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Ask Max: Upgrading A Mac Pro Hard Drive For Data Protection

Asked on 01/16/2009:

(I'm a) Pro videographer with lots of media concerns. Foremost; protecting content of video from projects (lifeblood).
So someone recommended I use a drive like 1.2 million hours MTBF. Model # for 500GB WD5002ABYS (16MB cache) or WD1002FBYS WD7502ABYS (32MB ca); rather than a consumer storage. I've also been told to use single drive FireWire with back-up to esata drives. I need to protect this stuff because it's hours of editing.

I use a Mac Pro GHZ3 dual. Also, want to upgrade software from Tiger. Should I wait for the new Snow Leopard?







Data protection is essential to everyone, not just professionals, but as a professional videographer your data is your money. Mean time between failures (MTBF) is a poor choice for considering data protection. It's far better to assume a drive will fail at any time, and put yourself in the position that drive loss will not hurt you. We lose drives from our XServe RAIDs here, from time to time, but stays up and running as we cycle a new drive in its place. There are many ways to configure a system to have protection.

The simplest date protection setup is to have two drives in a RAID 1 configuration. Essentially you have two identical drives in your Mac Pro getting duplicate information. Disk Utility in your Utilities folder will let you partition two drives together in RAID 1, after that initial setup they will stay in sync until one fails. Any drive will work for this purpose, you just want to use identical drives when creating the RAID.

The costlier and more complicated way would be to use an external RAID 5. This would let you have a portable and secure "Data Piggy Bank" for your video files and projects.

Check out the great LaCie 4big RAID backup and be sure to consult with one of our sales people for the best fitting RAID.




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