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Making backup and archive as easy as 3-2-1-1 [Sponsored]

Image: Symply.
3 minute read
Image: Symply.

Backup and archive used to be complicated and expensive, but now a new generation of devices are making reliable long term storage affordable and easy.

If you are a video production company or involved in producing media in any shape or form the importance of regular data backup and long term archive cannot be emphasised enough. As video producers we are all too aware of the client who will return to us years later asking for a project to be updated, or an SSD or HDD that we are using for a project suddenly going down.

Video puts storage through a punishing regime. The read/write regimes that drives go through are sure to put a strain on them eventually, and, when they eventually give up the ghost we, as the custodians of our clients projects, need to ensure we can restore everything and get back to work as quickly as possible.

The 3-2-1-1-0 rule

Backup and archive has what's called the 'golden rule'. It's called 3-2-1-1-0 backup, and while those numbers don't seem to make sense at first, it really is very simple.

The first number, 3, means that we should always have three regularly maintained copies of our media or data. In other words your primary work drive plus two up-to-date backups.

The number 2 means those two backups should be kept on two totally different types of media. For example, your first backup could be kept on an SSD or HDD, whilst the second could be kept on an LTO tape or in the cloud.

The first number 1 refers to keeping that third backup in a different location, off-site, in case of fire or other disaster.

The second number 1 reminds us to always keep at least one of the backups offline, with no cloud or internet connection giving access to it. We are all aware of the risk of hackers and ransomware. Keeping a backup offline helps ensure that our data cannot be held to ransom, or otherwise hacked into and destroyed.

The number 0 refers to ensuring all our backups are fully verified with no errors.

The SymplySPARK shuttle drive. Image: Symply.

Making archive and backup simple

With everything that we have to think about in our day-to-day work, the last thing we need is for our data redundancy systems to be giving us headaches or slowing us down. This is where Symply enters the frame.

Symply offers a variety of backup and archive solutions that meets the 3-2-1-1-0 rule in a way that lets you focus on what's truly important, your clients.

Symply's SPARK XT shuttle system keeps your work data safe. The SPARK is more than just a RAID system. Yes, it will keep your data safe from drive failure with eight hot-swappable drive bays and RAID 5/6 capability. Yes, it will give you SSD speeds at hard drive prices thanks to its multi-actuator technology, but it will also work directly with Symply's SymplyPRO LTO tape archive systems as well as the SymplyNEBULA cloud storage service.

This is incredibly important because it means that instead of having to deal with multiple products from different companies, you can have a set of compatible products that automate the process of backup and archive whilst perfectly meeting that golden 3-2-1-1-0 rule.

The SymplySPARK takes data reliability even further with its user serviceable design. The SPARK has been designed such that it can be taken out on location, but because Symply knows how frustrating it can be to have equipment failure at any point, it offers a SymplySAM (self-assisted maintenance kit). Suffer a power supply or fan failure? No problem, users can purchase the SymplySAM maintenance kit, which includes a spare drive, spare fan, spare power supply, and a screwdriver. The SymplySAM kit can be taken with you into the field should you need to service your SPARK drive system.


The SymplyPRO and SymplyDIT LTO brings LTO into the 21st century, with features such as dual-drive system options with cableless hot-swap technology, premium cooling, all-metal construction, while the SymplyDIT LTO variants feature integrated 2.5" SSD bays. As a point of fact, the SymplyDIT LTO system would enable a user to hit 3-2-1-1-0 in one box by writing to 2x SSDs and 1x LTO with a software package that would handle verifications.

SymplyPRO features Thunderbolt 3, making it extremely fast, with read/write speeds of up to 400MB/s possible with the latest generation of drives. It even has an SAS expansion port giving it compatibility with SAS devices. Symply's LTO range is compatible with LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9 drives - with up to 18TB raw capacity - and is available in single, dual drive, or full height form factors.

We live in a world where our data is more important than ever before, and with video becoming an even more important force, we need to seriously think about how we are going to keep our data safe for the long term.

For more information about how Symply can give you the tools to make backup and archive as pain free as possible, visit the Symply website. We'd love to hear from you.

Tags: Technology Production archiving