs via ethernet cables at the same time. With the Gigabit

Synology DS1819 with 8 10TB drives:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1473999-REG/synology_diskstation_80tb_ds1819_8_bay.html

The Cat 7 Ethernet Cable I would Recommend:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1017978-REG/tera_grand_cat7_7000_25k_cat7_shielded_sstp_bare.html

The Switch I would recommend (this may or may not even be necessary):

Buffalo BS-MP20 8-Port 10GbE Network Switch

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1358332-REG/buffalo_bs_mp2008_8_port_desktop_rackmount_10_gbe.html

Network Adapters for your PCs:

ASUS XG-C100C 10G Network Adapter Pci-E X4 Card with Single RJ-45 Port

What Cloud Backup Service Provider I would recommend:

I have a small production company here in South Africa and I currently adding around 150 to 250 GB of footage to my hard drives every work day. I have setup a Backblaze account to my main Editing PC and I store everything through this PC which I have set up with a BackBlaze account. All my hard drives and video projects are backed up automatically and any new files that are added are uploaded immediately (which it does by default).

Backblaze works extremely well for my workflow and if anything was to happen to my main PC or NAS Device, like if it was to get struck by lightning (this has happened to me once many years ago) or get stolen from my office (this happened to me in July this year) or if an earthquake was to happen (we experienced a small one today)

BackBlaze offers an unlimited backup from each PC that you have signed up for. You might want to sign up for more than 1 PC to backup, depending on your needs. The service is very reasonably priced.

The way I would recommend backing up to BackBlaze goes against what the App recommends, but after using this App and uploading to it from my PC for a while, I see a big difference in the time it takes to upload files to the Cloud, based on the speed upload preferences you have set it to. I would recommend using the fastest upload settings for your initial upload and to run the PC that you are connecting your drive to perform the upload to,  to be connected for as many hours each day as you can, until your first backup has been completed. 

The Performance Settings I use are as follows:

I personally schedule my backup to run during the hours that I am not usually using my PC for editing (11pm – 8am), although I do not notice a difference in the performance of my PC if the backup to BackBlaze is running in the background while using the same computer to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro 2019. 

With this being said, even with a NAS Drive in your office and having this backed up to www.backblaze.com I would highly recommend having an additional backup offsite that you can back up to every 2- 4 weeks. I have another complete copy of all my Hard Drives offsite at a family residence 100kms from my office.

Using SSD Drives to Edit from or Editing directly from the NAS Drive or from the Main PC:

I personally find it easiest to edit from SSD drives. I have an internal SSD on each of my PCs which I keep completely empty. I add the entire Project Folder to the SSD and work directly from the SSD, I still find this to be the fastest and easiest solution to my editing workflow. I constantly backup the project during the editing process making a copy of the project files to the NAS Drive’s Project Folder and the Project Folder on my Edit SSD Drive.

On completion of the entire project, I make sure that all the files in the SSD Editing drive that I was working from and the folders and files in the NAS Device are identical and correspond. Once you have completed this video project or if you would like to work on another video project, you can simply delete all the files on the SSD Drive and copy the files across for your next project.

If you create a 10Gb/s connection from your NAS Device to your PC using the Cat 7 Ethernet Cable and 10Gb/s Pci-E Port that I recommended, then you will be able to edit 4K Video Files in Premiere Pro 2019 straight from the NAS Device.

If it is just yourself or a small group of editors that you trust working on the project then you might find this the best solution, otherwise it might be a more secure option to have your editors work off external SSD drives and deliver them to you directly so that your NAS Device is safe. 

It is often more convenient to use external SSD drives if different staff members are responsible for different aspects of the project. For example, if someone is responsible for editing the video project and another person needs to color grade the project on another machine, one can simply close the project and hand it over to the colorist and get the project back later with all the corrections made. I have found this to work very well when out in the field as well. You might be able to film and edit the video quickly but need the drive to be sent back to base before you arrive back or hand it over so that someone else can upload it to YouTube while you continue to work on another part of the project. For these instances I prefer to use SSDs. 

The SSD Drive that I would recommend each editor has in their pocket or on their desk at all times is one of these two Portable SSDs:

Samsung Portable SSD T5

WD 1TB My Passport USB 3.1 Gen 2 External SSD

Conclusion and Summary of my personal recommendations:

I would recommend that you purchase a NAS Device and add Seagate 12TB IronWolf Pro 7200 rpm SATA III 3.5″ Internal NAS HDD to if you can. I personally use the 12TB Drives and I love using them but if cost too much to install 8 x 12TB drives then 8 x10 TB drives will be more than enough for the next 24 – 36 months. The Synology DS1819 with 8 10TB drives is a very reasonable option for your needs and you won’t require much help in setting it up and connecting your PCs to it. If you think you will require more storage space then consider buying the newer 12TB Drives (maybe not 8 drives at first) and then adding more 12TB drives along the way.

I hope this clears up any doubts and answers the questions that you sent me about setting up a NAS device for your video projects. You mentioned that you would like to explain to me your present backup workflow so please feel free to send me any questions that you may have or if I haven’t covered something in this plan that I have made for you then please let me know. 

Remember that a NAS Device offers you redundancy but you should still make sure to create an additional backup offsite and make sure that your NAS Device is constantly being backed up to BackBlaze just in case.

I wish you all the best of luck with this exciting upgrade!

Kind regards,
Robert Wedderburn

Wildlife Documentary Filmmaker and Video Editor

Mobile: +27810490358

Email: robertwedderburnproductions@gmail.com

Website: www.robertwedderburn.com

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/robertwedderburn

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