Optical CD & DVD Media as a Backup Option

November 1, 2022 0 Comments

As every minute of every day passes, we collect more and more data. Data which is valuable such as client and business records, data which is irreplaceable such as your daughter’s first birthday or your wedding photographs.visit my online https://tdpelmedia.com/for more deatile. Some data we just plain don’t want to lose because of the effort involved in obtaining it – music and video files spring to mind. The point is not only is our data growing, but the need to backup these important data assets is also growing.

According to a new IDC report, the amount of digital information created each year has now overtaken the volume of storage space available for the first time in history – two thirds of this data is created by individuals in the form of photographs, telephone calls, video, making VoIP calls, uploading content to eBay, Facebook, YouTube and sending emails.

As our lives become an ever increasing anthology of data, the home and small business user becomes even more susceptible to the threat of data loss. Whilst data backup processes are commonplace for most medium to large businesses (or they should be), the concept is still very new to some home users. The backup process is also very different for the home and small business user.

Data volumes are significantly less, often don’t have extensive IT know-how, and the most obvious factor – much less money to spend on backing up data. SME & enterprise level hardware, media and software options are expensive – some cartridges can be over $200 each).

As a result, these SOHO users have generally looked to their existing hardware for a backup solution. This sees two main options available; external hard disks or optical media. Additional hard disks or external drives are becoming a popular choice for users who have large volumes of data that they want to be protected – perhaps lots of music and video files. With this in mind, they can be expensive for some users and are also prone to the some of the same problems that the user is trying to protect their data from – ie. HDD crash.

This leaves the optical media option. For some years now, every basic PC or laptop configuration has included at least CD burning capabilities as standard, and most now also with DVD burning capabilities. This gives SOHO users the inherent advantage of backup at a very small fraction of the price of enterprise tape based backup solutions. CD/DVD devices allow a backup copy of data to easily be created that can be stored off site at alternative location and accessed by other systems, if required.

The main advantages of CD and DVD optical media as a backup option include:

o Most SOHO users already have access to an optical writer of some description – no additional hardware purchase is required.

o Backup software is readily available for little or no cost and it records the data in an easy accessible format. Even Windows offers a basic backup utility which is installed during Setup.

o Blank CD and DVD media is very inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere.

o The slim form factor of CD and DVD media can see a high number of media stored in a small storage space.

Optical media as a viable backup solution for SOHO users, however, is not without its flaws. These disadvantages can include:

o Large data volumes may not easily fit onto single CD or DVD media. Extensive music and video collections can easily exceed the existing capacity of optical media. A dual layer DVD (DVD-DL) can only store up to 8.5GB, and with the volume of a standard hard disk system nearing 250GB, a dual layer DVD can only store a small portion of this. With the appropriate software, disk spanning can be an option here. Alternatively, being selective about what you backup may be more appropriate.

o Optical media is often considered to be “fragile” when it is out of its casing. The media can be susceptible to damage on the underside of the disc (which is read by an optical reader) as well as the reflective surface on the top side of the disc. Damage to either side will affect how the laser reads the media substrate and often result read failure.

o Finally there is the inevitable deterioration which affects all media. Older optical media has been found to deteriorate quite rapidly only after a few years. This has been improved with newer media technology, however the shelf life of optical media is still quite low, generally less than five years.

With the advent of ‘scratch-proof’ optical media such as TDK’s Armour Plate and Imation’s Forcefield, manufacturers are helping to combat one of the main weaknesses of optical media. In addition, technology has been developed which promises to lengthen the life of optical media – the Kodak Gold media uses gold in the media substrate in order to retard the deterioration of the media. These improvements of the media do increase the media price, however it is still within reach of the home or SOHO user.

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