Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Facebook

Facebook Puts 10,000 Blu-ray Discs In Low-Power Storage System 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the 2002-wants-its-backup-solution-back dept.
itwbennett writes "Facebook said last year that it was exploring Blu-ray for its data-center storage needs, and on Tuesday it showed a prototype system at the Open Compute Project summit meeting in San Jose, California. It designed the system to store data that hardly ever needs to be accessed, or for so-called 'cold storage' (think duplicates of users' photos and videos that it keeps for backup). The Blu-ray system reduces costs by 50% and energy use by 80% compared with its current cold-storage system, which uses hard disk drives, said Jay Parikh, Facebook's vice president of infrastructure engineering." It's a prototype, and they're also evaluating low power flash as another alternative to keeping seldom accessed data on hard drives.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Puts 10,000 Blu-ray Discs In Low-Power Storage System

Comments Filter:
  • Write once? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:51AM (#46100219) Homepage

    Anyone know if these burners are write-once drives?

    If so, it pretty much guarantees that Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete" it.

    • Re:Write once? (Score:4, Informative)

      by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:53AM (#46100231)

      Doesn't Facebook have a right to control over their product? (you) ::ducks:::

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:59AM (#46100287)

      When you delete your account, somebody will go and get the corresponding disk, copy it (except your data), and destroy the old disk.

      It's write-once only if you don't consider "destroy" a write-operation.

    • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:02PM (#46100311)

      If so, it pretty much guarantees that Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete" it.

      Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete it". So does gmail/google. Even stuff you type into a textbox but never submit.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/... [slate.com]

      Come to think of it, "deleted data" is probably exactly what this cold storage is for. They never have to worry about overwriting it when users change the data because it's data the users have already "deleted".

      • Google+ recently created an account for me (without my permission) when I signed onto Youtube recently. When I accessed Google+ to get rid of it, the thing stepped me through a wizard that wanted to link me up with people I haven't conversed with for many years! I delete all mail when downloading it from gmail, and I have Google search's web history deleted and turned off.

        Accessing Google generates a permanent dossier on you.

        • Facebook does the same thing, but it is not necessarily from archives of your emails etc., it may just be these suggested contacts have you on their android phone ... Or their own Gmail account. Your data may very well have been deleted, but you still exist as a sort of shadow account.
    • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:08PM (#46100347)

      Some technologies come full circle. I'm reminded of Kodak's optical storage technologies that stored 3-6 gigs on large (8 inch?) MO platters in a jukebox that had its built in "clean room". The advantage of this technology was the fact that once burned, the data was there forever, which was useful for long term archiving.

      Rewritable MO disks came out in drive arrays after that, arrays that had the ability to flip disks, so it could read/write the both sides (300 megs per side.)

      Optical tech ended up on the sidelines because tape got cheap, especially when DLT started having decent capacities and tapes with WORM capabilities hit the data centers.

      Now, tape drives are very expensive, and require a LOT of I/O on the attached computer, or else they will shoe-shine themselves into oblivion.

      In the past, optical burners had issues, buffer underrun was one of those. Now, with modern ones that just turn off the laser once the buffer empties and resume very close to where it left off once data starts arriving again.

      With tape out of the price range, I have not understood why someone hasn't made a Blu-Ray autochanger. Sony has one, but it is a carousel unit made for playing. However, couple that with a BDXL drive, "flippy" disks that have two sides for twice the writability, and that would provide more than adequate storage on an archival basis for large volumes of data. Two autochangers will allow one to have the ability to move data offsite, and almost every backup program out there has some form of encryption on it.

      I just don't see why this isn't done. Even a 5-10 Blu-Ray autochanger that used five disk caddies (so one could just load the pack, and then not have to touch the media after that) would be immensely useful for critical backups.

      • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:29PM (#46100531)

        Huh? How would a 5-10 Blu-Ray autochanger be userul for backups? 10 BDs equals a paltry 360GB of data storage; that's only enough for 1/3 of a typical 1TB hard drive. BDs are nearly useless because they simply don't store much data; why FB is bothering with them, I have no idea. Optical discs have always been found to be pretty awful in terms of storage capacity and data integrity over time compared to tapes. The only problem tapes have is the drives are expensive, but large companies don't have a problem with spending $2k on a drive. On a per-GB basis, they're easily the cheapest thing out there.

        • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:53PM (#46100803)

          How do you get 36GB per bluray disc? Commercially available BD-R discs come in a variety of capacities (25, 50, 100, 128) depending on number of layers and density, and 36GB isn't one of them.

          10 BDs equals up to 1280GB of storage for quad-layer high density discs, although I can't find any of the 128GB discs for sale, only 100GB discs. Either way, the higher capacity discs are rather expensive, but if you're buying them in big enough bulk, it may not matter as much.

          • Except that a single $25 LTO4 tape will beat the crap out of those 10 BDs in terms of price, performance, convenience, and longevity.

            • by Guspaz (556486)

              I never said that the bluray discs were more economical, only that the GP's 36GB figure didn't make sense. I'd also argue that while tape would beat optical in terms of price, it's questionable if it would win in terms of performance, convenience, or longevity. Let me discuss each:

              Performance
              Tape wins on pure transfer rates for a single reader. LTO-4 does 120MB/s reads, while a 16x BluRay drive will top out at 72MB/s. The performance gap is small at that level, although bigger tapes would widen it (LTO-6 do

              • RE Performance:
                I should have quoted LTO5, since they are also $25; their "native" speed is 140MB/s, and they boast ~2:1 compression which makes that 280MB/s on average. Thats roughly 4 times the speed of BD. You're right about random access, but luckily random access is about the least important factor when it comes to archival storage; sequential is far more relevant.

                If you're in an automated tape or bluray library

                I wasnt aware that those existed, or that there were mature backup suites for managing them.

                Estimates of the longevity of bluray media is 50-100 years,

                Advertising is great. Tape has actually been a

        • Re:Write once? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:36PM (#46101395)
          There are larger capacity BDs, but they still don't amount to much storage. As others are speculating, this is probably a pre-emptive action by Facebook, so when they eventually get sued for not deleting someone's data, they can truthfully testify in court that it's logistically "too hard" to comply with a single user's delete request.
        • There's a new (and rather expensive) Sony product: http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/m... [sony.com] that they're saying will be in densities up to 300 GB. From what I've read it looks like a Blu-Ray sized MiniDisc.

          I'm not saying these are any better, but there is higher optical densities becoming available. They're targeting high-end video right now in the US markets. I tried to read-up more on this out of curiosity a while back but majority of info in on Sony.jp site site in Japanese. At $6,000 for the drive alone, hopef

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Tape drives are a lot cheaper than $6k, and 2TB tapes aren't any more expensive than that $50 300GB disc. If the prices come down, then great, but if they're just targeting high-end customers, I don't see prices changing at all. Regular consumers don't have a need for any of this stuff. The only reason CD-ROMs and DVD-Rs made sense for a little while was that those formats were used by consumers for music and movies. Nowadays, everyone just uses MP3s/AACs on their hard drives and mobile phones for music

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          BluRay discs designed for archival are actually thought to be very good for data storage. They are actually more like magneto-optical discs. A laser melts the plastic and a magnet aligns reflective particles within it, and then the plastic hardens again. It's pretty permanent if the disc is made of durable materials.

          • It's pretty permanent if the disc is made of durable materials.

            You do realize you are talking about a company here in America right? If they finally decide to do anything, they will decide to buy the cheapest shit they can shovel in... all in the name of the almighty bottom line.

          • I wasnt able to find any information on this; my understanding was that optical media such as DVD, CD, BD used inks that over time could deteriorate.

      • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:35PM (#46102203)

        When I started at Kodak in 2000 they were ramping down development on their DOTS product for Digital Optical Tape Storage. It used optical film spooled in a cartridge in an automated mini-lab type machine to process data stored on the film with exposure from LEDs. Each cartridge was 1.2TB and has a 100 year shelf life. For long term, write-once archival storage it is very cost competitive against magnetic tape but they just gave up on it. The cool thing is that it looks like a company acquired the patents [group47.com] and is going to bring it to market after all these years.

    • I'd assume the drives are capable of using the many write media, it's then the economics of media cost. Also at some point is it easier to just discard the media then worry about a piece in a middle of a backup set going bad after X number writes?

