What’s the Best Way to Store Large Video Files?

Explore the most effective methods for storing video footage. Learn about reliable storage solutions to safeguard your valuable media assets efficiently.

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Video content has become ubiquitous across various industries, with businesses of every size harnessing the power of visual storytelling and surveillance. The demand for high-quality video production is universal—from marketing campaigns and corporate training videos to feature films. As organizations increasingly rely on video as a cornerstone of their communication strategies, a significant challenge emerges on how to effectively manage and store the massive volumes of video files generated.

Multiple cameras capture footage on an average film production shoot, collectively contributing to a staggering 15TB to 20TB of data per day. This flood of content presents logistical hurdles, from organizing raw footage to ensuring accessibility for editing and distribution. As businesses strive to leverage the potential of video content to engage audiences and drive results, the need for efficient, scalable, and reliable video storage solutions becomes critical. But what’s the best way to store large video files?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the importance of proper video storage, explore various storage solutions and decision-making factors, and highlight best practices for organization and management. Whether you're an independent filmmaker, a videographer, or a business managing vast amounts of video data, understanding the intricacies of video storage can help your organization safeguard its valuable media assets.

Why Does Proper Video Storage Matter?

Beyond the logistical complexities, the stakes are high when it comes to landing on the right storage for your needs. Video files represent more than data; they encompass brand narratives, training materials, film shoots, and valuable media. The integrity and accessibility of this content are crucial to business success, like preserving historical footage for archival purposes or ensuring seamless access to training videos for remote employees.

Improper storage can lead to data loss, corruption, or degradation, jeopardizing the accuracy and availability of your organization’s videos. Efficient storage ensures seamless collaboration, easy retrieval, and compliance with industry regulations. You can protect your videos against potential risks and ensure their longevity by investing in reliable storage solutions.

Types of Video Storage Solutions

Exploring storage solutions presents businesses with a range of options, each tailored to address specific needs and challenges. From on-premises setups to cloud-based architectures, here are some of the storage solutions that meet the demands of storing large video files and footage.

On-Premises vs. Cloud Storage

On-premises storage involves storing data locally on physical devices such as external hard drives. This approach provides businesses with direct control over their data, ensuring greater security and privacy.

In contrast, cloud storage leverages remote servers accessed via the internet, offering scalability and accessibility. Both options offer distinct benefits, with on-premises storage providing greater control and security.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives remain a popular choice for enterprises seeking affordable and portable storage solutions. With advancements in technology, modern external drives offer high capacities and fast transfer speeds, making them suitable for storing large video files related to video surveillance and other high-capacity needs. Large video files can be safely stored on Seagate SkyHawk™ surveillance hard drives because of their huge capacity and quick transfer rates.

Private Cloud

With private cloud storage, dedicated infrastructure is installed within an organization’s premises, which offers more customization and protection. While initial setup costs may be higher, private cloud solutions provide greater control over data and regulatory compliance requirements. Seagate enterprise drives, including the Exos® Series X, offer scalable and reliable storage solutions for private cloud environments.

Public Cloud

Public cloud services offer scalable and cost-effective storage solutions for large video files. By leveraging the infrastructure of cloud providers, businesses can access virtually unlimited storage capacity and benefit from built-in redundancy and data protection mechanisms. Seagate hybrid storage arrays and expansion enclosures allow businesses to seamlessly integrate with public cloud environments, ensuring optimal performance and data protection. Seagate also offers Lyve™ Cloud which provides multicloud freedom with a simple, trusted, and efficient S3 object storage solution.


NAS devices serve as centralized storage hubs within a local network, making it possible for multiple users to seamlessly access and share files. With features such as RAID configurations and remote access capabilities, NAS systems are ideal for collaborative environments and multimedia storage. Seagate IronWolf® NAS drives are specifically designed for use in NAS systems, providing high capacities, reliability, and performance for multimedia storage applications.

Factors for Large Video or Footage Storage

As organizations navigate the labyrinth of video storage solutions, they encounter a multitude of factors crucial to success. Each consideration addresses specific challenges and serves as the cornerstone to safeguard valuable video assets against potential risks and inefficiencies. When making decisions about storage, keep the following items in mind:

Storage Capacity

Assess the amount of video data you need to store now while planning for future growth. Choose storage solutions with sufficient capacity to accommodate these current and future needs. You can estimate how much video surveillance storage you need for your unique environment with our handy surveillance storage calculator. By investing in storage solutions with sufficient capacity, businesses can mitigate the risk of running out of space and ensure seamless scalability to accommodate future growth.

Accessibility and Retrieval

Consider how easily you can access and retrieve video files when needed. Choose solutions that offer fast read/write speeds and intuitive user interfaces for seamless navigation. Solutions with fast read/write speeds and intuitive user interfaces empower businesses to easily retrieve and utilize video content, streamlining workflows and enhancing productivity.

Security and Compliance

In an era plagued by cyber threats and regulatory scrutiny, security and compliance are non-negotiable imperatives for businesses storing large video files. Robust security features such as encryption, access controls, and audit trails safeguard video assets against unauthorized access and data breaches.

Compliance with industry regulations ensures adherence to legal requirements, mitigating the risk of penalties and reputational damage. Protect your video assets against unauthorized access, data breaches, and compliance violations.


The longevity of video storage solutions is a critical consideration, particularly for businesses archiving historical footage or preserving valuable assets for the long term. Data degradation poses a significant threat to stored video files over time, compromising their integrity and usability. Businesses can preserve the quality and accessibility of video assets by selecting video storage solutions known for their durability and resistance to data degradation.

