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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup 
Thread started 20 Sep 2017 (Wednesday) 20:12
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Blu Ray still viable for image archives?

 
Deardorff
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Sep 20, 2017 20:12 |  #1

I know many use separate hard drives for storage. I have a few and use them and will end up with more as I go on.
Are Blu-Ray discs still viable as another media for image archiving? A physical/tangible disc stored in a good fireproof/waterproof safe so there is an alternative that won't be hit by an EMP or a major solar storm that wipes much of the electrical storage.

I know finding a new reader after an event might not be easy but could keep a portable one with drivers on the physical disc with the rest so I could use it once computers were up and running again.

Viable, or not these days?


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gjl711
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Sep 20, 2017 21:15 |  #2

Yes and no. Also, Blu-Ray is not susceptible to EMP and if we do have a EMP strong enough to wipe out a drive, then lost images is going to be the least of your problems. :)

As to media, regular BluRay disks do not have a very long shelf life. Some say 5 years or less. If you invest in archival media then you are safer for a lot longer. However, archival medial is more expensive. A quick peek on Amazon shows a 15 pack of archival disks runs $67. To back up one TB, you need 40 disks, or three packs. That's $201 in disks. I can buy several 1TB hard drives for the same cost.


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tim
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Sep 21, 2017 15:00 |  #3

25GB is too small to bother for me. I use 4TB hard drives.

Also, there's no such thing as fireproof. Offsite is essential.


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gjl711
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Sep 21, 2017 15:10 |  #4

tim wrote in post #18457299 (external link)
25GB is too small to bother for me. I use 4TB hard drives.

Also, there's no such thing as fireproof. Offsite is essential.

There are the 100g disks but they are very expensive. a 5 pack runs $88 so to backup a 1tb drive, you are liking at $176. Right now on Amazon you can get a 1tb WD black passport for $46. I would rather have four passports as backup then BR disks I think.


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Sep 21, 2017 15:14 |  #5

I would think BluRay would be a pretty expensive and limited and slow option for actual archival of images.

Pick a media that will handle your requirements and encase it something that protects from what you don't want to risk. That will be more viable than some disks.

True backup is offsite. Have a mirror of everything in a cloud hosted on another side of the planet

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eelnoraa
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Jan 05, 2018 17:47 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #6

A general area deployed EMP strong enough to wipe out data in HDD, we will have a much much bigger problem than losing data in HDD. The HDD head is so close the disk platter, even a small power magnetic pulse can alter the HDD content. But with a EMP deploy say by military weapon, the chance it has effect on HDD is minimal .

Just for reference, HDD magnetic head size to platter distance is like a 747 flying 2 feet off the ground. When I was in the HDD read head industry, we have to develop mechanism to handle the event when the head make contact with the platter.

But I do agree, BlueRay, or any optical disk media, the shiny part of the disk is metal. They are subject to oxidation. I have lose many disk due to this. I certainly won't archieve anything with an optical media.

The most reliable achieve media I have seen is magnetic back up tapes. I have seen my previous company's IT recover data a magnetic tape with water and physical damager simply by boiling the tape and roll it on to a new take holder. I was very impressed. But this isn't a very doable method for most people.

Between cost and reliable and convenient trade off, I think HDD is the way to go these days. This may change in future.


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gjl711
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Jan 05, 2018 17:59 |  #7

eelnoraa wrote in post #18534402 (external link)
A general area deployed EMP strong enough to wipe out data in HDD, we will have a much much bigger problem than losing data in HDD. The HDD head is so close the disk platter, even a small power magnetic pulse can alter the HDD content. But with a EMP deploy say by military weapon, the chance it has effect on HDD is minimal .

Just for reference, HDD magnetic head size to platter distance is like a 747 flying 2 feet off the ground. When I was in the HDD read head industry, we have to develop mechanism to handle the event when the head make contact with the platter.

But I do agree, BlueRay, or any optical disk media, the shiny part of the disk is metal. They are subject to oxidation. I have lose many disk due to this. I certainly won't archieve anything with an optical media.

The most reliable achieve media I have seen is magnetic back up tapes. I have seen my previous company's IT recover data a magnetic tape with water and physical damager simply by boiling the tape and roll it on to a new take holder. I was very impressed. But this isn't a very doable method for most people.