      I've just assumed all along that they kept everything. Deleted just meant "not seen".

      I'd love to see the machine they built. A 10k stack of bluray discs at 1.2mm a piece is 12m. How are they storing the media so they can get to each piece? I'd imagine their us
    • by kheldan (1460303)
      I don't get why they'd use an opto-mechanical drive for this. Why not use SSD's instead? Yes I know TFA said they're looking into using "low power flash". SSD's can be completely powered down when not in use, are a COTS solution, would require little if any software development to use, and, in the case that someone else presented of a user deleting their account, the space used could be easily recovered to use for other data. I'd have to say that the Blu-ray idea is just a proof-of-concept more than a produ
      • Why has the whole world gone crazy, with people suggesting SSDs and optical to do what tape was designed to?

        I mean if you LIKE paying $0.75/GB instead of $0.01/GB, sure use SSDs.

    • Re:Write once? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CTachyon (412849) <chronos AT chronos-tachyon DOT net> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:31PM (#46103369) Homepage

      Anyone know if these burners are write-once drives?

      If so, it pretty much guarantees that Facebook keeps a copy of your stuff forever, even if you "delete" it.

      Where I work, we use large-scale tape backup (complete with robots), but tapes are so crappy that you basically have to treat them as write-once media anyway, so you have the same problems. (And tape drives are a consumable, but that's another story.) We solved this by encrypting each backup batch with a unique symmetric crypto key, and when a backup expires a cron job throws away the crypto key and marks the batch as "deleted" in our tape index. If all the batches present on a given tape end up deleted, only then do we bother to recall the physical tape from off-site storage and throw it out.

      Has the bonus that we don't have to trust the security of our off-site storage provider.

  • After reading about it for so many years now we finally get to see a demonstration of the 1,000 squirrels versus 1 ox in a demonstration. Pull!

  • Tape? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:54AM (#46100247)
    I guess tape just isn't sexy anymore.

    For cold storage it is still pretty hard to beat, but I have noticed a lot of tech companies have blinders regarding 'stodgy' technology.
    • Depends what you do with it :)
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      How soon do you need the "cold stored" data when you do need it? Random accessing one bit of information on a 1-1/2TB tape sucks. A stack of 1 BDXL discs holds the same amount of uncompressed data in less space, has almost instant access (relative to a tape drive) once the disc is loaded in a drive, and multiple discs could be loaded in multiple drives to increase simultaneous accessibility.

      • by swb (14022)

        How is the data stored on the media is part of the question. Is it random files dumped to the media or is it a larger database or disk image file which contains the data you want? Do I need to pull a 512 GB image file to get a 10k JPG, or can I pull the jpg directly?

        Either way you will need a catalog to identify what media to use and where on that media to look. If you need to pull large blocks of data to a hot filesystem to get at a database record or to extract a smaller file, tape seems like it has a

      • Problems with BD:
          * Price
          * throughput speed (like if you wanted to make a copy)
          * Reliability-- we know how long tape lasts because its been around forever. We also know that optical tends to be piss-poor for archival.
          * its write speed sucks

    • Tell me more of this time when tape was sexy ;-)

      • I checked with my old tape drive. Here's what she said:

        It was years ago... decades, really. Back in a time when computers were big. I mean really, really big. Back when your computer didn't sit around the house! No! You designed the house around the computer!

        And big! I can tell you about big! They were making movies that had computers in them! And how did you know that the large hulking box in the corner was a computer? Because it had a tape drive like spinning back and forth. Every movie that had a compute

  • Make it official by signing formal agreement with NSA, which also keeps backups of certain information. Why duplicate and waste energy?
    • Because Obama has realized the cost of storage, and the Mighty Pen of the Executive has dictated that the federal government won't spend money on that anymore, and outsource the job to the common carriers instead, who will then be required to provide exactly the same information upon request.

  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:59AM (#46100281) Homepage

    It designed the system to store data that hardly ever needs to be accessed

    So that will be several million inactive profiles. I hope they've made their solution scalable, pretty soon they'll be storing 75% of their current profiles on those discs.

