Cold Data Storage Technology

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Why use optical disc for cold data archiving?

Fast, high-capacity optical disc technology offers several advantages over tape and other long-term cold file storage solutions. It’s ideal for managing rapidly-increasing volumes of data that are charateristic of today’s library, disaster recovery and asset management applications – from media production to engineering, CAD, AI, scientific and medical research, preservation of art and cultural assets and the secure storage of confidential information.

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Archival Disc Technology Whitepaper

Learn why ODA has been designed for large volumes of data, exceptional durability, simplified storage and reduced costs.

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ODA and Generation Media 3 Cartridge

How much data can I store using optical disc?

Optical disc technology offers very high storage capacities – ideal for cold archive applications with today’s rapidly growing data sets. Optical Disc Archive uses an advanced high-density disc structure with up to six discrete recording layers, allowing a single Generation 3 media cartridge to store up to 5.5TB of data. There’s a choice of write-once (WORM) and re-writable Optical Disc Archive media, available in a range of data storage capacities to suit your own workflow needs. And if you need even more capacity, Optical Disc Archive scales smoothly with library solutions to meet the biggest cold data archiving challenge.

How durable is optical disc media?

Optical disc technology is particularly attractive for archive and backup applications where files may need to be stored and accessed repeatedly over long periods of time. Ideal for long-term cold storage applications, Optical Disc Archive media offers exceptional durability in a wide range of environmental conditions. Readable over a million times, it’s engineering to handle extremes of temperature and humidity.

Temperature and Humidity
Diagram depicting length of ODA storage compared to tape and HDD storage

How long are my cold data files safe for with optical disc?

The long-term reliability of tape-based data storage solutions is limited by physical wear caused by contact between the tape itself and the read/write head. Optical Disc Archive uses reliable non-contact read/write technology to enable a media archival life that’s estimated in excess of 100 years* – substantially longer than other data storage media. Each cartridge is designed for exceptional durability, simplifying storage requirements with no need for special climate controlled conditions.

* Estimated average archival life of Generation 2 and 3 disc media, calculated by internal acceleration testing based on ISO/IEC 16963 test method.

How fast is optical disc?

You never know when you might need access to cold data files in a hurry. Optical disc technology takes your long-term storage strategy into the fast lane, without the lengthy retrieval and restore times typical with tape. Optical Disc Archive features the world’s first 8-channel optical drive unit with four laser head assemblies, each containing two laser heads that allow the system to read/write both sides of the disc. This enables extremely high verified transfer speeds averaging 375 MB/s (read) and 187.5 MB/s (write) – far higher than tape and with the additional benefit of random access to data files.

Diagram depicting data transfer speed of ODA
Diagram depicting file access speed of ODA

How else is optical disc ideal for archive applications?

Optical disc technology offers another big benefit over tape that requires time-consuming searches to find and retrieve a file. Every Optical Disc Archive cartridge contains multiple discs that appear to the user as a single mass storage volume, allowing random access to files and very high speed data retrieval. Optical Disc Archive drives and library units support the UDF (Universal Disc Format) standard for seamless compatibility with a wide range of cold storage, active archive and media asset management solutions.

*Using the ODC600RE based on internet testing for Generation 1.

Does optical disc allow data migration?

With all data archive technologies, it’s worth thinking carefully about your long-term storage and migration plans. Over the course of many years – or decades – advances in technology make it inevitable that you’ll need to move your data files to a newer storage solution. Optical Disc Archive drives support backward compatibility with previous-generation media cartridges, so you don’t need to keep copying your files to a fresh cartridge every couple of years. 

Diagram depicting frequency of migration with ODA

For all your cold storage data archiving needs

There’s a complete family of Optical Disc Archive solutions from Sony to meet your cold storage requirements.

Learn more about Optical Disc Archive >

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Can cold data archive storage systems resists flood damage?

Other optical media technologies like CD, DVD or Blu ray Disc aren’t harmed by splashes of water or high humidity. It’s the same story with Sony’s Optical Disc Archive media that offers excellent resilience against flood damage.

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* This water resistance test does not guarantee data safety for submerged media. Follow the instruction manual when using disc cartridges; do not disassemble disc cartridge.

Can cold data storage archiving systems resist boiling water?

Optical disc media offers excellent resistance to moisture and temperature. The durability of Optical Disc Archive is underlined by this video that demonstrates the disc media being totally immersed in boiling water.

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ODA Generation 2 Technology

ODA can serve as the core of archive systems capable of managing and storing high volume data including 4K.

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Reliable and Robust Technology

With more than 30 year of R&D, ODA offers incredible reliability and protection for your data.

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