Back up systems for home/small set ups

You've heard it all before, but after a few more incidents recently with damaged files, I thought I'd throw my own thoughts into the ring.

"With digital acquisition comes great responsibilities"

Shooting onto solid state cards has its advantages and I now the 'Norm' for a good 85% of camera acquisition. However, caring and managing this media is still very much a personal preference and some think that this practice is only for larger productions and professional facilities with bespoke solution's. 

To this I say, RUBBISH!

With a little thought and not too much technical or financial lay out you can have a nice robust set up.

Let's have a look at what is useful to have and how effective you can move data from the camera to the edit suite.

Transport / Backup
Having spent about of time and effort Shooting material you should thunk about making it safe.

SD cards are notoriously easy to loose as they are so small so back them up! If you can afford not to recycle your camera cards too often, make a backup of it/them onto a pocket drive using the likes of shot-put pro to make sure you get faithful reproduction of your rushes. 
This is the most basic form of data wrangling you can do buy is better than nothing! If you need to recycle cards, make sure you back them up to 2 pocket drives and use one to send back to the post house / take home with you while the other stays with the camera man,  just in case you loose your copy.

Double check you have backed the cards up BEFORE you recycle the cards for the next days shoot.

"we had a courier who brought us our runs by bike, and a couple of times the disks have made it back in tact and we lost all the rushes. Turns out pocket drives aren't made for bouncing around on the back of a bike. Who knew?"

A couple of 2TB pocket drives will rush you about £90(Ea)

Always good to add as much protection/padding to your transport drives as possible

Rushes Storage
As you amass more rushes you need to store them more securely and think about capacity and availability, especially when it comes to hard disk failure. RAID protection on systems help you from not loosing material should a hard disk fail!

You can buy cheap network attached storage (NAS) from almost any PC store which come in a range of 2 Bay mirrored systems (RAID1) through to 8 Bay (RAID5) systems. These are great for then storing your rushes medium term (duration of the project at least) on centrally available storage that can be easily accessed should there be an issue with rushes going missing or your edit storage dying. You can be backing up to the NAS from a laptop over the network and not have to disturb the edit suite at all!
Once you have your pocket drives backed up back at base, you can then recycle it and send it back out into the field for further use.
2 Bay RAID1 NAS with 2x4TB Hdds should rush you about £300, perhaps also think about getting a 1GB network switch as well, 8 port units can be bought from as little as £50.

Editing Storage.
Your local storage should be a nice fast connection to your edit suite (eSATA/USB3/THUNDERBOLT) and ideally have 2 or more disks in it to actually give you greater read speeds from the disks. It could also be RAID protected to help you from not loosing material should a hard disk fail.

The performance of the disks will have an impact on the responsiveness of your timeline and also type of codec you can use. You aren't going to get 3G uncompressed from a USB2.0 pocket drive!

You can get 4 Bay RAID5 USB3.0 systems with 4x2TB HDD for around £450.

G-Speed Arrays are a good quality choice

What's it all cost?
How does this hardware cost all stack up? Assuming you have already got a copy of shot put pro ($99 approx)

2 x 2TB HDD £180
1 x 4TB NAS £300
1 x 8 Port Gb switch £50
1 x 8TB Edit array £450

TOTAL £980

If you hunt around the likes of eBay and go 'off brand' and also need slightly smaller capacity you could achieve the same as above for as little as £600.
So in the end, you can have big boys workflows and security for a very modest sum.
Now go out and back up!!