    • they have a billion+ active profiles. i'm sure they dont have 4 billion total profiles, as ur post implies.

  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:06PM (#46100337) Homepage Journal

    NONE of those solutions, including the current one, have been tested for longevity.

    I went a year between my honeymoon and getting pictures off of my 1st gen digital camera, stored in flash memory. About half were corrupt.

    • by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:14PM (#46100401)

      I've yet to find a single media solution that has stood the test of time. Yes, I might be able to pull data from a tape from the 1990s, or a burned CD from 1998... but I wouldn't want to bet my data on it. Long term, the only way to do things is archive data in a format that detects (and corrects) errors (I use WinRAR, but .PAR archives work as well) and keep moving them forward in media.

      Even cloud storage is unreliable. I have had sync errors completely flatten my TC volumes stored on DropBox, and restoring from Amazon Glacier is doable... but is something I have as an absolute last resort.

      • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:30PM (#46100541)

        I've yet to find a single media solution that has stood the test of time.

        Clay tablets. Tested and proven for 5,000+ years and counting.

        Space required for storage may be an issue, though.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          HD-Rosetta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD-Rosetta) should be at least as stable (1000-10,000 years), has a much better data density, and retrieving data is almost as technology independent (you'll need only a powerful magnifying glass or electron microscope, depending on desired resolution). The question is, are you willing to pay top dollar for modern stone-age technology?

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        I have archival grade CDs burnt on 1st generation drives at 2x that are readable. They were damn expensive though.

        Archival grade BluRay discs are not too pricey though, because BD-R is basically magneto optical and thus all you need to do to be archival grade is use quality materials and glue. No fancy chemicals. Long term they should be fine if looked after.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        I've yet to find a single media solution that has stood the test of time. Yes, I might be able to pull data from a tape from the 1990s, or a burned CD from 1998... but I wouldn't want to bet my data on it. Long term, the only way to do things is archive data in a format that detects (and corrects) errors (I use WinRAR, but .PAR archives work as well) and keep moving them forward in media.

        As long as there's someone there to look after the process, but what if instead of the box of family photos in the attic you find an unreadable backup CD labeled "family photos"? The danger is that you ignore or neglect it for a little while and you can't get it back. Having something you can put in a box for 50 years and pull out at the nursing home to reminisce with would be better. And if there's ever a WWIII and people have more important things to think about for 10+ years (war and rebuilding) it would

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I've yet to find a single media solution that has stood the test of time.

        http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ [mdisc.com]

        This is a product that is shipping right now.
        The discs are still expensive like BD-Rs when they first came out, but with only the capacity of a DVD-R.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > I went a year between my honeymoon and getting pictures off of my 1st gen digital camera, stored in flash memory. About half were corrupt.

      I don't even think the cheap floppies from Microcenter back in the day were that bad.

      OTOH, I have plenty of optical disks sitting around in various states of neglect. I even use some of them on ocassion. I am sure I am not the only one.

      I probably have a DVD burned from stuff taken off of my first digital camera that I could generate my own anecdote from. Although I p

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        >I don't even think the cheap floppies from Microcenter back in the day were that bad.

        I've got a few stories...

        More to the point though magnetic tape is a relatively stable medium - keep it away from magnets and excessive moisture and it'll last nigh on indefinitely. And floppy discs are just a topological variation on the technology. Even hard discs aren't really that different, just a little more structural integrity and precision engineering to allow for finer magnetic detail.

        Flash though is inheren

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Floppies were terrible in the sense that they could be completely ruined by putting them in a defective drive. I guess CDs and other optical medium could have this problem, but I haven't seen a on optical drive that ruined discs, since nothing is supposed to even come close to touching the disc. But I have seen plenty of floppies, zip disks, tapes, and other removable magnetic media destroyed by using a defective drive.
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      NONE of those solutions, including the current one, have been tested for longevity.

      I went a year between my honeymoon and getting pictures off of my 1st gen digital camera, stored in flash memory. About half were corrupt.

      Their current solution (spinning disks) has been tested for longevity -- as long as they keep replacing failed disks (and migrating data to new storage arrays as technology obsoletes the old ones), data on spinning disks can be kept alive for as long as they can pay for it.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      NONE of those solutions, including the current one, have been tested for longevity.

