Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
I have a fairly similar history to the OP. My primary camera is a fairly ancient Pentax 645, but I use a lot of other film cameras (mostly MF) too. I also use a Nikon D-200 and a Canon G-12 for a fairly large volume of digital work. I scan my film so that I can index and print the negatives easily. I back up to DVDs. I have had some disasters in the past. I can usually recover (very slowly) from the DVD backups, but not always. Lately I installed a RAID 4 array which gives me some (but not total) peace of mind. One worry is losing my Lightroom index, which is backed up but not on the RAID drive. Another worry is the ever changing digital format fashions - will I be able to read the DVDs or use the RAID drive in the future? It's nice to have negatives.
Your Lightroom index is the least worrying thing as it can be recreated by the archived information. Actually if you lose your index you will be forced to get all your archives and that will be a healthy check of the availability of all the information.

I certainly agree with the OP that film is much easier to archive than digital images. We should not forget, though, how many films have been lost in the past due to poor quality PVC film sleeves, or bad processing (bad washing for instance), or lost in the mail while shipped. The few rolls of Kodachrome I shot were a torture as I had to wait weeks to have them back. Never more.

Films still are at risk if people keeps them in the basement, or doesn't check health from time to time. Keep them high and dry!

Regarding backups, like athiril I do mistrust RAID solutions. There is an entire additional level of failure (RAID controller, that's supposing it is a hardware RAID solution) and when it fails it brings down the entire barn. I personally have a simple backup strategy: One relatively new disk inside the PC; one relatively new external disk as backup; most of what I do I send to stock agencies so I consider them by "external" backup.

Hard drives with important information are to be treated like the "distribution belt" of your engine (what's in English? The things that brings motion from the piston shaft to the cam shaft). It will fail and it will be tragic. Substitution must be planned before failure. The "old" disks can be used for less important information (such as the operating system. When the disk fails you know it immediately and you restore your system backup to a new disk without crying).