Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Sony Replacing Tape With Optical Disc Archive System

By - Source: Sony | B 29 comments

Sony is pushing the industry into ditching the old-school tape storage system with its new Optical Disc Archive Drive.

Sony announced on Monday that it is now working on a next-generation optical disc archive storage system that should be available in various solutions by Fall 2012. Called the ODS-D55U Optical Disc Archive Drive, it will handle Sony's upcoming Optical Disc Cartridges which contain 12 discs in one cartridge-like enclosure. Each cassette capacity will range from 300 GB to 1.5 TB, depending on the model (ODC1500R etc.).

"Sony’s new system will deliver superior long-term storage capabilities, which are enabled through the use of media built to withstand changes in temperature and humidity, and is dust and water resistance," the company said. "Furthermore, the new system provides guaranteed intergenerational compatibility and eliminates the need to re-archive copies of past archive data, offering a more user-friendly and dependable long-term storage solution."

After installing Sony's driver on a PC, users will be able to connect the ODS-D55U to a USB 3.0 port and use an Optical Disc Cartridge as a single large volume. The ODS-D55U will accept any type of data files just like other IT storage, Sony said, adding that it provides a quicker, more direct access to data than legacy linear data tape systems. Even more, robotics for the ODS-D55U is planned for the future.

According to the company, many manufacturers have already expressed an interest in the new Optical Disc Archive including ASG-Atempo, Dalet, Front Porch Digital, Harris, SGL, Square Box Systems Ltd, TDK Corporation and Vizrt. TDK has reportedly already announced both its full support of the Optical Disc Archive, and that it will begin manufacturing disc media under license from Sony.

On Tuesday Sony said that it is also organizing an Optical Disc Archive Advisory Group to promote the adoption of this new storage format. It's open to participation by media and entertainment companies from across the globe to further build the market for video image archive solutions.

"With this group, Sony will collaborate with partners to establish and maintain a solution and application software environment that advances optimum specifications and system architectures among other areas, while anticipating future trends and demand in the archive solutions segment," Sony said. "The broadcasters and motion picture companies listed below have already announced their participation in the Optical Disc Archive Advisory Group."

In addition to the commercial products, Sony will push for companies and consumers to transfer their video content stored on old-school linear tape to the company's new format. "The establishment of an open platform so that the valuable video content stored in tape media can be archived and passed on to the next generation in an optimal format will help industry move toward creating a new market for archive solutions," Sony said.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    zak_mckraken , April 17, 2012 8:05 PM
    If they can ensure reliability equal or great than tape drives (which should be quite easy), they have a winner here.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    zak_mckraken , April 17, 2012 8:05 PM
    If they can ensure reliability equal or great than tape drives (which should be quite easy), they have a winner here.
  • -5 Hide
    razorblaze42 , April 17, 2012 8:17 PM
    8 tracks are coming back? Nice
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    freggo , April 17, 2012 8:21 PM
    Prob. out of the price range of the average consumer for some time it sounds like a very interesting backup alternative.

    Are the cartridges the write once type; like a stack of Blue ray discs for instance... or can data be erased as well ?
  • -9 Hide
    WyomingKnott , April 17, 2012 8:22 PM
    Twelve platters in a removable cartridge? Sounds like a great step - backwards.
  • 6 Hide
    RogueKitsune , April 17, 2012 8:26 PM
    The only way i could see this type of system replacing current tape archiving is if it does live up to its claims of being more durable, and faster at reads/writes. Correct me if i am wrong but current tape back-ups can store almost 3 times as much data as one of the "disc cartridges". Which would mean companies would have to double or even possibly triple the amount of back-up media they keep track of. All of that sounds like spending lots of money to me.

