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Long-term backup storage media

Long-term backup storage media

Rumors say CDs and DVDs won't remember your data longer than ten years. Are there backup media that do better?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 22
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

Hard Drives. Space is dirt cheap these days, you can grab a few TB worth of internal hard drives at a fairly low price. Even external hard drives aren't too expensive.
Guest [Entry]

"Rumors say CDs and DVDs won't remember
your data longer than ten years.

You just said it: RUMOURS! :)

The Optical Storage Technology
Association (OSTA) has published the
following longevity estimates for
recordable optical media:

Manufacturers' estimated recorded life
span.

CD-R: 50-200 years

CD-RW: 20-100 years

DVD+R: 30-100 years

DVD+RW: 30 years

BD-R 50+ years

So, chances are that you may not live long enough to prove these estimates wrong! :)

Now compare that to the average lifespan of a platter hard disk (2-10 years). Optical media win that contest hands down.

And then there is the good old stone tablet which will last a couple of thousand years. But the data density of 0.001 kbit/kg is a bit of a showstopper. :P

But in IT, the Cranberry Diamondisc DVD is considered to be the Holy Grail of long term storage, they boast a life span 1000 (one thousand) years. Of course it requires special hardware to burn these discs."
Guest [Entry]

"From http://www.superwarehouse.com/HP_5.2_GB_Magneto_Optical_Disk/88146J/p/54344:

HP magneto-optical rewritable
cartridges allow virtually unlimited
read/write cycles, making them the
ideal choice for data management in
information-intensive environments. HP
write-once cartridges are designed for
permanent storage of data that can't
be altered or erased. Both disk
formats have an archival life of 100
years..."
Guest [Entry]

Paper backups using an efficient encoding scheme also remain an option. It is not handy and takes a lot of space, but it is robust and long-lasting.
Guest [Entry]

"I think the question that must be asked is ""how long-term is long-term""?

Quality paper is probably the most efficient low-end long-term storage currently known(300+ years).

But if you're looking to archive records in the event of nuclear blast, you might try etchings on metal in a can in a cave.

But if you want to store company records for 50 years, hard disks disconnected and stored in a vibration-less environment together with paper documents on the interface & data formats is not a bad plan.

But if you want to publish historical-class data for the next 200 years, ie, you're investigating for a library or similar institution, you want to make sure that the information is usable when we go to The Hypernet, so you might be investigating a redundant array of cloud data storage centers from different companies with a common query-able interface published on the current Internet.

But if you want to archive historical-class data, you want something that is probably similar to a ROM-style hard disk. (I'm taking a guess that those exist for long-term archive storage).

But are you storing text? video? pictures? binaries? Each of those has different information characteristics and can be stored a little differently.

There's no 'right' answer here until you narrow your focus a bit."