Storing Video


Storage is not just the device or service you use to hold your videos; it also requires a set of actions or practices to ensure your media stays intact, secure, and accessible. Making copies, checking files, controlling access, and refreshing your devices are simple strategies for keeping your videos safe while in storage.

A Scenario: An Activist’s Personal Collection

Ryan has been filming various events, protests, and meetings that he has participated in for the past year. He has amassed a collection of over a hundred videos that serve as a document of the social movement that he is part of. He stores his videos on a 4-bay RAID 5 Firewire unit at home, which is backed up to an external hard drive using Time Machine. To protect against accidental deletion, Ryan keeps his videos separate from his family’s other files, and sets read-only permissions on the videos. Also, every couple of months, he makes a copy of his collection on a hard drive and brings it to his brother’s house.

A hurricane sweeps in to the region while Ryan is on vacation, causing major flooding in his home. The Firewire unit is water-damaged beyond repair. To make matters worse, the Time Machine backup was kept on the same shelf as the Firewire unit and is also damaged. Most of Ryan’s collection can be recovered, however, thanks to the copy he brought to his brother’s house two months ago.


Beware physical threats

Your storage devices may be vulnerable to physical theft, seizure, or destruction. Protect your stored collections by controlling access (e.g. a locked room), monitoring the area (e.g. security camera, alarm system), and keeping them away from potential physical hazards (e.g. windows and heating/air conditioning units, and off the floor).

Beware network threats

If your storage devices are connected to your network, they may be vulnerable to hacking and malware such as viruses or spyware. Some precautions include making sure you have firewall software installed and turned on, only downloading or opening attachments from known and trusted sources, and using strong, uncompromised passwords.

Encrypt smartly

Encrypting your storage devices or volumes can be risky. While encryption protects sensitive data from being read by the wrong people, it can also mean that your data is locked up forever if you lose the key. Depending on the encryption, there may be no way to “crack” or decrypt your files without the key.

What’s Next

Storage Strategies
Techniques to manage your storage.

Storage Media / Hardware
Types of storage media or devices that might be best for you.

In This Section
  1. Introduction
  2. Storage Strategies
  3. Storage Media / Hardware
  • Make (at least) 2 backup copies of your originals. Keep one backup copy onsite for quick recovery, and one offsite in case of major disaster.
  • For the parts of your storage that are frequently updated or changed, use backup software that can perform incremental backups.
  • Synchronization – also known as replication or mirroring — is not the same as backup. Synchronization does not allow you to go “back in time” to recover lost or changed files.
  • Separate your copies in different geographic locations, on different media, and even with other organizations.
  • Control physical and electronic access to your collection to prevent accidental or deliberate tampering and deletion.
  • Use hashes – also known as checksums — to periodically check your files for errors to ensure data integrity.
  • Consider your available IT support, nature and size of your collection, and access requirements when choosing storage media and devices.
  • Different storage media and devices are ideal for different situations. Choose the ones that suit you.
  • Fault tolerant storage (i.e. RAID) can protect your files when hardware fails, but it is not the same as copying or backup.
  • Anticipate the need to refresh (i.e. replace) your storage media and devices every few (approximately 3-5) years.
Key Concept: Refreshing

Storage devices are not long lasting, and need to be replaced every few years before they fail.
Read More

Key Concept: Fixity

The aim of good storage strategies is to ensure the integrity of stored objects over time.
Read More

The Archiving Workflow

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