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Thread: CDs & DVDs vs Hard Disk Drives

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  1. #1
    Senior Member ::bluemoth::'s Avatar
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    CDs & DVDs vs Hard Disk Drives

    We've all had our CD writers for quite some time now, but something has changed . . . all those CDs we've archived away since they were written, just won't read, or are scratched and greasy.

    Is it a conspiracy, or just plain old economical production cuts? Whatever it is, it sucks. And sucks big time.

    I've been a media artist for quite some years now, and I see the future . . . a future without CDs or DVDs. No, I see colosus computer towers filled to the brim with gigantuam hard drives being accessed by millions of dummy-terminal-esq Pocket PCs and Tablets using wireless broadband.

    As like all technologies before it, I've begun to build my colosus tower in my attempt to brace the change. But what is this? Not enough IDE spaces on my motherboard!? No problem I thought. Just buy a PCI ATA controller, and add a few more Hard Drives to my existing 3. But no . . . windows only recognises 3, and not 5.

    So here I am, inches away from creating my Utopia, but dashed by other technological primitivism.

    So I stand here, and ask you . . .

    "if you also share my vision, what are you doing about it? How are you creating this future? What can we do to build these colosus towers with our modest budgets?"
    Last edited by ::bluemoth::; 10-23-2003 at 09:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...#bottom_anchor

    Upgradeable to 4gb RAM and 17 terabytes of storage..

    .... have fun.
    ..tween this

  3. #3
    Senior Member ::bluemoth::'s Avatar
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    Wow. Serious upgrade ability that is for sure 1337designs . . . but not for a 'modest budget' and 17 terabytes of storage doesn't seem an available option there either.

    Fantasy aside, who has a way of simultaneously using several IDE hard disk drives in there machine? Or do i need to be looking at SCSI?

  4. #4
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    bluemoth,

    First of all, ifyou really want to go the multiple hard-drive route, SCSI probably is your best option, although I don't know why you'd want to do this.

    We use 3 storage methods that seem to work fine.

    First, we have a few servers with gigantic storage. Each server is backed up daily on tape. Very simple to do... each night it runs automatically. As files become outdated or no longer needed, they are transferred to CD for archiving. I've not had the problem you have with CDs becoming scratched and greasy. I guess you're storing them with your Fritos? Actually, our CDs are simply placed in a Jewel box and not heard from again (except in that rare case when a job requires an ancient file from the wayback-machine).
    Here's another thing that has come in handy... When we upgrade to new computers, we never scrap the old ones. We have a closet that is chock-full of OLD PCs and Macs. If, for some reason, we ever had to break out an old file that we didn't have software on, we can just boot up an old machine and retreive the file. Pretty ingenious, although it takes up a lot of space!

  5. #5
    Senior Member ::bluemoth::'s Avatar
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    Hi JabezStone,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight. It is certainly interesting that although you have a server, that you back up onto CD and Tape.

    As to your comment:
    if you really want to go the multiple hard-drive route, SCSI probably is your best option, although I don't know why you'd want to do this.
    I understand the practical reasons for why you and others backup onto CD and Tape, but for myself, I don't run a server but do have a backup machine like yourself should I need to retrieve files from a system crash etc.

    To the reason for multiple hard-drives . . . the files are all in tact and order, without the downfalls of removable media (finger prints, knocks, scratches, slow access speeds, time consuming process of archiving and finding files spanned across an archive of removable media that could fill a garage). The media and file directories can just expand in a constant and accessible manner for peace of mind, with todays large hard disk drives, and some disciplin in what files should be saved, or compressed for archive.

    Like yourself, most of my CDs have just been stored away in jewel cases and never seen daylight since. Having used numerous brands of Blank CDR Media over the years, makes no difference to the fact a great deal of my archived CDs are as good as blank. And yes, all my CDs are tested immediately before archiving . . . which makes the whole situation more intolerable.

    Is your server fitted with SCSI-chained drives, or do you simply use your older machines as external storage? This could be an option with a 10/100 network I guess.

  6. #6
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    BlueMoth,

    I still don't understand why you don't want external backups. This, to me, is crazy.
    As far as backup CDs never seeing the light of day, this isn't the case. If, and when, you have a server crash or HD failure, you will be scampering around wishing you had backed up your files to static, rmovable media.
    I would never, never trust my files to a hard-drive alone, even if it was a redundant HD. They are simply not reliable.

    Regarding our servers, they are separate machines.

  7. #7
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    to bad the $14,000 Dell Method is out..

    how much space do you need?

    the best method may in fact just to get a tower dedicated to HD's.. no floppy.. no cd.. just 4 HD's with a large capicity.. (surely can be had for under $1000).. You can probably go up to a terabyte, you don't need a good video card, you don't need a sound card.. just 4 big hard drives, a nice cpu, and a hell of a lot of cooling.. stick it on the network next to the server, and you've got a mappable terabyte of space.

    I personally don't like using CD's for backup, just because of the size of them.. always used tapes personally.. might not be the fastest method, but we did 3 tapes a night. One stayed on location. One went home with the CEO and one went home with me. We recycled them every week. However I would definately backup.. no doubt about it..
    ..tween this

  8. #8
    Senior Member ::bluemoth::'s Avatar
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    I would never, never trust my files to a hard-drive alone, even if it was a redundant HD. They are simply not reliable.
    Not reliable . . . I find removable media less reliable than hard disk drives personally, and it because of this, that I am persuing this method.

    As you state JabezStone, in a crash it is fundeamental to be in the habit of having multiple backups. There is no doubt that I should not rely on one big hard disk drive, and that I should use removeable storage to cater for the potential of my computer being burned down in a fire or something. I suppose as I don't like CDs or Tape, that a removable hard disk drive caddy should be something for me to seriously consider at the very least.

    As to 1337designs' idea of networking with a dedicated hard disk tower . . . great idea, and a very econimical option which I will consider along with the HDD caddy.

    Is anyone familiar with HDD caddys? Would they be a practical backup to replace my ZIPs and CDRs?

  9. #9
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Obviously, you can do what you choose, but CDs and DVDs are by far the safest method of backing up data, as they are less likely to be affected by the elements (i.e. heat, water, moisture, magnetic, lightning, etc.). Plus, they're much more portable than a removeable HD.

    At any rate, it would be nice to have a redundant server for backup... I just wouldn't rely on it as the sole method for backup.

    Best wishes to you. Not trying to appear argumentative... just making a point.

    Jay

  10. #10
    default user juxtaflo's Avatar
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    I agree with JabezStone about keeping the CD and DVD backups. No moving parts. Nothing that can fail. DVD's have helped a lot. They are so much bigger.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ::bluemoth::'s Avatar
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    Juxtaflo . . . you have made an extremely important point about CDs and DVDs that I'd completely overlooked.

    As JabezStone mentioned too . . . they are much more portable friendly, and being solid pieces of plastic, they have no degradable working parts. Although they are prone to scratches and finger prints unlike hard disk drives.

    It is certainly going to be a difficult decision:

    1. Hard disk drives can back up entire file and folder structures in one convenient space, at moderate cost, but don't like being moved around much.

    2. CDs, DVDs and ZIPs are cheap, don't mind being moved around, but don't back up too much (DVDs could act as a small hard disk back up I guess though).

    3. A new hope . . . USB Sticks. Very pricey for relatively little capacity, but they are equally as portable as DVDs and CDs and ZIPs, and they can plug into almost any machine with minimal effort.

    Choices choices.

    To tell the truth, if it wasn't for the fact that I hadn't seriously considered about making my backups portable, I'd have gone straight for Hard disk Drives. But now . . . I'm going to consider a highly protective wallet/case to carry DVDs around in as the logical option. That way, client material can be backed up quickly and be with me at all times.

    Anyone recommend a good DVD writer to replace my Plexwriter 12/10/32A CD Writer?

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