I am curious what everyone does for long term archiving of jobs. Let’s say you design a (catalog, brochure, logo, whatever) for a client. It’s delivered. Everyone is happy. This isn’t something that you need to store on your hard drive as an asset. What is your process for archiving and cataloging this work? How many copies do you make? Are copies stored on site, off site, in the cloud, all of the above?
So, for work, all of our work is archived to our corporate server, which is backed up as well.
At home, work is archived on external hard drive and a cloud backup service.
I usually work off an external hard drive that’s backed up each day to another hard drive. I’ll let projects remain there for several months before removing and transferring them to a permanent external hard drive that I use for nothing but that. In the past, I’ve also backed up each job separately on a DVD, but lately I’ve been using flash drives. I’m still distrustful of the cloud for permanent storage, but I’ve sure got lots of miscellaneous stuff on Google Drive.
Current work is on a RAID drive that is backed up nightly “offsite.” Not technically cloud storage as we own the offsite server.
Work moves to an inactive file for one year on the same RAID.
At one year a determination is made whether it is or isn’t a recurring job.
If yes, it stays on the server for another year.
If no it gets “archived.”
Which means burned to DVD and filed. It stays there for 10 years or until the DVD no longer works, whichever comes first. I have not found a better media for doing this and will be very sad if they stop making that interface.
There are exceptions. I still have some client files from 2008 on the RAID server.
I’m glad that I’m not the only one using DVDs for archiving.
This habit started years ago – back when external hard drives were really expensive. For a while, I was archiving work to SyQuest drives, but those were expensive, too. So when CDs and CD burning came around, I started putting archived jobs onto CDs then DVDs. It’s a habit that stuck. Now, I’m looking at all of these discs wondering why I don’t spend $100 on a 4TB drive and archive everything to the drive.
I’m self-employed, and it’s just me. Storage is cheap. I save everything, and use multiple back ups.
Internal 1 - software and fonts only
Internal 2 - work files
Internal 3 - personal and financial files
External 1 - back up of Internal 1
External 2 - back up of Internal 2
External 3 - back up of Internal 3
Cloud back up of Internal 1 & 2
Flash drive back up of financial files on Internal 3
Clients that haven’t been around in awhile get moved to the ‘Inactive’ folder so I’m not constantly tripping over it.
At my last job, we bought a RAID setup for our video files. On paper, it was a perfect backup system. I can’t remember which level of RAID, but everything was redundant — lose one drive and all the data on that drive is written elsewhere on the RAID.
We don’t know what happened, but one of the drives had some sort of electrical issue that fried the motor. It had a cascading effect that somehow corrupted the data on each of the remaining drives. We spent several thousand dollars trying to retrieve the data but only got about ten percent of it back — seven years and some 8 terabytes of video files lost. Luckily, it was all old 640x480 B-roll stuff, but still a big loss.
That’s why we backup nightly. We’ve had two failures on that drive but managed to recover. Both times it was the case, not one of the drives. Now we keep a spare case as well as spare drives.
Anything will fail at some time or another.
Usually at the worst possible time.
I have a RAID that I use for Time Machine (daily) backups. I have not had any issues with the drives, but it’s good to have a heads up that a problem with one drive could mean a problem with other drives.
How does everyone catalog the work on archived drives? Or do you catalog it in any way?
Or if the case goes, we found that using an upgraded case doesn’t work. It won’t interface with the drives from an older case. So the extra is always a same-issue-date case.
I rely heavily on a Dropbox business account. That provides 5TB of cloud storage with unlimited versioning (don’t have to worry about saving over or accidentally deleteing ever again). We use that space for active projects and a couple years worth of archives.
Active jobs are kept in a folder that sync’s to every team memeber’s local drive. When the job is complete, we archive it into a folder that isn’t sync’d to everyone’s drive (but can still access via web). Those ‘archive’ folders are organized by year.
Every year I’ll dump the oldest year’s archive folder from the cloud onto a 5TB external drive on an older machine at my home office (different from business location), and that machine has another 5TB external for time machine backups. When this drive fills up, I’ll just get another 5TB drive to replace it.
Also, our naming conventions for project folders makes it easy for us to retrieve projects via searching. So we don’t modify or do any special cataloging. Though within each yearly archive folder, we have folders for each brand/client incase we ever need to release archives for an account.
We tried a RAID drive on our mixed network. It’s an absolute nightmare. For the Macs it’s so slow it commonly times out and disconnects while trying to open a subfolder. While it’s connected it slows Macs and PCs down to about half speed or less.
After 6 months of this we went back to shared SSD external hard drives. Now we have a problem getting archived work off the RAID drive which is taking forever.
How are you connecting? on the Mac, try CIFS instead of SMB.