The importance of redundancy
There is a famous saying in the digital world where “If a piece of data doesn’t exist in two places, it doesn’t exist at all.” I worked on a short film recently where their workflow centered around rotating out compact flash cards at every break to create faux “reels”. They wanted me to format my CF cards each time so it would be easy for them to group the audio files with the video files on each reel. This kind of thing makes me uneasy because I like to have a backup of all my production sound files on my storage drives at home. There are many reasons for this, paramount of which is knowing that 6 months or more down the line, I might get a call asking if I have the files from such and such a shoot and having them on hand can easily save a project.
With the exception of the very unfortunate flooding in Thailand last year, digital storage space has gotten to the level of absurdly cheap. You can get a 2TB drive for $150, and for sound files that equals out to thousands of hours of audio (1gb very roughly equals one hour of two-track audio at standard 48kHz/24bit .wav format). At the professional level, there is really no excuse to not have backups of backups. I have two 2tb drives configured into raid 1 for secure redundancy, and DVD backups of stems from audio post projects.
Essentially what RAID configurations do (there are several depending on what your needs are), is link together multiple hard drives to show as one, while at the same time working as back up drives for each other. With raid 1, when I put a folder of production sound files onto one drive, the files are automatically stored and written onto the other drive as well. This gives me a very secure storage configuration where the chance of lost files is beyond minimal. The odds of both hard drives crashing simultaneously are astronomically low and virtually a non issue.
I really can’t put enough stress on redundancy, shelling out $300 now can, and I almost guarantee will, save you a world of headaches in the future.