    But on the other hand if this new media doesn't need to be re-backed-up nearly as often it might pay for itself in the long run.
  • 0 Hide
    syrious1 , April 17, 2012 8:31 PM
    maybe the way the data is stored on the tape makes it less vulnerable during restores?
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2012 8:34 PM
    How much data can a company possibly still be holding onto on tape drives?
    Redundancy for small storage space can be done through multiple media now. This is a niche product (its on the level of using duck tape to wrap 6 optical discs together and toss into an enclosure that will use them in a "raid"), why not just use single large capacity disk to archive data that my company has around on tape drives still? Storage size to relative cost will be better, physical storage will be less, but efficiency would be lower using single disks.
  • 3 Hide
    kawininjazx , April 17, 2012 8:40 PM
    freggoProb. out of the price range of the average consumer for some time it sounds like a very interesting backup alternative.Are the cartridges the write once type; like a stack of Blue ray discs for instance... or can data be erased as well ?


    This is for enterprise and larger businesses I imagine, I don't think home users are a concern.
  • -4 Hide
    drwho1 , April 17, 2012 8:42 PM
    let's see... 300GB = 12Bluray single layer disks (12 X 25GB = 300GB)
    Double layer = 600GB
    Triple layer = 900GB
    and the Quad layers 1.2TB

    It will probably be a lot cheaper to just buy the individual disks.

    Probably a lot faster too.
  • -5 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 17, 2012 8:46 PM
    imo optical storage is never good. specially for storage archiving. I bet a HDD array is cheaper then this system.
  • 0 Hide
    dgingeri , April 17, 2012 8:55 PM
    Quote:
    adding that it provides a quicker, more direct access to data than legacy linear data tape systems


    yeah, well, there are better things, like a hard drive based VTL/PTT system. (in other words, a backup program treat the hard drive based system as a tape library, the hard drive based system deduplicates the data and then sends it to a real library.) This provides near immediate restores from hard drive, with off site capabilities like a library, and both much more capable and better performing than this thing.
  • 3 Hide
    nforce4max , April 17, 2012 8:57 PM
    __-_-_-__imo optical storage is never good. specially for storage archiving. I bet a HDD array is cheaper then this system.


    The point of this system is portability of the media unlike a raid setup. What people should be asking is how many writes can be made before there are problems.
  • -5 Hide
    southernshark , April 17, 2012 9:09 PM
    Anything that involves a spinning disk is a step backwards.
  • -2 Hide
    spookyman , April 17, 2012 9:10 PM
    LTO 4 tape drives can do over 4.2 Terabytes....

    Also will it support a robotic library with multiple disks.
  • 4 Hide
    nforce4max , April 17, 2012 9:37 PM
    southernsharkAnything that involves a spinning disk is a step backwards.


    Not entirely, there are still uses for disk based storage and don't expect absolutely everyone to dump everything for SSD right away.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , April 17, 2012 10:00 PM
    It's all about Cost to TB and Reliability. Maybe if Sony uses M-Disk media or something like M-Disk in their cartridge, but currently the disks are limited to 4.7GB Capacity and can only write once i.e. no BR for M-Disk. The shelf life of dye based DVD/BR can vary quite a bit, aren't as reliable as tape, and are not a good choice for archiving.

    The media cost for 1.5/3.0TB LTO cartridge is ~$50, tape is cheap.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , April 17, 2012 10:45 PM
    Not a bad idea, but it'll have to be cheaper than hard drives and tape drives
  • 4 Hide
    Luscious , April 18, 2012 12:00 AM
    Tapes were great because they had few moving parts, you could drop them with no harm done, and if the tape drive went dead well you just swapped out the drive - the tape would still have your data on it. I've got tapes with stuff I recorded 25 years ago, and it's still there.

    But as soon as you introduce moving parts into the storage media itself, the chances for data loss due to mechanical failure skyrocket.
  • -2 Hide
    phantastic , April 18, 2012 2:19 AM
    Tape failure rates are way too high to be considered a viable backup solution today. I believe this is an attempt by sony to create some stickiness in its investment in blu-ray but it still isnt a great solution. Personal and small business users are much better off backing up locally to disk and archiving with a cloud solution. Medium Size and Enterprise have completely diifferent options that comply with regulations and dont put them at risk like tape does.
  • -1 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 18, 2012 4:14 AM
    optical = rubbish! Just hope they lose all their data and come with something better, 100% digital, reliable and better then HDs array!
Display more comments