Blu-ray based Optical Disc Archiving
This paper proposes the usage of optical disc as a data archiving media which contribute for reducing carbon footprint of the storage and saving our limited natural resources for a sustainable society.
2. Recording Media Industry Overview
Magnetic recording media solutions emerged in the early 1950s and have steadily improved in speed and capacity. Optical recording technology including CD and DVD media surpassed magnetic media usage in 2000 (Fig. 1). At its peak, optical media demand exceeded more than 13 billion discs (CD/DVD combined). Because of the media’s ease of use, robust performance/data life and rapidly declining prices for drives and media; optical media has been widely accepted in a broad range of industries and applications. Blu-ray technology – drives, recorders, media – represents the next stage of growth in the proven technology and is already shipping globally. Blu-ray is enjoying rapid acceptance by applications developers, IT management and end users who want and need higher storage capacities and excellent archival performance.
3. Information explosion
Digital data and content volumes are increasing in an uncontrolled fashion. The problem is computerized data has changed from a structured to unstructured data -- video, audio, photo and emails with attached files. At the same time there is different “value” to stored data. There is “active” data or newly created data. Then there is “inactive” data, data which was created in the past and is rarely – if ever – accessed or used. The inactive data is the biggest concern and it will continue to grow and expand almost under its own power. The inactive data result in excessive and unnecessary consumption of electricity. It adversely impacts to the world’s global warming problem, i.e. CO2 emissions.
4. Storage Carbon Footprint
Traditionally removable storage such as optical discs and magnetic tape have served as long-term archival solution. In recent years, HDD/RAID devices have been promoted and implemented as viable alternatives because of the relatively low device cost of HDD. Industry experts agree that RAID systems in server rooms have constantly moving and spinning components that consume electricity round-the-clock, round-the-calendar. This wasted electricity is in addition to air conditioning requirements. As a result, energy and power requirements for U.S. data centers more than doubled between 2000 and 2006. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States predicts that the power consumption will double again and estimated that ten new power plants would be necessary just for U.S. data center by 2011. Green IT and Green storage are a critical issue which must be addressed rapidly and globally.
5. Green Archive Solution for coming sustainable society
Optical disc such as a Blu-ray technology should – and can – be refocused and reemphasized as a power conservative data/content archiving solution to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s carbon conscious society. As you can see in Fig. 3, optical media’s carbon footprint is less than 1/20th that of RAID systems in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emission performance. A number of firms have already begun introducing hybrid storage solutions which incorporate RAID for high-speed data access and BD-based archiving for reduced power consumption and total cost of ownership. Business, industry and governments can not continue to archive the growing volume of digital information/content (vital to mankind’s past and future) in a manner that does not minimize the storage carbon footprint. It is our responsibility to the future to migrate data with as little industrial waste as possible. Optical media can significantly reduce the use of our limited natural resources for future generations. The optical disc technology can deliver superior long-term archiving of vital data and minimize the world’s environmental load and impact!
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