There are three shortages that could potentially cripple the modern world, I think. Water, oil, and computer storage. Yes, those little boxes and pocket drives that fit in your laptop bag and stand on your desk with a mass of cables hanging off of them. If you're into video production in this modern age, you'll consume storage at a phenomenal rate because let's face it - tape died along with CRT monitors and non-touch screen cellphones. 

And if you work in HD with a data format, storage consumption gets out of hand very quickly if you don't have your workflow sorted out.

In reality I ran out of storage months ago so when the computer shop phoned me up this morning to let me know that my RAID storage arrived, I went there in a hurry. G-Tech is probably less well-known than brands like LaCie in the video world, but after having read some complaints from others editors about failures on the latter brand I decided to go with G-Tech's G-RAID drive. I needed a lot - 4TB. And at HD resolutions that doesn't go nearly as far as with your collection of MP3s or your holiday pics! Straight out of the box I like the G-RAID. It is VERY solid, properly cooled and comes with all the connections I need including eSATA which seems to be very hard to find on external drives for some reason.

The unit contains two drives in a RAID configuration which is good for data protection and of course speed. G-Tech's brochure also states that the G-RAID was purpose-made for HD video editing, supporting two real-time streams of DVCPRO HD media.

I've invested heavily in Panasonic P2 gear and the format really suits my business at this stage. As convenient as the format is in terms of being a 4:2:2 data format that can be accessed immediately through pro editing applications like Avid Media Composer, it has the drawback of being...well data. Ever tried transferring 1TB of data across a USB connection in a hurry? It takes forever and that's really bad if you need to meet a deadline in two hours! 

The best P2 investment I've made is an MSU-10 transfer unit that downloads raw P2 data from the camera cards to either a computer system, or two solid state hard drives in removable AG- MBX10 enclosures that fits into the MSU-10 unit itself.

I purchased two storage cradles for the documentary project last year and fitted them with 128GB Kingston solid state drives, enough space for two full 64Gb P2 cards. The workflow is perfect - shoot on P2, remove the cards from the camera, slot them into the MSU-10 and transfer the data at four times the normal speed to the solid state drives. Then remove the drive cradles from the MSU-10, fit the rubber protectors so you can knock them around with the rest of your mobile editing gear and start editing from a dual USB or eSATA connection. I never have to tie up the camera or the laptop again for media transfers.

I just completed a three hour 1080i project this way without any drama. And that's the reason why I have time to write this blog :)