Friday, June 18, 2010

Why The Drobo S Is A Good Choice For Video Editors

I'm slowly but surely cleaning up this mess.

This is a quick post about why I bought a Drobo S, to use as my main storage for HD video files. As a video editor, I'm constantly buying new external hard-drives for projects. HD video files take up huge amounts of data. Now that cameras are shooting on solid state memory, rather than on tapes, footage is not archived unless it is backed up on multiple hard-drives. This means that for every project at least two hard-drives much be purchased. The process gets annoying and confusing quickly.

The Drobo S is a box that allows you to insert "internal" harddrives, one on top of the other, and it automatically RAIDs them, or backs them up. You can stack 5 two-terabyte hard-drives at a time inside the Drobo S, giving you 9 actual terabytes of backed-up space. If a drive ever fails (which all drives eventually do), the Drobo will show you a red light, at which point you just buy another drive and pop it in, in place of the failed drive and the Drobo automatically goes to work putting the data back in the right place.

I own a few 2 terabyte external G-Drives - the Apple store lists them at $330. The Drobo S, by itself is $799. I bought two 2TB Hitachi sata hi-speed drives at Fry's for $118 (on sale) a piece. If I fill up all 5 drive slots in the Drobo S, that gives me 9TB of backed up storage space for a total of $1389. If I were to buy 18TB (or 9 2TB G-Drives), which would give me the same amount of backed up storage space, I'd spend $2970. Also, it bogs down my computer to have multiple daisy-chained drives - the Drobo S allows me to keep all 9TBs running simultaneously, and the 7200RPM drives, going through an *eSata card are very fast (the Drobo S also has two firewire 800 ports).

*The newest generation of 15in. Macbook Pros DO NOT have an Expresscard/34 slot for the eSata card. Instead, they have a single SD card reader. This was a HUGE design flaw by Apple. I do not recommend buying a 15in. Macbook Pro that does not have a Expresscard/34 slot. Here is a link to the IOGEAR 2 PORT eSATA EXPRESSCARD/34 - GPS702e3 that I purchased from Fry's for $39.99. The 17in. Macbooks still have this slot, but they are huge and impractical for travel.


Cole said...

I know not a whit about what you're discussing here.

I just know that Drobo is a fun name, and it looks like a sleek black toaster.

Also, my secret word that I have to type in to prove that I'm not a computer is "bortiver" which is how someone with a very bad cold might say my last name.

Anonymous said...

One mistake you are making is considering the Drobo a "backup".

It does protect your data against a single drive failure, but there could be other catastrophic failures that could render all your data unusable. The only way to really protect is to have a second copy. Ideally an online backup would be the way to go. I'd suggset you check out as they have very good pricing for unlimited amounts of data.

I too store a lot of videos (Over 1.5 TB's at the moment) and have it on a RAID config in my desktop, backed up to a 2TB external USB drive and backed up online.