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How the OWC Drive Dock can backup your large RAID quickly and easily.

Let’s start off with a bit of a story…

I was away working on an editing job when I read an article describing that ransomeware called ‘Deadbolt’ was attacking a certain brand of network attached RAID devices. I won’t mention the company (not OWC), but a quick Google should supply you with a long list of data loss horror stories.

As I had a unit connected in my studio, I became worried that it too would be susceptible to Deadbolt as it was connected to the internet for remote file access. I phoned a colleague and got them to pull all the ethernet connections out of the unit immediately.

On my return, I connected to the RAID and there was good and bad news. Of the four disk partitions I had created on the RAID, three were fine, but one had been infected. On that partition, every file had been zipped up and locked. To unzip them, I had to send about $700 in Bitcoin to an anonymous address and then a password would be provided to unlock everything.

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As luck would have it, I had a copy of most of the data on that drive so I didn’t need to pay the ransom, but I learnt a very valuable lesson. As safe as you think a RAID might be, you also need another completely separate backup of your data.

Now, if you are going to throw the ‘Two copies, two locations’ line at me, I’d agree, but I have a LOT of data that won’t just fit on a plug-in USB drive. So how do you back-up a large RAID?

I bought an OWC Drive Dock out of my own money with no discount from our very kind website sponsors! At about £110, this unit takes two 3.5” or 2.5” SATA drives inserted into the top. Better still is the USB3.1 connector that can plug straight into the back of my iMac Pro. The drives appear as regular drives on your desktop.

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You can buy large third-party drives, plug them directly in (without the hassle of connecting cables) and backup your data. Seeing as a ‘bare’ 12TB drive costs about £300, this is a very cheap and fast way of making a copy. One tip here, keep an eye on drive prices as there are some great deals to be had, especially when a manufacturer launches another larger drive model. Don’t worry about speed either, you won’t edit off these drives, they are purely for backup.

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Here goes the clever stuff. We have championed Chronosync here on FCP.co many times. It is a disk copying utility that not only does incremental backups, but you can also build a list of tasks it has to complete and then set them off with one click.

In my case, I do an incremental backup of three disk partitions of the RAID to one 10TB disk and another partition to the second disk in the OWC Drive Dock.

So every Friday, the disks come out of their safe storage location, get inserted into the Drive Dock, a custom action is started on Chronosync and the system is left to backup the RAID.

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As Chronosync only works out what is different, it is also quick as it will only copy over new files or files that have changed. It also gives out a very reassuring bell and displays an info panel at the end indicating no errors on transfer. (One note here, it will also copy and update open FCP Libraries.)

All this is facilitated by the Drive Dock which works a treat, it just does the one job well. I used to have a similar USB2 dock, but that took forever and it ended up gathering dust in a dark corner. The OWC Drive Dock is fast, up to 10Gb/s, which is good news as backing up a RAID can involve a lot of data transfer. Although you can leave it running overnight, I like to remove the drives when finished and store them safely away as soon as I can.

If you are are running a RAID without a backup, you are risking your data. Yes, you can replace a faulty disk, but as this user story shows, drive failure is not the only reason why you could lose everything. Ransomeware is still an on-going problem and although I have configured my unit to be as safe as possible, I still worry about it getting hacked.

Using the Drive Dock with separate drives and running Chronosync is a very cost-effective backup. For extra safety, you can of course make more than one copy of your data by running another action to a second set of drives.

Full disclaimer: Although the Drive Dock was purchased by me for the full retail price, we do receive support from OWC. It’s a great product though and I use it every Friday!

 

  


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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ConnectingMedia's Avatar
ConnectingMedia replied the topic: #122720 01 Nov 2022 16:37
We do not copy a whole NAS, but just FCP projects + footage. At our production company we use this method for i think almost 15 years now.... perfect and cheap solution. After we backupped projects to a disk we catalog the disk with a diskcataloger app like Diskcatalogmaker to find our stuff back - diskcatalogmaker.com
martinX's Avatar
martinX replied the topic: #122724 02 Nov 2022 03:45
Can this dock be plugged into the Thunderbolt port in the back of another Thunderbolt device?
DaveM's Avatar
DaveM replied the topic: #122726 02 Nov 2022 10:04
From: eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TCDRVDCK/

Customized Flexibility Drive

Dock is flexible enough to use on almost any system and is compatible with Thunderbolt 3 [and TB4] ports.

So, yes, it should work when daisy-chained to another TB device (I have one and it is connected to a OWC Thunderbay 4)...
Stu Wart's Avatar
Stu Wart replied the topic: #122744 03 Nov 2022 10:17
Nothing comes even close to the dedicated ChronoSync when it's time to backup.