      I went a year between my honeymoon and getting pictures off of my 1st gen digital camera, stored in flash memory. About half were corrupt.

      Your problem likely has little to do with longevity of Flash itself, in fact it's possible that your flash was still in near-perfect condition.

      It's important to understand though that flash is a fundamentally different technology than anything else used for long-term data storage. Under ideal environmental conditions magnetic or optical media will last almost indefinitely (organic-dye CD/DVD-Rs notwithstanding). Flash won't. It's far more comparable to dynamic RAM - your data is stored as charges on micr

  • Tape? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bored (40072) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:09PM (#46100355)

    Sounds like what they really want is tape..

    Besides the difficulty of dealing with 174 bluray disks instead of 1 tape... You have to wonder about the reliability of those disks sitting around on a shelf for ten years..

    Oh, and you can write said tapes at 500+ MByte/sec.

    Plus, tape is well understood, and there are tons of media management applications that track whats on the tape, when it expires, where its located, what encryption keys are used to decrypt it.. Basically 40 years of data management infrastructure.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > Besides the difficulty of dealing with 174 bluray disks instead of 1 tape... You have to wonder about the reliability of those disks sitting around on a shelf for ten years..

      Some of us don't have to wonder... at least not for CD or DVD.

      As far as BDs go, I will get back to you in a couple years.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Since we can assume they have knowledgeable storage specialists working for them there must be some interesting and novel reason why they are using BluRay. TFA doesn't really say, but it would be fascinating to know.

    • What if people want something at the end of the tape? Tape is not only slow but jumping around sections isn't really possible.
  • by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:10PM (#46100361)

    Though I can imagine that Blue-rays may be economical for cold storage in some sort of jukebox format, it's hard to imagine how flash could be, either now or in the forseeable future. Flash storage currently is significantly more expensive than hard drive storage (ask anyone who's bought an SSD lately), and it's unlikely to get much cheaper due to fundamental limitations on the size of circuitry needed to hold enough charge to store data reliably.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Think cheap CF cards, not SSDs. The read-write performance can probably afford to be terrible.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      For cold storage SSDs are probably the wrong benchmark to compare to, being generally optimized for performance rater than price. Try something closer to SD cards. You can easily get a 64GB card for $35, so about $0.55/GB. Still more expensive than HDs for now, but a lot less than SSDs, and far more physically compact(which is another very real consideration it's you're archiving petabytes per day) Just how may SD cards do you suppose can be stored in the space of one 4TB hard drive? A heck of a lot mor

      • Re:News flash (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:46PM (#46102353)

        FWIW, I did a little quick research on Amazon and came up with the dollars/GB of various media as shown below:

        Compact Flash: $1.06 / GB
        SSD: $0.68 / GB
        HDD: $0.04 / GB
        Blu-ray: $0.04 / GB
        DVD: $0.08 / GB
        Data tape: $0.02 / GB

        This suggests that flash media would need to come down in cost by more than a factor of 20 to be competitive with HDDs and cheaper media. Also, Compact Flash seemed to be more expensive per GB than SSDs.

        Although flash prices may drop, other media likely will also, so a relative drop by a factor of 20 seems unlikely. Factors other than cost may be a consideration, but if I were running things at Facebook, it would be pretty hard to pay 20x as much per GB just to save space.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:13PM (#46100385)

    LTO-6 holds 2.5TB/tape (native, not compressed), so it's more space dense than Blu-ray since a single tape can replace fifty 50GB bluray disks. A 1 petabyte cabinet would only need 400 tapes, and LTO tape libraries of that size are readily available off the shelf - plus the software to manage it is also off the shelf.

    Cost-wise, the tapes and disks are around the same, branded dual-layer blurays seem to cost $1 - $2, and LTO-6 tapes are around $60.

