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  What Disk is for What?

What Disk is for What?

Drives are used in a number of ways in a production cycle. Backup drives on set, Data Wrangling Drives, Transport Drives and Editing drives. Certain styles of drive in turn, lend themselves to the job in hand.

Key areas to be concerned with when planning to use any drive with any production

  • Purpose
  • Capacity
  • Reliability


In most cases, the budget will dictate the route you take with your storage. However, make sure you address the 4 key areas of disk storage uses.

  1. On Set rushes
  2. Transport Drives
  3. Rushes Storage
  4. Editing Storage


INFO: It may well be that you will also have to investigate storing rushes long term which means passing them back out to data tape. Most solutions will use some form of LTO tape drive system. It is outside the scope of this course to look at these systems usage.


On Set Drives

Once rushes have been acquired they need to be backed up securely. This means you are looking for a combination of performance and reliability, and in some cases portability.


Examples for onset use would be to have two RAID1 arrays attached via USB3 connectors which receive 2 confirmed ‘clones’ of the rushes onto each unit.


HINT: Some people may also use the same drives as transport drive to the post house. Once the ‘rushes’ have been copied to the facilities secure storage the arrays are then returned for reuse. In these cases it is essential to make sure these rushes have been securely copied at the facility and in turn have also been successfully ingested BEFORE deleting any material on these drives!


Example of a 2 Bay RAID1 array


Transport Drives

There may well be a need to move rushes from the set to the facility to allow them to be ingested. Rushes can be ‘Wrangled’ on set (for film type shoots) and you receive ‘fit for edit’ rushes i.e. they have been transcoded between the camera format and a format suitable for editing with, DNx36 for example. In most other cases, a copy of the rushes needs to be delivered to the facility to start the ingest process. In these cases, it is common to use cheap pocket drives that are USB 3.0 attached.


HINT: If your Transport drives are also your On Set back up drives, it is essential to make sure these rushes have been securely copied at the facility and in turn have also been successfully ingested BEFORE deleting any material on these drives!


The ‘classic’ rugged Lacie pocket drive.


Back Up Drives

If rushes need to be held securely through the life of the production, then a RAID6 array or perhaps even a NAS (Network Attached Storage) would be used to offer a high storage capacity and keep data secure and protected against disk failures.


8Bay Array offering Security and capacity


Editing Storage

Ensure you know what is expected of the array and if you require performance, security or a combination of the two. Make sure you have enough capacity to support the production and also allow some sort of over head for unforeseen issues as well as VFX shots and over shooting!

INFO: Try and stick with known brands and make sure you test and bed in a disk set prior to using it in anger.



GTech a known quality product for editing systems.