Menu
Sony keeps optical discs alive with storage startup acquisition

Sony keeps optical discs alive with storage startup acquisition

Sony has acquired Optical Archive in a bid to get businesses to put 'cold storage' data on optical discs

Sony's push to get enterprise users to store data on optical discs has received added momentum with its acquisition of a Facebook-linked startup focused on optical storage.

Led by former Facebook executive Frank Frankovsky, Optical Archive in California will develop new optical disc library systems for corporate clients' "cold storage," which hold data that aren't accessed often but are preserved for a long time. Examples of such data are photos on social media sites and regulatory or legal documents.

The move marks the entry of Sony, which developed the Blu-ray disc over a decade ago, into data center storage, a market it has shied away from partly due to the limited capacity of its optical discs amid the explosion of cloud-based storage.

The struggling electronics maker wants to convince enterprise users to move from tape storage and hard drives to optical disc libraries by emphasizing that discs feature longer lifetimes, higher data throughput rates and lower cost.

The move reflects the view of companies like Sony, Facebook and Panasonic that optical media like Blu-ray discs have a future in business applications even as consumers turn away from them in favor of content streamed over the Internet. A 2014 report from Generator Research, however, predicted that revenue from DVD and Blu-ray sales will likely drop by 38 percent over the next four years.

Frankovsky is known for heading Facebook's Open Compute Project Foundation, a group focused on sharing designs for data center hardware. He left his job as vice president of hardware design and supply chain operations at the social network last year to set up Optical Archive. He will remain CEO, a Sony spokeswoman said.

Last year, Facebook said it had built a cold storage system from 10,000 Blu-ray discs. The system holds a petabyte of data and cuts costs by 50 percent and energy use by 80 percent compared to a Facebook cold storage system that uses hard disk drives.

The movement toward optical storage comes as Sony and Panasonic announced a new optical disc called the Archival Disc. With the same dimensions as Blu-ray discs and geared to enterprise storage, it's designed to have a lifetime of 50 years, with initial capacity of 300GB, and later 500GB and 1TB.

The new discs, scheduled to be launched this summer, do not need a special storage environment with constant temperature or humidity and do not require air conditioning, offering lower power consumption over linear tape-open technology (LTO), a magnetic tape storage format.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetFacebooksonystoragePanasonicInternet-based applications and services

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments