Media Director Hiko discusses Seagate hard drives, providing secure data backup to creators.

In the age of 4K high-def media, the data storage needs of someone working in the AV field is increasing. Hiko, who used to work in post-production at iQiYi drama branch, is currently both the managing director and art director at After 80’s Video Production. He believes that working in hi-def will become the norm, and upgrading the data storage solutions in his studio is a necessity.

When he first entered the field, Hiko was mostly working with editing commercials or directing documentaries, but following the widespread of internet usage and the growth of bandwidth, online media has replaced traditional media as the market favorite. The majority of content has also gravitated towards microfilms and online ads. Hiko also felt that resources were moving towards drama production, including many western dramas. About three years ago, his company shifted course and now has a dedicated department for drama.

▲ Ads, dramas, or microfilms are the main business for After 80’s Video Production. Their recent production include the drama “High 5 Basketball” for iQiYi. Director Hiko’s editing work for this show was nominated for the 2017 Golden Bell Awards.

Storage Demand Explode Twentyfold – Examining Our Backup Challenges

Due to having to process increasing amounts of hi-res content, we were running out of data storage. When the studio started 8 years ago with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II full-frame single lens camera, 2TB worth of data storage could handle ten ad projects and data storage was not an issue or something the company wanted to focus on investing. The last 8 years has seen video production gradually become digital and with 4K technology, 2TB worth of storage could only store five projects. The 2TB worth of storage that cost NT$4,000 barely passes our standards for cost efficiency. 」

▲Director Hiko believes that working in HD will become the norm, and upgrading the data storage solutions in his studio is a necessity.

Hiko first felt that their data storage solutions were insufficient in 2016, when the company took on the “High 5 Basketball” project from iQIYI, and agreed to use 2K resolution at 2048×1080 with higher compression. When the shoot wrapped up, the thirteen episodes filled up 40TB worth of storage and it far exceeded what the studio had used before. At that time, the studio had not been upgraded yet, and the editing machine was outfitted with only 2TB, Raid 5, 8-bay hard drives, which quickly reached it’s capacity. The studio decided that a feasible workaround was to convert four of the 8 bay drives to 4TB and worked through the project with various files in different drives.

▲As 4K became the standard for drama, film, and ads,storage solution plays a key supporting role in maxiimizing the value of post-production.

▲The “High 5 Basketball” project Hiko took on last year really showed him how inadequate his storage solution was. Thirteen episodes of the show shot in true 2K resolution amounted to 40TB worth of data.

Hiko stepped up, and worked out a shared storage solution with the production company. The situation was still a precarious one for Hiko. He understood that the studio could barely handle the data requirements of a single 4K project, that repeating this process would be very risky and if the studio wanted to take on two 4K projects, it would simply be impossible. After this experience, Hiko began to examine the company’s storage and backup challenges. 」

Hiko was not just concerned about insufficient storage, but also hard drive failures. In the past, Hiko used an 8 bay HD configuration for his projects, and would move the data to backup hard drives after project completion, which would gradually enter storage and accumulate over the years. When a client requested editing work for a 3-4 years old project, Hiko dug up the old data but found that the hard drives had failed and the data were corrupted. Backup data on a single hard drive doesn’t have the benefits of a Raid 5 configuration and the success rate of hard drive data repair is quite low and very costly.

▲After 80’s Video Production currently uses a 36 bay configuration consisting of 72 12TB commercial grade hard drives, with 800TB in total capacity.

Upgrading to Seagate Enterprise hard drives release Hiko’s pressure from taking on 4K files and projects.

Hiko explains that the original files are used for lighting, and editing work as well. After editing and lighting work, the film still needs to be finished, with 4K processing and attention to how each frames flows to the next. Currently in the studio, we would first shoot with external drives that were more portable, then the post production would involve cutting, editing, telecine transfers, and lighting work, before moving to a 36 bay enclosure with 72 12TB units amounting to 800TB in total capacity. This is the reason Hiko chose Seagate Enterprise hard drives. The product line is diverse and provide many storage options and solutions. The hardware itself is also very reliable and fast.

▲The original 4K files are needed for the start and end of the editing process. Hiko chooses Seagate because it provides a comprehensive solution to his storage needs, and he hopes he won’t need to replace them in the future.

Seagate Rescue Service helped save millions(NT) of repairing cost.

Seagate Enterprise hard drives come with Seagate Rescue Service for data security. This is also a reason why Hiko chose to upgrade. In the case of hard drive failure, the entire project must start over, the losses would far exceed the price of the hardware. Hiko has had to repair and rescue data from hard drives in the past. By Hiko’s calculation, if the 36 bay enclosure were to fail, his losses would exceed NT$1,000,000. Hiko explains that he wanted a high quality backup solution, but also the security of knowing that the manufacturer would be there for him in the case of drive failure. 」

▲Seagate Enterprise hard drives come with Seagate Rescue Service with a 90% success rate and insurance plans to avoid damages caused by drive failure.

Seagate Enterprise hard drives come with Seagate Rescue service with a 90% success rate and insurance plans to avoid damages caused by drive failure. Hiko’s studio uses both Raid 5 and Raid 6 configurations for higher drive error tolerance. Seagate Rescue Service is the last line of defense. In the case of catastrophic drive failure, Seagate will provide in-lab professional services free of charge and with the highest level of security for your confidential files. 」

▲Working in 4K is becoming the standard for modern media production. Hiko believes that the cost of backing up client data will be a part of taking on all new projects.

The cost of data back up should be considered. Hiko feels that most productions companies neglect the details of how and for how long data is backed up. In the past, media files have been smaller, storage cheaper, and the related challenges are easier to overlook. Working in 4K is becoming the standard for modern media production. The cost of backing up client data will need be included when taking on all new projects. 」

Seagate Enterprise hard drives are high capacity, high speed, highly reliability, and lower the overall cost of data storage. Seagate Rescue Service is designed to meet the needs of post-production professionals like Hiko. Seagate has been building trust and reliability in their brand for quite some time, and the importance of data storage in the media production field cannot be overstated. Although compared to the cost of production it may seem small, Hiko feels that starting with an investment in data storage is essential. 」

After 80’s Video Production Data Storage Configuration

  • Areca 8 Bay Enclosure -ARC-8050T3
  • Solkenix 36 Bay Enclosure -JBOD-436-G2+Areca ARC1883X Raid Controllers
  • Seagate Exos Enterprise Hard Drives(with Seagate rescue service)
  • Complete interview:


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