Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Data Storage Without Degradation


As avid adopters of the latest storage technologies, we’re always keeping an eye out for new developments in the field. One of the most exciting announcements in recent years was made over the past few weeks, as researchers unveiled a new storage medium that promises to fix one of the oldest problems in information archiving.

The issue in question is that of ‘bit rot‘ – the slow deterioration of stored information and software code over time, even if the data has remained unused and nothing has changed. All storage methods today share this issue, and it has serious implications for disaster recovery planning. No records manager wants to have an actual emergency, only to find that their information has become useless due to natural degradation! Regular testing and backups can negate some of this risk, but what if there was a storage method that didn’t have this issue?

One group of leading scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optical Research Center recently announced they have developed a new way to store data that can keep your digital information safe for an estimated 13.8 billion years.

The new method, called five-dimensional (5D) data storage, can store 360 terabytes of data in the nanostructures in glass. The researchers have been working on this since 2013, when they released a paper outlining the procedure; but perfected it with ‘proof of concept’ tests only recently. These discs can store more data because the information can be packed into the tiny spaces inside of a glass disc, which is made up of fused quartz. Normal CDs store data by encoding them onto the surface of the glass, not inside of it. So, while a Blu-Ray disc can store 128 gigabytes of data, a 5D disc can store 3,000 times that amount.

Obviously this technology is still far from being commercialized and put on the market, but the implications are staggering. Any organization requiring large amounts of data storage can take advantage of a method that erases the technological drawbacks of spinning disk or magnetic tape, while simultaneously reducing costs. It’s an exciting time to be in the information management field, as these sort of developments are fundamentally changing how we look at the future of disaster recovery and secure archiving.

If your organization needs help with today’s information management challenges, The Data Vault can help! Regardless of scale, we have a solution that can meet the needs of modern business – physical or digital. Since 1984, companies in Kentuckiana have been trusting us to provide reliable services and we’d love to start the conversation about how we can help you leverage your records into an effective system. Contact us today and one of our expert staff members will be in touch!


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