Back To Tape?

Terabytes of storage. Over 3 terabytes for the main recording DAW in the studio. A couple of terabytes for the computer I use for my digital photography work.

And backup storage. Very important. But how reliable?

My workflow for recording goes like this: session files on primary storage of DAW get archived to secondary storage on the SAN at the end of each session. At the end of the project, producer and artist receive full archive on portable hard disk. Session files get archived to DVD-R.

For digital photography: RAW files are downloaded to primary storage on the computer and they get archived to DVD-R. The primary storage is backed up to a secondary hard disk each evening.

Turns out CD-R and DVD-R media are not very reliable. From Computerworld:

Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland GmbH, takes this view: If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime.

“Unlike pressed original CDs, burned CDs have a relatively short life span of between two to five years, depending on the quality of the CD,” Gerecke said in an interview this week. “There are a few things you can do to extend the life of a burned CD, like keeping the disc in a cool, dark space, but not a whole lot more.”

Looks like I need to do some research on robust backup strategies for audio and digital media. Optical media seems to offer very limited reliability.

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