Sony has unveiled technology to keep your company’s data safe and sound for up to a century. The new system is capable of archiving data for 100 years by storing it on optical discs, and it’s big news in the data storage world.
The system, from Sony Optical Archive Inc., is a scalable optical library system solution that delivers archiving capabilities far exceeding the capacity of today’s marketplace offerings at a fraction of the cost, Sony stated in a press release.
The massive, jukebox-like system called Everspan is designed to store, retrieve, and read high-capacity discs. Everspan relies on Sony’s Archival Disc to store data, and each disc holds 300GB, with 150GB on each side. Capacity is expected to grow to 1TB over the next five years, IDG News Service reported.
The Everspan Library System is being tested by several companies and institutions, including Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sony said. But the company is so confident of Everspan’s abilities that it is offering a 100-year warranty for optical media. Everspan will start shipping to customers in July.
The Caveat: While long-term storage sounds like a great promise, ARMA International reminds people that such promises are not new. And, such promises fail to address some key factors in the long-term preservation of data. For starters:
- Ability to read the data: The hardware and software needed to retrieve the data from any media are more critical than the longevity of the media it’s stored on. If you have tried to read a strip of microfilm or listen to music on an 8-track tape lately, you should appreciate this factor. There is much more involved in long-term preservation than the lifespan of the disc on which data is stored.
- Technology advances / Value of information remains: With each improvement on the technology front, the legacy data gets harder to retrieve and read. Sometimes, the data can’t even be migrated to the new application or system. Vendors drop support for older versions of software and hardware. But, that doesn’t mean the information has lost its value. What can be lost, however, is the organization’s ability to retrieve the information for its own use or for legal obligations.
- Need for long-term planning: To ensure that the information can be retrieved from any media requires long-term planning. The records and information management department must collaborate with the IT department to ensure that conversion and migrations plans coincide with hardware upgrade plans. Management must allocate sufficient resources for conversion and migration as they are developing budgets and personnel goals and objectives.
ARMA International has many resources available in its online bookstore to assist in such planning, including: