Memory Card Storage Strategy

Started Aug 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Pardee
Michael Pardee New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Memory Card Storage Strategy

I was surprised at how little data I found after searching for the long term viability of flash for archiving. Cards like SD/CF/etc. might be a little different than other forms of flash like solid state hard drives, so I really can't make any judgements on their reliability other than to guess they're a heck of a lot better than optical media or spinning hard drives. Like anything else, there is probably a lot of variation in quality and I wouldn't trust the cheapo no name brands for archiving.

In terms of cost, using flash cards doesn't seem too bad. Very roughly you're in the neighbourhood of $1/GB for SD cards (assuming you are buying fast ones to shoot with and archive as opposed to loading the data onto cheaper slower cards for archival), and you kept them for 10 years, then you get about $0.10/GB/year.

The new Amazon Glacier long term archiving service costs $0.01/GB/month which is $0.12/GB/year. Before Amazon Glacier the best out there might have been Amazon S3, which was about 10x more expensive (glacier is not meant for data that needs to be accessed in real time like S3).

With an online backup solution, you get offsite storage, don't have to worry about format obsolescence, and you get excellent reliability: "Amazon Glacier is designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for an archive. The service redundantly stores data in multiple facilities and on multiple devices within each facility."

So while keeping the flash cards might not be the worst method, I don't think it is the best either.

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