Best Practices for Video File Organization and Management

In the fast-paced world of video production, the sheer volume of content can quickly become overwhelming, leading to disorganization, inefficiency, and missed opportunities. Without a structured approach to organization and management, businesses risk squandering valuable time and resources searching for elusive files, struggling to collaborate effectively, and facing the nightmare of data loss.

Fortunately, by implementing best practices for video file organization and management, businesses can streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and protect their video assets against degradation and loss. Effective organization and management are essential for maximizing the efficiency and usability of your video storage system.

Consider implementing the following best practices:

Establish a Logical Folder Structure

Searching through a maze of video files can be a daunting task without a clear roadmap, leading to frustration and wasted time. Businesses can simplify the process of locating and quickly retrieving specific videos by creating a hierarchical folder structure based on criteria such as project name, date, or category. Whether it’s finding footage from a past project or accessing assets for a new campaign, a well-organized folder structure will result in optimal efficiency and productivity.

Implement Metadata Tagging

Without descriptive metadata, video files remain indistinguishable, lacking meaning and relevance. Businesses can give them context—facilitating search and categorization—by tagging video files with descriptive metadata such as titles, keywords, and timestamps. Metadata tagging enhances searchability and promotes automated workflows for content management by identifying footage by location, scene, or subject matter.

Version Control

A system needs to be established to track changes and revisions to video files over time. Without version control, businesses risk losing sight of the most current and approved footage, leading to confusion and errors. Businesses can ensure stakeholders are working with the latest iteration, reducing the risk of discrepancies and ensuring consistency across projects.

Regular Maintenance and Cleanup

Organizations risk wasting valuable storage space, hampering performance, and compromising data integrity without regular maintenance and cleanup. By periodically reviewing and cleaning up video storage systems, businesses can remove redundant or obsolete files, freeing up storage space and streamlining data management.

Importance of Redundancy and Backup Solutions

Businesses risk losing their precious footage to hardware failures, disasters, or human error without proper redundancy and backup solutions in place. Businesses should protect against data loss to maintain operations continuity and peace of mind by implementing redundancy and backup solutions that create multiple copies of critical video files and store them in separate locations.

Data backup and recovery solutions—which replicate data across multiple drives or leverage cloud-based backup services—provide an essential safety net, protecting video assets against data loss.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your video storage needs evolve, it’s crucial to choose solutions that offer scalability and flexibility. Plan for future growth by selecting storage solutions that can accommodate expanding storage requirements. Scalability means your storage infrastructure will keep pace with changing needs. Additionally, prioritize flexibility to adapt to evolving technologies and workflows to allow for compatibility and interoperability across different platforms and environments.

How to Plan for Future Storage Need

Preparing for future storage demands requires careful consideration of scalability and flexibility. Here’s how you can effectively plan for expanding storage capacity:

Assess Current and Future Requirements

Begin by analyzing your current storage needs and projecting future possibilities based on factors such as data growth rates, anticipated projects, and technological advancements. This assessment forms the foundation for determining the scalability needed in your storage solution.

Consider Hybrid Approaches

Hybrid storage solutions, which combine on-premises and cloud storage, can offer an ideal balance of scalability and flexibility. They allow you to scale storage capacity both locally and in the cloud, providing agility to accommodate fluctuating demands while maintaining control over sensitive data.

Future-Proof with Flexible Architecture

Prioritize storage solutions with flexible architectures that can adapt to ever-changing technologies and workflows. Look for compatibility with emerging storage standards, support for various file formats, and interoperability with existing systems and applications. This flexibility ensures your storage infrastructure remains relevant and efficient as industry trends and conditions evolve.

Implement Tiered Storage Strategies

Employ tiered storage strategies to balance performance and cost while meeting a range of storage requirements. By tiering data according to access frequency and priority, organizations may more effectively spend resources, saving high-performance storage for crucial tasks and utilizing affordable solutions for archived or infrequently viewed data.

Regularly Review and Adjust

Continuously monitor your storage usage patterns and performance metrics to identify emerging trends and potential bottlenecks. Regularly review your storage infrastructure to assess its scalability and make necessary adjustments to accommodate changing requirements. This proactive approach ensures your storage environment remains agile and responsive to new business needs.

Ease of Expanding Storage Capacity

Being able to easily expand storage capacity is essential for maintaining agility in response to evolving data demands. With seamless scalability, organizations can effortlessly increase storage resources as needed without disrupting ongoing operations or requiring extensive reconfigurations. Cloud-based storage solutions offer unparalleled ease of expansion, so users can rapidly provision additional storage space with only a few clicks. This eliminates the need for upfront hardware investments and allows on-demand scalability.

Similarly, modular storage architectures, such as NAS or storage area networks (SANs), facilitate straightforward capacity expansion by adding new drives or storage nodes to existing infrastructure without downtime. This plug-and-play approach minimizes complexity and reduces the time and resources required to scale storage capacity, empowering organizations to adapt to changing storage requirements quickly and efficiently in the face of growing data volumes and business needs.

Experience Next-Level Video Storage with Seagate

The best way to store large video files depends on various factors such as storage capacity, accessibility, security, and scalability. You can choose the most suitable storage solution for your needs by understanding your specific requirements and evaluating the available options.

Prioritize reliability, efficiency, and flexibility, regardless of your storage solution preference: on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid. With the right storage infrastructure in place, you can protect your valuable video assets, streamline workflows, and unleash the full potential of your creative endeavors and business operations.

At Seagate, we understand the unique challenges of storing large video files, whether you’re a content creator, a media professional, or a business enterprise. From on-premises to cloud-based storage—including SkyHawk drives, IronWolf drives, enterprise drives, systems, and Lyve Cloud platforms—we provide scalable, reliable, and high-performance solutions designed to protect your valuable media assets. Talk to an expert at Seagate for industry-leading video storage solutions and experience the next level of efficiency, security, and innovation.