Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fog

I'm sure by now, especially if you work in I.T., you've heard of "The Cloud." It's all about little-to-no cost storage "out there" on the internet somewhere. If you use a web-based email service like GMail, your emails are all stored in "The Cloud." What is "The Fog" you ask (besides a classic John Carpenter film)? It's a low rent cloud.

The Cakewalk Sonar files that contain all the individual tracks of all of our songs take up a HUGE amount of space. It approaches 500GB. Add in the Adobe Premier Elements video source files, Sonar files and mixes for our forthcoming Best Of album and we're starting to approach 600GB. We buy a lot of external hard drives. I think we have over 20 external Western Digital's - multiple backup copies of everything.

We just considered the idea of uploading all of these files to Amazon's S3 storage cloud. I did the math and, even though S3 is REAL cheap, it hits close to $100/month to store all these files on S3. They're just too huge. For that cost we could buy lots of hard drives. So, we make lots of copies of everything and toss the hard drives in remote places like my desk drawer at work, our homes away from the studios, and in our Studio North facility in Wisconsin.

We're never exactly sure where we'll find the latest version of a set of song files should our main HDDs crash, but we know they're out there. Kinda like "The Cloud" only much lower rent and not quite as precise - more like "The Fog."