Backing up for the Long Run – ON THE COUCH Ep. 23 part 2 of 4 – Dan Chung, Clinton Harn, Emmanuel Pampuri

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In the 23rd episode of ON THE COUCH, I was lucky enough to sit with fellow bloggers and shooters Dan Chung, Clinton Harn from and Emmanuel Pampuri from

In this second part of the talk, we focus on a subject that isn’t often talk about – long-term storage for data. As the discussion unfolds, it becomes clear that even professionals don’t follow a strict protocol when it comes to permanent archiving of projects that are finished.

Clinton surprises us by announcing that he ends up deleting some of the stuff he is shooting for projects to save storage space. Both he and Emmanuel use LTO tape drives for permanent backup, whereas Dan Chung and I currently still store everything on slower hard drives as soon as a project is done.

We also talk about how to access and actually find old projects in the stacks of hard drives and tapes that we stack in our offices. I recommend using NeoFinder, a neat little software that indexes everything from attached hard drives and can be set up to update the index automatically. When I look for something, I just enter a search query into NeoFinder and it shows me on which drive I can find the file. It also stores metadata of all files and even preview images and video clips if wanted.

In the 3rd part of this episode ON THE COUCH we look at SteadXP, an very exciting new stabilizer concept that follows a different path, because it’s a combination between a hardware box and software that interprets the movement in post production – Emmanuel Pampuri was involved with developing it and will introduce the technology. Stay tuned!






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Guillaume Solar-Pelletier Reply
Guillaume Solar-Pelletier May 3, 2015

Very interesting subject!

And everybody seems not completely satisfied with their solution… Except maybe Pampuri!

In my case, after losing 2 hard drives and been unable to read my own 9 years old dvd, I snapped.

I did some research and informations was hard to find. More interesting to talk the new camera in town than backuping!

Finally I went all in with lto-6 and I use Tolis group Bru PE software. It is an expensive solution at the beginning, but I hope it will pay in the long term and I can now sleep at night :)

I’m not a big shot filmmaker, I’m a freelancer and I still film with the C100 in avchd. But I shoot a lot and my footage have value. The image quality become obsolete over time but not the contents.

This video from Larry Jordan with Tim Jones, President of Tolis Group, very much helped me to make my choice.


Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner May 3, 2015

Very cool input Guillaume, thank you!

Are you using a Mac? I’m also looking into getting an LTO system but I need it for Mac.

Guillaume Solar-Pelletier Reply
Guillaume Solar-Pelletier May 3, 2015

Hi Nino,

I’m on a mac!
I went with the Mtape from Mlogic, which is a Thunderbolt solution. It’s pretty much plug and play.

I valued a solution without sas port or ethernet, which is maybe less expensive than the Mtape, but those solution are complicated and you never know if your system will work after an update, which mean losing precious time or costy specialists.

As for Bru PE, it is the only application I felt safe for the restoring of my backup… other company or open source ntfs are sometimes not supported more after 2 years. An it work very well with fcpx (which is good for me).

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner May 5, 2015

Cool that sounds great – thanks for the tips. Looking into getting the same solution. What tapes do you use? Are there differences in terms of reliability?

Guillaume Solar-Pelletier Reply
Guillaume Solar-Pelletier May 7, 2015


Hum, as I remember, and I can be wrong, it is almost the same company or alliance that built the film for the different brand.

The best one seems to be the Fujifilm with the “Barium Ferrite”, suppose to last more than 30 years, but it is the company that claims it. :)

I’m using the HP (purple one), less expensive and no problem so far, but it’s just been few months.

At a production company, I recall restoring many lto archive and I never had a problem.

Guillaume Solar-Pelletier Reply
Guillaume Solar-Pelletier May 7, 2015

let me get bak on way I said (english is not my main language).

The quality of the tape is not suppose to vary from a brand to another as it is the same company or alliance of companies that produce de film for different brand.

But Fujifilm have their own version with “Barium Ferrite”, which is suppose to last longer and I think they are the only one doing it.


Alice Phoebe Reply
Alice Phoebe May 4, 2015

long-term storage for data is a question for the rapid development of science and increase of the amount of information, save storage space, backup the important data security is more important escipally for business, easeus software( is such a business provide data recovery and related service, hoping to excellence

Jurij Turnšek Reply
Jurij Turnšek May 4, 2015

Kind wish that single write SD cards would have gained some grounds:

But I guess SSDs are going to become cheap enough in 5 years or so (considering the data increase from HD to 4K) and in the meantime HDDs are going to have to do. Just don’t forget to mirror them with RAID!

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner May 5, 2015

There are rarely any long time experiences with the durability of SSDs over years or even decades. They might at some point catch up in terms of pricing and capacity (although that is still far away) but we’ll have to wait for 20 years to actually be able to tell how reliable they are for long term backup. The general problem with SSDs is that if it fails, everything is lost. There is no way you can recover anything – unlike HDDs (which are very expensive to recover) or tapes (like LTO) which are much harder to “kill”.

Caleb Rasak Reply
Caleb Rasak May 4, 2015

My process is very simple and can be executed by many. We have a Facilis Terrablock server drive that is connected to every editing system in the office over the network. We shoot then dump to this drive system with an organized simple folder tree that is consistent with every project. We then have cat dv constantly analyzing the drives to back up for a second time into a drobo box. Every month we then back up to an external drive to be taken off site so we have a recent back up at all times. Its a lot of money but it works and is consistent.

 Simpson Sean Reply
Simpson Sean July 11, 2015

You are talking about $20-30,000 in Hardware plus another $3,000 for the server license of cat dv. Not many reading this site are remotely at that level. Unfortunately there really is limited options fitting the requirements a one man band/micro production now has in terms of data storage at the price level most in that category can afford. With none of those options even remotely approaching enterprise level feature sets for both archiving and asset management. Let alone stability for one OS or another.

Julien Garros Reply
Julien Garros May 6, 2015

Hard drive and Crash plan… Cheapest solution.

Rudy Diaz Reply
Rudy Diaz June 15, 2015

I like Dan Chung method, similar to how I back up . but i take and extra step by having the long term hard drive copy to an off site hard drive. automatically

 Nikita Pavlov Reply
Nikita Pavlov November 9, 2015

How do you do that “automatically”?

Jake McClure Reply
Jake McClure June 16, 2015

Strange I missed this as we just went through a change in archiving. At present we have over 2 petabytes of data on 100 2TB drives. After doing the math we determined we couldn’t sustain that kind of archiving so we switched to Dropbox for all new projects. So far its working great. Granted we do have a ripping fast FIOS connection so it make uploading 4k files pretty easy. Now if I need to make a change on an archived project I just pull it down, put it on the active drive, make the change and put it back.

 Nikita Pavlov Reply
Nikita Pavlov November 9, 2015

Dropbox? How much do you pay? You have tariff over 5TB?