Video is one of the most powerful tools a marketing company can utilize in today’s online world. Research conducted by Hubspotshows that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support and that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year (Optinmonster, 2019). Integrating video production into your marketing is more important than ever but with that comes enormous amounts of data that needs to be held onto. Here at Hughes Media we’ve recently created a solution for video storage and back-up processes. We’ll walk you through the necessary steps to ensure your videos stay safe.
Upfront, you’ll want to decide how long you want to hold onto your project files especially since cloud storage can get expensive if you accumulate data indefinitely. You can hold onto files for six months or forever, it’s whatever works for you, and more importantly, what your client feels comfortable with. It’s a good idea to write down in your contract agreement how long you anticipate on keeping the footage. That way, they won’t be devastated three years down the line when you tell them you’ve already erased their project data.
Here at Hughes Media, we decided that we’ll only keep project files for one year and keep original copies of the final, rendered-out videos for five years. We’ll give clients the option to hold onto the files for longer but bill them for the additional cost.
Next, we follow the classic 3-2-1 Rule for Back-Ups: three copies of the data, two backup copies on different media and one located offsite. The first two are relatively easy: You can off-load the media directly to your computer’s internal hard drive all contained within a folder called “Clients”. You can edit within this folder, then create a backup to an external hard drive daily. For the back-up, you can use FreeFileSync, an open-source program that can quickly and easily sync your work drive with your back-up drive.
Then comes to the off-site backup, which is where things become complicated due to the plethora of cloud services available nowadays. Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and Google (Google Storage) all have cloud-based platforms available and deciding between the three can seem daunting, but you can breakdown the essential info and see why Google’s services is a great choice.
Performance is a critical factor to consider, especially for video. Zach Bjornsoon has a great write-up on his blog, where he tested each cloud platform’s upload and download performance. You can check out the article for a deep dive but the gist of it is: Azure performs better for files smaller than 1 MB, AWS performs better for between 1 – 5MB and Google beats them both out for anything larger than 5MB. Since we are uploading hundreds of gigabytes of data, it’s clear that Google’s services would suit our needs best.
But Google’s options aren’t completely clear-cut, even if their services are the easiest to price out of the three main cloud platforms. You can buy a set of a limited amount of storage from both Google One and Google Drive or you can buy space per GB through Google Storage. The solution is a combination of One and Storage.
Using Google One’s 2TB plan (which is only $9.99 a month), you can keep what we call “active backups” for up to 8 months,v250GB per month is average. You can use Google’s Backup and Sync desktop application to keep an automatic backup to the cloud. Then, with Google Storage, You can use their “Coldline” option at $0.007 per GB to keep what we call “archival storage” (files with infrequent access) which will hold anything that won’t fit on the Google One plan. 1TB of data only costs $7 a month and you only pay for the data you use which is great for excess data. Note that coldline storage has a retrieval cost, so it’s only recommended to pull files out of storage in the event of an emergency (office is flooded, hard drive malfunctions) but that’s the main reason for this tertiary, off-site backup. So for $17 a month, you can keep your clients’ data both safe and secure without spending a ton of money.
For small businesses with growing video departments, this strategy provides a great, cost-efficient solution to the complicated world of cloud storage and it’s scaleable to whatever your specific video needs are.
About the Author:
Shawn Mahoney provides Hughes Media with technology leadership from a wide range of disciplines, including information technology support, custom software development, and workflow automation. In 1989 he founded Rockhopper Tech, an IT support company which spawned a custom software development team. Rockhopper Tech writes workflow operational software for businesses to increase efficiencies. Hughes Media clients benefit from this strategic alliance when custom or high-level development needs arise.