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Archiving and storage – still a promising market for CDs and BDs

traditional archive and modern cd archive

Traditional archive and modern cd archive

Optical disc media is maintaining its strong position in the archive and storage industry. It seems like it has almost battled paper, microfiche and tape and is ready to face new challenges from hard drives, flash media and cloud – based systems. The global recordable and re-recordable optical disc production reached 18,6 billion disc in 2009 which holds nearly 50 % of global (re-)recordable optical disc production.

The secret of its ongoing success lies in three factors. It has the lowest cost- per-gigabyte compared to solid state and hard disc drives. It’s fully portable and easy to use. In addition, there are a plethora of compatible CD writers and burners available.

The future for optical disc media looks bright, especially that BD and DVD format are joining the game while new markets like video archiving, surveillance, law enforcement and medical services are emerging. The multilayer capability of BD – R provides large data capacity, up to 100 gigabytes on a single disc. It’s perfect for passing archiving, where there is no need for regular updates. The main drawback is its increased instability caused by its multi-layer capability. But there are solutions developed to guarantee the durability and reliability of the discs used by the archive industry. One of them is using 24-carat gold reflective layer, which prevents corrosion and oxidation.

No matter how sophisticated the solutions are, it is still recommended to test the archiving media at least once in two years to assure the data is still readable.

Another opportunity is a newly launched low-reflective M-Disc which uses DVD+R specifications. It allows for permanent storage and the DVD+RW reflectivity makes its production more economical, because less power is required to get enough power absorbed for recording the data.

In order to burn M-disc you need a special M- Writer which can be configured to act like a standard DVD-recordable drive.

However, if you want to be sure that your archives will survive as long as you want, the best option is still to use combined solutions as no media is perfect.

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