Skip to main content

Digital Media Storage and Archiving Evolves

In consumer and professional fields the demand for storage continues to skyrocket, and new research carried out by Understanding & Solutions looks at the removable storage market, the future opportunities and the challenges ahead for the competing formats.

In the consumer arena, optical media solutions such as traditional CD and DVD are becoming unsuitable for high volume storage requirements, as capacities fall short of many user's requirements.

"We're already seeing a migration from optical disc to hard disk devices such as PVRs and Media Center PCs, with DVD recording becoming a more occasional function." says David Millar, Business Director at Understanding & Solutions. "However, these devices commonly use fixed hard drives which have a finite storage capacity. There's still a need for users to archive the content, which requires that it be copied to a removable medium, which, ironically, tends to be optical disc."

But optical discs are evolving, and third generation discs, based on blue laser technologies, can already store up to 50GB, with future potential to provide a 200GB disc to consumer markets. In the mid-term, this will be more than adequate for consumer use. However, professional storage capacity needs are well in excess of 200GB, and to a great extent enterprises continue to rely on tape for high volume data storage and archiving.

"Tape is cost-effective but its access time is slow when compared with optical disc," says Millar. "This issue of access times is opening the door for 4th generation optical media formats, which are being developed with a one terabyte-per-disc target capacity."

"Price reductions and end-user perceptions of the reliability of hard disk have also improved significantly," continues Millar, "with end-users now opting to store greater levels of data on these devices. Disk to disk backup is becoming increasingly common, either to mirror files at a different location or through the growing trend -- particularly amongst SMEs -- of using third party off-site storage services."

The blue laser optical disc could possibly be the last generation of physical media, but it will have a product life cycle of at least ten years. Looking further forward, according to Understanding & Solutions, the long term trend shows a move towards networked delivery of content on demand, with local storage needs being fulfilled using HDD-based home servers.

In addition to Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, there are a number of next generation optical disc technologies currently in development and production, which include UDO, Holographic Data Storage, Super-RENS, Multilayer discs and even biological discs using bacteria, enzymes, proteins and other biological-based solutions.

Though the battle between hard disk, optical disc and tape has run for decades, Flash memory has emerged over recent years as a worthy contender. Initially capacities were low and cost per megabyte very high, pricing it out of the marketplace, but this has changed. Price points for Flash have now dropped to a level which is allowing PC manufacturers to offer products with hybrid Flash/hard disk drives, or in some cases Flash-only drives.

Looking to the future, the consumer market will be driven by subscription service providers (cable, satellite and IPTV), increasing the household penetration of set top boxes which provide HDD storage. The main STB will take on a secondary role as a networked media center, providing easier access to online movies and other content.

Content on physical media will be ingested into the media center and accessed alongside electronically delivered content. The ability to store content electronically will drive the growth of higher capacity hard drive based servers, while at the same time causing a downturn in the demand for removable recordable media.

Although, because HDD capacity is finite, and off-site storage is not always the optimal solution, some removable media will still be required for archiving purposes, particularly where large numbers of download-to-own movies have been purchased. This removable media is likely to be next generation optical disc.

Popular posts from this blog

Linux Phone Standards Forum

A new Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) has been founded to promote mass market adoption of Linux telephony terminals through standardization, interoperability testing and market education. The founding members include Cellon, France Telecom, FTM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, Mizi, Open Plug and PalmSource. LiPS will support device manufacturers and operators in bringing to market Linux-based devices at lower cost (due to lower deployment costs through standardization), while facilitating the programming and development process for software and silicon vendors. The Forum said plans to work with other organizations such as the OMTP and OMA to identify requirements of distinct device categories including smartphones, feature phones, fixed-line, or converged devices. For each of these categories, or profiles, LiPS will define standard API�s that support relevant applications and services as well as a certification process for technology providers. In keeping with the open source philosophy, L

Cloud Services Gain New Momentum in Europe

Across European nations, more CIOs and CTOs are investing in public cloud services that become the essential foundation for the design and delivery of innovative digital transformation projects. Public cloud computing spending in Europe will reach $113 billion in 2022 and will double to $239 billion by 2026, growing at a 22 percent 5-year CAGR, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Investments in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will continue to lead most of the spending in Public Cloud in Europe in 2022, but Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will be the fastest-growing segment. In fact, PaaS enables digital business deployment via the quick testing and production of new software applications. Public Cloud Market Development Professional services, banking, and discrete manufacturing will be among the top spenders in public cloud services, absorbing almost 60 percent of the overall public cloud services spend in 2022.  Human-centric industries are adjustin

Strategic Digital Transformation Spending Trends

Looking ahead, many Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) continue to selectively invest in new strategic digital transformation projects that enable a significant competitive advantage. Some additional investments may go towards improving existing IT infrastructure and operations.  Worldwide IT spending is now projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022 -- that's an increase of 3 percent from 2021, according to the latest updated estimate by Gartner. For now, most CIOs will be relieved that their budget is safe from major cuts. While IT spending is expected to grow in 2022, it will be at a slower pace than in 2021 -- partly due to a 5 percent cutback on spending for personal computers, media tablets, and printers. Digital Transformation Market Development "Central banks around the world are focusing on fighting inflation, with overall inflation rates expected to be reduced through the end of 2023. However, the current levels of volatility being seen in both inflation and currency exch