Optical Media and Modern Archives

With increasingly growing demand for digital data storage and the rapid advancement in storage technology, it is easy to think that the humble disc is being left behind. However, we are increasingly seeing optical disc technology being drawn upon time and time again; simply because of how much more effective it is compared to any existing alternative.

Many large players in the data storage world, and even large storage architects, are designing systems and practices which work with optical storage at the forefront – bringing all the benefits of more modern storage, such as cloud-access, distributed storage and automated redundancy, to the humble disc.

It is easy to see why. Storage of data is very expensive, even if you discount the setup costs of a large or local data center, the costs of powering them, cooling them and keeping them secure is huge. Data centers based solely around modern hard drive storage are fantastic for rapid access, but, compared to the optical disc, they can’t compete with pricing or archival length.

Simply put, an optical disc will hold data once burnt without any energy costs. They do not require cooling and the physical cost is comparatively low. The disadvantages of using these discs, since they are ‘offline’, have been largely eliminated through the novel platforms developed primarily by Google’s and Facebook’s growing data needs and a requirement to cut costs.

In conjunction with Facebook, Panasonic have developed an archive system known as Freeze-Ray, an optical disc based data archive system, for use primarily for long term storage needs. This both reduces costs through cold storage and allows for strong data integrity – two things vitally important in the world of data storage.

Everspan, a product developed by Sony, has further refined the concept and is even able to read optical discs at a speed of 18gb/s which rivals the speed of conventional hard drive archival platforms. These systems are of particular interest to government archival institutions and defense contractors due to the resilience of optical media; as they have a life of 100+ years unpowered, and, are the only digital storage method which can withstand an EMP attack!

Of course, the technology these systems rely on is, at its core, the humble optical disc. With proper storage and handling, ACU-Disc, River-Media and Falcon Media products have life in excess of 100 years.

For any data storage, software development and solutions architecture needs you might have, feel free to contact the experts at River eSolutions, they will be happy to assist and advise on any problems your growing business might be experiencing in the digital world.

For any optical media information needed, or if you’d like us to cover something else in the optical media industry, do let us know!