archiving data, was RE: Media Longitevity/Care

Guy Sotomayor ggs at
Thu Mar 17 02:46:46 CST 2005

On Thu, 2005-03-17 at 00:32 -0800, Tom Jennings wrote:

> Hard disk storage also neatly avoids the incompatible-media issue;
> it's continuously ported, incrementally. The translation issues
> are from M to M+1, far less than trying to deal with 8" floppies,
> 1/2" tape or other once-standard media.
> Also, for the moment at least, disks of tomorrow are chealer and
> larger than disks of today, neatly taking care of increasing data
> size (for how long this will hold out I don't know).
> Whether you have 10MB or 1 TB of data, it's still cheaper with
> rotating spindles. If you've really got a terabyte of data to
> reliably save, backup tape isn't cheaper -- if you include the
> longevity issue, of translating last-years tapes to next-years
> tape. Who does that? Not many...
> It's not about the medium, it's about the data. All of our mediums
> suck for archival purposes, except paper and fiche.
> Generally-speaking, our cultures don't directly care about
> preserving the future, and machine media is a narrower case of
> that.

This reminds me that I read not too long ago that many of the super
computer labs ship PCs between sites because it's *faster* to ship a
working PC with 1TB of disk containing data than it is to transfer it
over a long haul network (ie FedEx will get it there in ~24hrs...think
about the bandwidth required to transfer 1TB in ~24hrs).  Not to mention
a whole lot cheaper!  It also scales well!!  :-)

Reminds me of the saying "Don't underestimate the bandwidth of a station
wagon full of tapes going at 60mph!".

(And yes, I probably got that quote wrong too!).

TTFN - Guy

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