Advantages of Optical Media Over Other Storage Options

In the previous three blogs, we looked at recordable and rewritable Optical DiscsBlu-ray, DVD and CD, in the context of new storage technologies such as Offline storage (Cloud storage or storage over the Internet).
Listed below are a few of the advantages of using optical discs that make them essential in the new storage infrastructure:

Easy, inexpensive data storage and distribution: An individual or organization that wants to distribute marketing discs, or to distribute data to its employees , or merely to save files or directories for backup can choose between CD-R, DVD +/-R, or recordable Blu-ray discs.  The disc used can be selected based on the amount of data to be distributed.  If you’re planning to distribute a few hundred such discs – perhaps a mailing to your most important employees or supporters – the use of an Aleratec disc duplicator can prepare your message quickly and easily.   Because almost everyone has access to an optical disc player, there is some assurance that the physical disc can be played by those who receive it.  Alternatives like flash drives remain very expensive when compared to comparably sized optical media and distribution over e-mail or a network has its own set of issues.

Unalterable Data : In these days when users have little way to determine when material distributed over the Internet is original or has been altered, distributing material on an optical disc is a great way to assure the organizations and individuals that, when the disc is put into the computer or player, what is played hasn’t been altered.  By contrast, the data on a flash drive can be easily changed, and data sent over a network can also be compromised.

Compact Storage: Depending on the media used, a stack of 100 discs can contain as much as 5 terabytes of data.  Soon, that same amount of space will be able to store 10 TB or more.   For backup or archival storage, optical media can be pretty hard to beat.  Properly stored optical media can last years – if not decades.

Sanitization: One of the issues related to storage that hasn’t been fully explored is the issue of sanitization.  The idea usually relates to hard drives – if you reformat a hard drive, the data is still on the drive.  Removing the data from the drive correctly can require the use of special equipment such as Aleratec’s hard disk drive duplicator/sanitizers.  By contrast, sanitizing an optical disc is as easy as running it through a shredder (disc shredders are offered by Aleratec), or manually cracking it into pieces – a process that quite a bit more difficult.

‘Burning’ speeds faster than network transfers: Finally, there is the issue of speed.  A 4.7 GB DVD can be recorded in minutes.  If it isn’t essential that the data be stored on an organization’s SAN, or at a cloud storage facility, hours can possibly be saved by writing the data onto optical media.  Similarly, 25 or 50 GB Blu-ray discs can be recorded at transfer rates that dwarf Internet speeds.

Mark Brownstein is a technology journalist and technology consultant who specializes in explaining and interpreting new technologies, and clarifying how to integrate these new products into current systems. He has been Editor-In-Chief at computer technology and networking publications, has held significant editorial positions at major technology magazines, and is a frequent contributor to various technology magazines. He has written seven books. He is Microsoft Certified, and spends much of his time testing hardware and software products, running his own networks, and learning the best ways to get computer systems running and to keep them running.

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Posted in DVD CD Blu-ray Disc, Shredder

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