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Data Storage Facebook

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

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

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  • 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. []

    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".

  • 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.

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

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:25PM (#46100493)

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

    Except they won't. Facebook doesn't delete your data when you delete you account *now*, what makes you think they'll do it when it becomes this much harder?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Write once? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:23PM (#46102787)

    Perhaps their cold storage isn't as cold as you imagine. The optical disks are much better at random seeking to pull out the occasional data asset from the jukebox. You don't have to rewind and seek the 2TB tape to fetch a record in the middle...

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan