Archiving refers to moving media files from expensive, high speed online storage to cheaper but slower long-term storage such as tape (when they are no longer needed at the end of a project for example). This is not the same as backing up files (creating a redundant copy for short term recovery of data in case of hardware failure), though there is overlap between the two concepts.

CatDV does not directly provide a complete archive or backup solution by itself. Instead, it integrates with a number of 3rd party solutions. It can also support you if you want to develop your own custom strategy adapted to your particular requirements (for example, you could write a Worker Node script to copy files to a suitable archive location and then update a user-defined field).

Cache-A Archive Option

With the Archive Option CatDV Pro has built-in support for archiving to a Cache-A appliance (and to other archive devices that appear as a mounted drive). If you have a Cache-A PrimeCache or ProCache archive appliance you can control the device directly from within CatDV.

The following commands will be enabled in the Tools menu if you have the Archive Option installed:

  • Archive Media Files – copy selected files to the Cache-A vtape folder (from where they will automatically be written to LTO-4 tape by the Cache-A appliance) or to other archive drive. You can optionally include a copy of CatDV’s metadata as an index.xml file with the archive so if you should lose the CatDV catalog you can restore your metadata by importing the folder from the vtape folder. After archiving a clip CatDV’s Archive Status field is updated to record the tape that the file was archived to.
  • Purge Media Files – once files have been copied to the Cache-A vtape folder and archived you can delete the original media files from disk. The CatDV catalog will continue to store log notes and other metadata describing the clip, and normally you would also create low-res proxies within CatDV which continue to be available, so you can still find clips and decide whether to use them even after purging the original full-resolution version.
  • Restore Media Files – if a file has been archived and purged from local storage you can restore it back to its original location (or another location) from the Cache-A vtape folder. If the file isn’t currently on the Cache-A vtape disk you will be prompted to load the relevant tape then CatDV will request the file(s) are restored (you can also do using the Cache-A web interface if required)
  • Check Archive Status – query the Cache-A catalog (maintained in a database in the appliance itself) to see if the selected files have been archived and optionally update the Archive Status stored in CatDV

To use CatDV with a Cache-A archiving appliance you need to mount the Cache-A device as a volume and press the Configure button to choose the vtape folder (for example, /Volumes/archive62/vtape). If a tape is loaded its name will appear in the Current Tape field and the Archive button will be enabled. You should also enter the IP address or host name of the Cache-A device so that CatDV can communicate with the device using its built-in API (you may need to install newer firmware to support this feature – check with Cache-A for details).

The Archive Status field is available on the “Other” tab in the clip details panel, unless you customise your details panel layout and add it in a more prominent location.

Cache-A Library Integration

For an additional charge you can extend the Archive Option to support Cache-A library systems. The archive dialog will display a drop down list of tapes in the library and allow you to select a tape from the library mechanism and load it into the drive.

Other archives

Although CatDV’s Archiving Option includes features was designed specifically to work with Cache-A devices, you can also use these commands to archive to other devices, including file-based archive systems such as XenData or even removable FireWire or USB3 hard drives.

To use the Archiving Option with a device other than Cache-A, choose “Other” from the Archive System drop down in the archive settings dialog then select the appropriate folder or drive as the Archive Location. In this case, the name of the folder is taken to be the “tape” name (for example, if you choose /Volumes/FW12 then “FW12” is stored in the Archive Status). You can then use the Archive, Purge and Restore commands to copy files between your main disk and the archive volume. (Using this feature you can also test the archiving functionality without having a Cache-A device.)

A number of other 3rd party integrations are available, including interfaces to archiving products from Archiware, Atempo, ObjectMatrix, and DAX. See the CatDV partners page for more details.