Who would have known that with the explosive growth of data and the need to hang on to it for years, even decades, would be addressed by the beloved compact disk?
Call it serendipity to read these two headlines just moments apart from each other in my Google Reader feed:
- Big Data And Storage: Why You Can’t Save Everything Forever via Forbes
- Data Storage: Cheaper And Easier With Photonics via redOrbit
The Forbes article by Dave Feinleib talks about Kryder’s Law, the Moore’s Law of Digital Storage and how we are at a challenging point in our industry because, “storage technology has not, in recent years, delivered the increased capacity and associated reduction in cost historically promised by Kryder’s Law.” Hence, the title “Why You Can’t Save Everything Forever.”
The redOrbit article introduces “a new technology developed by Case Western Reserve University researcherswhere optical discs could be capable of bearing the weight of 1 to 2 TERABYTES of data, providing not only an easier and more flexible way of storing data, but a cheaper way as well.” In the Folio Photonics press release, Kenneth Singer, Ambrose Swasey professor of physics and co-founder of Folio Photonics explains, “A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage.”
In the past, I posted about the shelf-life of each storage medium, granted it’s not forever, but 100 years is pretty good. A lot better than disk drives and tape.
- Floppy disks: up to 5 years
- Hard Drives: up to 10 years
- Magnetic tape: up to 20 years
- Optical disks: up to 100 yrs
- SSD and Flash: up to 100 yrs
- Stone tablets: up to 10,000 yrs
So, perhaps there is a burgeoning market here for Folio Photonics. Storage Newsletter recently summarized the size of the information archiving market in their post, “WW Information Archiving Revenue at $3 billion by Year-End 2012.” According to the post, the worldwide information archiving market, including both on-premises and cloud solutions, is expected to grow to $6.3 billion in 2016.
Optical media has long been a solid option for information archive. The only issue has been the capacity growth curve. If technology like Folio Photonics’ can achieve 1 to 2 Terabytes of storage capacity on a smaller disk, optical just might resurrect itself as a mainstream archival storage solution. Today, it seems to serve more niche markets as disk and tape have had a stranglehold on data archiving. Cloud is not to be ignored, as Amazon and Facebook look at cloud based cold storage options for archival. Then again, optical has a 10x shelf life over disk based solutions, and don’t count out Millenniata - they claim to achieve 1000 years.
On the consumer front, if you could put your entire music, movie, and photo library all on a single CD…would you do it?