The Cloud Panacea

Cloud? A new Windows 10 production machine of ours last year received a message shortly after start-up that our ‘One Drive was full’. Of course it was a 1GB free cloud storage facility that had gobbled up what it first saw. This was a slice of our design software which we already had on other drives! We were advised to ‘Upgrade’ at a cost to enable the One Drive to gobble up all else. Oh dear.

Talking video, we are so aware of the elephant in the room – ‘The Cloud’, which is seen as the panacea for all.

So often we have clients who ask for old material (from 3 – 8 years or more) to be resurrected, usually with testimonials or footage from expensive location shoots. We are always happy to access material from our archives, which are physical, local and remote. But most importantly, easily accessable and affordable – and this can be at no or little cost.

Local back-ups are great – although on-site can be at risk of fire or theft.

Near-local back-ups are even better – off-site, but physically local enough to access, and cheap enough to maintain.

Long-term storage though requires more thought: ‘deep archive’ in ‘The Cloud’. This does require annual storage fees dependant on access retrieval speeds). Or suprisingly for a lot of us, good old fashioned tape, now speeded up and known as LTO. The development of this is managed by a consortium of IBM, HP and Quantum to amazingly high standards of retrieval. This is now used widely in Broadcast. Fixed off-site or near-local, this can provide a cheaper, reliable and more cost effective approach to data archiving.

Our current view is that ‘The Cloud’ has too many risks: relying upon 100% internet connectivity (are you always on-line capable?) and long term annual fees for occasional access.

When do projects have the luxury of time when archives are required, with permanent high cost retrieval fees?

Best to consider your back-up strategies, with whatever data you have. We would bet that most you of reading this already, have nearly full back-ups of one kind or another.