    The only advantage I can see for blu-rays is in random access performance, but for a rarely used cold archive system, you'd think that wouldn't matter.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      I'm going into tinfoil hat territory, but I wonder if there is some advance in BD storage that FB is assuming, but the average person does not know about. If BDXL disks drop from $45.00 per disk to $1 a disk or even $2 a disk, that would change the game. Similarly, Sony/Panasonic's Blu-Ray successor that stores 300GB per disk would also be a big thing, should each disk be priced at a reasonable amount.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        I'm going into tinfoil hat territory, but I wonder if there is some advance in BD storage that FB is assuming, but the average person does not know about. If BDXL disks drop from $45.00 per disk to $1 a disk or even $2 a disk, that would change the game. Similarly, Sony/Panasonic's Blu-Ray successor that stores 300GB per disk would also be a big thing, should each disk be priced at a reasonable amount.

        LTO technology keeps advancing too - LTO-7 will store 6.4TB natively on a tape.

        • Call me when LTO-6 drives are under $300 and the tapes are under $20 for 2TB of storage.

          Right now, it's $2700-$3300 for LTO-6 tape drives and $65-$75 per tape.
    • by Urkki (668283)

      So what is average/worst case access time for that tape cabinet? For BD, I don't know at all, but I guess for BD it is some tens of secs including disk change and spin-up. Perhaps much less with hardware optimized for this.

      If that data needs to be accessed from web, then I think some tens of seconds maximum acceptable.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        So what is average/worst case access time for that tape cabinet? For BD, I don't know at all, but I guess for BD it is some tens of secs including disk change and spin-up. Perhaps much less with hardware optimized for this.

        If that data needs to be accessed from web, then I think some tens of seconds maximum acceptable.

        As I said, random access might be faster with Blu-ray, but they don't seem to be interested in random access:

        It designed the system to store data that hardly ever needs to be accessed, or for so-called 'cold storage' (think duplicates of users' photos and videos that it keeps for backup)

        With only 16 bluray drives in the system, it wouldn't stand up to much concurrent access from the web anyway.

    • The only advantage I can see for blu-rays is in random access performance, but for a rarely used cold archive system, you'd think that wouldn't matter.

      One might assume they want to re-use the same technology further up the stack as well.

      Just yesterday, a friend wanted to see a picture I took of some shelves I built in my greenhouse (yes dear reader, it's time to start prepping for the food you'll eat in September). I had a picture on FB from a couple years ago. The thumbnails loaded quickly, but bringing

  • TFA says 10,000 discs for 1PB, which would be 100GB/disc. But 100GB discs are $40 each (50GB discs are $2 each, and 25GB discs are $1 each). Unless they're factoring in 2x data compression the way the tape people do.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      100GB discs are $40 each if you're buying one of them. But what if you go to the disc manufacture and order 10,000 of them? I think you'd be able to get them a wee bit cheaper.

  • Is flash really in a position to fill the "slower and cheaper than disk" slot, as well as the well-known "faster and more expensive than disk" slot? That's very interesting if true. Even considering power costs, I didn't think we were there yet.

    Or is this some sort of near-line "flash jukebox", where most units are completely powered down most of the time?

  • what generally kills things like SaaS providers and online content is not the cost to back up the data. tapes could be arguably just as cheap and once the data is stored, the medium is just as powerless as blu-ray. Time-to-restoration is a very big concern. things like SAS arrays of LVM striped blu-ray disks could mitigate the issue but seeing as the machinery is the same pick-and-stick model used with tape robots, throughput is going to suffer. the definition of 'cold' also comes to mind as most cold s
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      >what about the halflife of inks?

      Indeed, I've seen data lost in under a year in impeccably cared for discs. Which is why, ironically enough, I end up using rewritable discs for archival purposes - the phase-change crystal is unlikely to change phase short of a fire that would destroy the pretty much anything anyway, so as long as the disc doesn't delaminate I'm good to go.

  • if it's so seldom accessed that it has to be moved to an optical disc, email the person and ask if they want to keep it and if they dont respond or say no, just delete it. if you have forgotten all about using your facebook account, it's unlikely that you want it to be on record for all time.

  • ...and it wants its HSM back!

    Hierarchical storage systems, and hierarchical storage managers (HSMs) have been migrating lesser-used data to cheaper (and sometimes offline) storage for decades. So what's new about it, the use of contemporary yet inefficient Blueray discs?

  • >> to store data that hardly ever needs to be accessed

    In other words, data that you think you are "deleting"

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

Working...