There is an old saying... You always have to learn the hard way. Well about 2 years ago I did learn the hard lesson of back-up or rather the lack of it. I did not have a back-up solution in place. I would retire drives once they were full and pile them up on a shelf. I knew it would happen to me one day and I was living on very borrowed time. But one morning in the middle of a Pro Tools project I heard the tick, tick, ticking of a media drive about to die. And die it did. It was a 3 terabyte Western Digital Black high performance drive that I had had well over 3 years. I had the media backed up not not the project I was working on.
To cut a long story short I lost about 4 days of active work. I spent well over £1300 on professional data recovery which got me not a single byte in recovered data .
I went on to spend about £2000 creating my current data storage solution. So here is what I am using now.
Mac Pro System Back-up
My Mac Pro Cheese Grater is fully stoked with drives and storage devices. I am running a 1 terabyte Crucial SSD system drive and 3 more 4 Terabyte Western Digital Black drives for Samples, Audio and Video. The OS drive is backed up to an external Western Digital My Book via USB3.0. I know the Mac Pro does not have USB3.0 so I could hook this up to the built in USB2.0 ports. I do however have a USB3.0 PCIe card installed with gives me 4 super fast USB3.0 ports. All the backup is handled by the amazing Econ Technologies ChronoSync. I have set up a back-up scheduler that runs every night. This way if I do have a problems I am only ever 1 day behind.
Pro Tools Audio, Video and Sample Libary Drives
Again connected to my Mac Pro via USB3.0 I have an external 4 bay drive tower by a company called Hornttek. It is called an Enterprise 4x4 bay hard drive enclosure and I found this one on eBay. Not a brand I had heard of so I am guessing it is a Chinese OEM unit but so far is it performing very well. The fan is very quiet and where I have it placed down behind the Mac out of harms way I can not hear a peep from it. All 3 media drives also get backed up every night via ChronoSync. I have checked the media and from to time I do boot projects and files from the back-up drives to make sure they are working.
Deep Storage And Archiving
When drives do finally get filled I retire them to a shelf in my cupboard of many things however, I also make a final back-up of each project. One of the things we all hark on about with the Mac Pro Cheese Grater is it's expansion options. About 4 years ago I fitted a Blu-Ray disc burner to my Mac and this allows me to back up 25GB of data onto 1 disc or spread the data across many. It takes a little while to burn the full 25GB but I have every project both audio and video that I have worked on archived, just in case.
Current Client Project
Most of my studio work is with clients from all over the world. Most of the time these projects are delivered via DropBox. When I finish my side of the project I re-upload the files to a shared folder on DropBox. So without even thinking about back-up just by the nature of how I work all my clients data is in 3 places. The working drive, the local back-up drive and in the cloud on DropBox. I have 1 Terabyte of DropBox storage which costs $9.99 a month. A very small price to pay to get me out of a jam should the the unthinkable happen again.