Work File Storage

How big is your server/storage space at work? We only have 5TB and it’s constantly filling up and I’m trying to make a case that 5TB for product development is too small. Interested to hear what other companies have? Or maybe other storage solutions.

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5TB is a pretty good size. It depends how you’ve got files distributed and how you collect so much data.

Previously we used Intralink for all of our ultra heavy + versioned CAD data, so that lived on it’s own server. Our ID department only used about 2TB over the course of ~6-7 years BUT that was for master copies, not development work that was stored on local backups. .5TB per designer is pretty reasonable - BUT keep in mind the costs associated with keeping trash data. You probably don’t need all of an interns versioned saves for something (or you may when you find out Rev C had some important data in it). The more junk data you store the harder of a time you’ll have maintaining it and indexing it for searching in the long run. That comes down to good process - storing final versions of files in a consistent folder structure for example, then only retaining WIP projects for 1-2 years for example.

Data storage is pretty cheap these days all things considered. Check out some of the WD Cloud or Drobo stuff. You’ll want to make sure you’re running a RAID V configuration or similar to minimize the fallout if 2 disks crap the bed.

At the cost of memory, Im quite shocked that they are resisting getting more. You can get a 5 TB for roughly $140 at Costco nowadays. We use a set of 16 TB Buffalo Terstations. Our entire office works directly off on one, and it backs itself up to another every weekend just in case something happens. I archive these to coldline every couple months in case of a major disaster. We also archive products every couple months to a set of 5 TB drives that are unplugged and rarely used (only exist to help alleviate space issues on the 16 TB). My industry is a bit different in that we really only need the files associated with the final output, so I make sure all iterative files, preview images, and general junk is cleaned out at the conclusion of a project.

That being said, I work at a 3d rendering and animation firm that relies completely on digital assets. We of course output massive amounts of data. I dont know your exact position, but you may really want to look into a NAS drive that allows for RAID backup. Drobo, synology, and QNAP are all business class. The Bays will cost roughly $500, but then you can add in the size of drives that you feel is appropriate. Just remember to use RAID, as the extra cost now will easily pay for itself when the drive inevitably fails at some point.

You definitely have a case and if you can arrange someone to do the IT I’m sure the company will definitely go along.

I have a 3 TB disk which is about half full over 4 years of work. And that includes:

  1. properly naming all files before storing, removing older versions as well as temporary workfiles
  2. archiving 3D mesh and STEP/IGES models as well as render files

I recommend for a studio to have 5 TB per fte employee.
Also I am creating a double backup of important work, with DVD and preferably Bluray, to store at another physical location.