I was backing up projects to my server today, when I realized that I’m now down to 200GB of space. I think it might be time for an upgrade. Currently, there are 6 hard drives installed in this mess of a case. Two 500GB drives, and Four 1TB drives in RAID 1, grand total, 5TB with 3TB of usable space. When I upgraded my server a few years ago, 1TB drives where the way to go, now however, 2TB drives are down around $70 and 3TB drives are around $140. Basically this means I can get the same protection and space in 2 drives instead of 6. Add 2 more drives and I’ll have another 2 or 3TB of drive space to spare.

Hard drives are one of those things that everyone needs, but no one really feels like buying. I can spend $500 to keep my footage safe and I know it’s something I need to do, but then I start thinking, “I could just burn 20 or 30 DVDs and use the money leftover to buy a lens or lighting gear“. Sure it’s easy to think that way and you might even get away with it for awhile, but there will come a day when you’re trying to find a clip from that project you did last year. You dig through a whole spool of burned DVDs until you finally find the disk you need, but when you lift it out of the spool there’s a big gash across it, or worse, the reflective top has flaked off. This is actually how I ended up loosing a few of the special feature clips on one of the last big projects I worked on.

Thankfully, hard drive space keeps getting cheaper. Those 1TB Western Digital drives I bought a few years ago where around $180 a peace, now they’re down to around $50. Big hard drives also mean fewer hard drives (hopefully), so I probably don’t need all that noise cooling and temperature monitoring installed any more.

After the hard drive upgrade, it might be time to test out the Cat-6 in my house to make sure it can handle 10GBASE-T. Network drives work a lot better if you have a big pipe.

If any of you have setup any of these 3TB drives in RAID 1, let me know how it worked out. I had a few problems with a number of 1.5TB Seagate drives in RAID 1 when I was upgrading my desktop awhile back. For some reason one of the drives would go into sleep mode while files were being copied and cause the RAID controller to start a rebuild on what it considered a “failed drive”.  The RAID rebuild took almost 12 hours every time it happened and I finally had to get 2 drives replaced before the problem was solved. I would like to try and avoid that kind of hassle this go around.

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