Between cost and reliable and convenient trade off, I think HDD is the way to go these days. This may change in future.

I just took apart an old drive that failed and was amazed at how powerful the actuator magnets (external link) are. These suckers when stuck to the fridge will not come off. You have to slide them off and even then, they are nearly un-removable. I would think that any EMP would blow the controller, not the data on the platters.


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tim
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Jan 06, 2018 01:41 |  #8

Forget EMP, think fire that destroys a home, much more likely.


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drmaxx
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Post edited 3 months ago by drmaxx. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 06, 2018 04:58 |  #9

The question is not just about the longevity of the media, but also about the hardware that will be capable of reading your discs. I was looking at BlueRay external readers lately and I found that they are a) fairly expensive and b) old technology (in terms of connections, etc - e.g. none of them were USB 3). By no means an extensive search - but I really got the impression that BlueRay for computers is a dying niche. I certainly would not put money on BlueRay for long term storage.

P.S. If you want to protect harddrives from an EMP you also can store them in a metal box - e.g. an old ammunition box.


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drmaxx
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Jan 06, 2018 05:18 |  #10

tim wrote in post #18534630 (external link)
Forget EMP, think fire that destroys a home, much more likely.

Agree with the second part of the sentence - but a serious EMP (or similar effects) is a very real thing. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections might get strong enough to destroy electronics. Just because we have no well established probability of occurrence this doesn't mean that it might not happen.


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gjl711
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Jan 06, 2018 08:21 |  #11

drmaxx wrote in post #18534676 (external link)
The question is not just about the longevity of the media, but also about the hardware that will be capable of reading your discs. ...

Anyone counting on a particular medium to store long term is banking on failure. As you pointed out, technology moves so fast that what is common today will be obsolete in a few years. It's much safer to copy data from old storage mediums to newer ones ever few years. I use to back up using 5 1/4 /moved to 3.5 disks, then Colorado backup tape, then DVDs/Blu-ray and now hard drives. I'm sure something will come alone in a few years rendering my hard drives unreadable. Thing is, I still have much of the data from long ago.


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Sideshot
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Jan 06, 2018 09:21 |  #12

Blu-Ray discs store data on a thin film, after time temperature fluctuation and other conditions that film can deteriorate. Different productions of Blu-Ray discs have had problems with longevity and deterioration.

They were never designed for long term storage. Just designed to store some media for short term use.

One issue with data storage is you want to keep up with technology so you are not looking tru vintage 2nd hand stores for DVD players and adapters just to retrieve your data.

Much better options out there.




  
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gjl711
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Jan 06, 2018 19:12 |  #13

Sideshot wrote in post #18534801 (external link)
Blu-Ray discs store data on a thin film, after time temperature fluctuation and other conditions that film can deteriorate. Different productions of Blu-Ray discs have had problems with longevity and deterioration.

They were never designed for long term storage. Just designed to store some media for short term use.

One issue with data storage is you want to keep up with technology so you are not looking tru vintage 2nd hand stores for DVD players and adapters just to retrieve your data.

Much better options out there.

Only true for normal DVD/Blu-ray. They do make archival media that will last decades. It is quite a bit more costly though.


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Mar 15, 2018 12:21 |  #14

Problem is in 5-10 years BD drives will no longer be sold. Thus, if your drive breaks, you wont be able to read BD discs.
Look at what happened to ZIPs(100,250mb), Jaz, LS-120, Syquest, etc. No longer sold.
Stay with cloud and HDDs.




  
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Post edited 1 month ago by Wilt.
     
Mar 15, 2018 13:23 |  #15

Just keep in mind that a number of different Cloud storage companies have entered the business, then exited the business. Some went totally OUT OF BUSINESS!

And in the 35 years since personal computing started, a number of harddrive technologies have come and gone, in the march of progress. And the connection bus in the computer motherboard has changed at least 3 times (perhaps 4), and you cannot easily buy the interface card to plug into the current PC bus of modern PCs.

It takes time and work to migrate digital data, to keep it accessible in spite of technology evolution.


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Blu Ray still viable for image archives?
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