There is no escaping the need to have a data storage system. Be it in education, corporate, financing and government to name a few; there is a growing need to keep the onslaught of digital data on an archive.


This article delves into the different data storage options available and the associated drawbacks and features.

Digital space is growing exponentially every day with the emergence of new technologies, widespread use of social network platforms, transmission between connected devices, among others.

It is essential for enterprises to manage their assets effectively, ensuring that they are stored safely and able to utilize them alongside with their existing archive.

Industries generally differentiate their data storage into three levels – Hot, Warm and Cold. The classifications are based on how crucial to the current business the assets are and how frequent it will be accessed, assisting them to select the most ideal workflow alongside suitable media.

Generally, Hot data refers to assets that requires the fastest storage as they are accessed most frequently.

Warm data represents assets that are stored on a bigger storage capacity or file servers for relatively cost-efficient concern.

As for Cold data, it doesn’t require on-line or near-line workflow and mostly include archived materials that are rarely accessed, increasingly stored on low-cost options.

Safeguarding digital assets is crucial as data is easily lost in many ways — deletion of files accidentally, cyber attacks, system or hard drive failure.

Therefore, the right data storage workflow protects and effectively manages valuable assets, providing peace of mind in the long run.

To meet the ever-growing demands for managing, storing and re-purposing digital content, there are many options for data storage and backup without any sophisticated equipment. Users can deploy solid-state drive (SSD), random-access memory (RAM), hard disk drives (HDD), tape, or even cloud.

SSDs equips enterprises with high performance in terms of data storage or access. It is optimized for lower latency and higher transactional rates compared to HDDs. However, it isn’t cost-effective and might not be a viable option for long term or big data storage media.

HDDs are widely used by all industries as it is generally cheaper and more accessible with a variety of sizes, making it more suitable for environments where the drive is heavily accessed and involves intensive read/write cycles.

However, HDDs might not be the best solution in the long run. They require data protection and periodic data migration due to its limited media life and susceptibility to crashes, vibration and mechanical failure.

Even raid arrays are susceptible to data loss with multiple drive failures.

Since 2000, Linear Tape Open (LTO) has quickly become the preferred cold data storage media across the world. LTO is a high-capacity, low cost and open format, but comes with certain drawbacks. In particular, tape corrosion, slow mounting and eject time, and poor shelf life if not stored properly.

Another issue with LTO is that it relies on linear access, which does not allow for random access like HDDs. In other words, the occurrence of frequent fast- forwarding to access the selected data will inevitably scratch the tape’s surface and over time deplete its readability and reliability.

Introducing an entirely new optical disc-based storage system, Sony’s Optical Disc Archive is ideal as a long-term solution that maximizes flexibility, scalability, reliability, and performance, future-proofing the archive solution to overcome the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The system employs multiple bare discs contained within an extremely robust cartridge, and a dedicated disc drive unit with associated software. Ensuring a low total cost of ownership, it is inter-generational compatible based on the same optical disc technology used in DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

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