Optical Storage

Optical Archival Storage Systems for long term data preservation

We have been supplying optical storage for the past 20 years to provide data protection for information which needs to be retained or archived for many years.

Optical storage relies on a laser to write data on an optical disc, these can be CD, DVD or Blu-ray. Data stored on an optical disc is typically a critical backup or archive data that needs to be kept for a very long time 50+ years and has massive benefits over current storage technologies.
Optical storage

  1. Optical discs written in ISO9660, UDF can be read by any compatible drive as it is written in an open standard
  2. Does not require any special software to read discs
  3. Does not require any special storage requirements
  4. Optical discs are very robust
  5. Have an archive life of 50+ years

We are able to supply the two most common Optical Technologies currently available these are:

Optical Storage Overview

For over 25 years optical has been used to archive long term critical data from medical records, emails, scanned documents, legal documents, X-rays for non-medical purposes, including patent and design information.

Blu-ray Optical Disc Capacity

The current Blu-ray disc capacity is 128GB using a four layer disc and called BDXL.  Whilst 128GB might not seem a large amount of storage compared to hard disks, it is more than enough to store a 4k movie or store 1.25 million scanned A4 documents.

How easy is it to deploy an Optical Storage solution?

An optical storage jukebox fully integrates with Microsoft Active Directory or Linux and appears on the network as a NAS device.  The optical jukebox can then be loaded with media and setup policies to allow certain users access rights, treat an individual or multiple media as a project or write an optical disc once it is full.  These discs are typically held in media packs which have RFID tags to track their removal and storage on a shelf.  So in effect, if you buy a 20TB optical jukebox you could storage over 1PB of information and the software will inform you which pack the information you need to retrieve is kept.  Each optical disc(s) can be mapped as a drive letter to the user(s) desktop once each disk is full it loads the next available piece of media and so on.

Technical Overview

There are two methods for writing optical storage both change the physical properties of an optical disc via magnetism or etching pits into the disk surface.

  1. One way to write an optical disc relies on a Red (CD/DVD) or Blue (Blu-ray) laser to write data
  2. Older optical storage technologies (Magneto Optical, DVD-RAM) relied on a laser to heat the disc surface and change the magnetic properties on the optical disc

This link explains in detail how MO, CD & DVD media is written.

If you would like to know more about the types of optical storage solutions we provide, please complete the form below or call us on 01256 331614:

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