Archive Storage

Providing Archival Storage Systems

We provide archive storage for businesses that need to store and protect data for 25+ years. The problem with data archiving is identifying the data to archive. Storing your archive data on a RAID, NAS, SAN, Cloud or Tape is great but let me explain.

  1. RAID/NAS/SAN – All are based on either hard disks or SSD/NVMe and is designed to operate 7×24, using MAID the disks are able to spin up and down when required. So a RAID provides a level of data protection and fast access. The issue with RAID is drives wear out and need replacing, do you think there will be drives available for your RAID in 10 years let alone 20 or 30? So the answer is every “x” years copy your archive data to the next generation of storage and make sure you have a second or third copy in an alternate location. These devices are not an archive storage devices.
  2. The Cloud – So long as you select the right type of cloud for your data archive then this is fine. The problem with the cloud is you pay every month to store and access your data. Over 25 years this equates to 300x your monthly fee, ideally a second location for replication should be used. The cloud could be used as an archive storage device, so long as you are aware of the monthly costs.
  3. Tape – Whilst tape is a good archival storage solution there are issues surrounding this. Every 3-5 years the next generation of tape technology becomes available and the newer generation of tape may only be able to read 1-2 previously written tape generations, therefore over 25 years you might have to re-write those tapes 6-7x in order to stay with the latest tape generation. Another issue with tape is the application software that wrote the tape may no longer be able to read the data back as it could be in a proprietary format. The alternative could be to write tapes in LTFS (Linear Tape File System), this is an open standard and allows you to write tapes as if they are very large USB devices.
Archive Storage Compared

What is a data archive?

A data archive is a secure and safe location for storing valuable information in case it is needed sometime in the future. Use cases for a data archive could be as follows:

  1. Documents – Legal, Medical, Legislative, Patents, Academic, Contractual, Scientific, Financial, Journals, Patents
  2. Images – Photographs, X-Rays, Blueprints, Drawings, Graphics, Pictures, digital effects, 3D/2D scans
  3. Audio – All types of digital or analogue recordings including voice, music, interstellar, animal, digital effects, man made
  4. Visual – Films, Adverts, Movies, Animated, Rushes, Surveillance, digital effects
  5. Other – Laboratory results/testing, Evidential, Scientific, Discoveries

There are numerous types of information that could be stored in a data archive. Remember we only want to archive specific pieces of information and not everything.

Optical Storage

You are here because you want to know about storing archive data and this site is about using Blu-ray as a long term archival medium. Blu-ray is available in different disc capacities 25/50/100/128GB and the archival storage solutions we provide write Blu-ray media in UDF 2.x. This means any Blu-ray disc using this format can be read by a computer with a Blu-ray reader attached. You are not constrained by application software or proprietary formats to write the media. A Blu-ray disc can be duplicated to create second or third copies and can be used in court for evidential purposes as it is tamper-proof. We recently supplied a large Portuguese bank a solution for storing cheque images. The list is endless, if you want to know more call 01256 331614 or email and we would be happy to help.