Benefits of Storage Consolidation in Video surveillance environments

Video Servers used in conventional surveillance environments can turn into storage islands on a practical note. Moreover, these capacity storage systems can also lead to a way where cost-affective upgrade is almost impossible, unless an enterprise is ready to add another costly server with storage. Therefore, by leveraging your current enterprise network and consolidating all your storage needs, one can easily handle your escalating surveillance related video storage requirements.

IP Storage or shared storage allows the security admins to migrate video data from a video server to a storage that is on a network. By consolidating hardware resources, a performance increase, availability and utilization across the three parts of a surveillance network i.e camera, video servers and storage can be observed.

By going for a centralized storage, a simpler more effective approach to increase storage utilization, and break down of islands of underutilized storage resources into a centralized repository will be possible. Therefore, sharing of the repository or IP storage volume, enables sharing of storage capacity by multiple video servers. This facilitates storage utility improvisation, streamlining video access and enhancing application availability. The detailed benefits are listed below-

Scalability of storage – If in case the storage needs in your enterprise grow, then the system management can allocate storage without going offline. So, as long as your cameras are capturing footage, your video servers will be recording with sufficient storage.

Controlling the storage – With centralization of IP Storage, security administrators can take control of their storage needs on a complete note and can allocate multiple video servers without suffering downtime or video loss. The admin can also eliminate over-provisioning of storage to a single server, while also eliminating the risk of running out of space.

Access your video anytime and anywhere – Traditional CCTV systems fall short of offering the benefits of networked IP storage, such as remote access and remote video management on any control central workstation. For enhanced monitoring purposes, video footage can be viewed and managed from one centralized location or several remote locations. This accessibility ease is only possible in networked storage and allows security admins to manage video, archives and protect video to meet compliance requirements.

Thus, by centralizing your storage needs, a smart strategy for doing more with less can be obtained. Moreover, enhancement in return on your surveillance investments and management simplification can be observed.

Now, for those who are looking to centralize their video surveillance storage needs, DNF Security offers Seahawk Video Storage appliances in its product catalog. These appliances can serve as centralized storage systems to video servers and can be scaled-up/out on need. These appliances are highly redundant and fault tolerant as they are enriched with RAID features.

DNF Security Seahawk series of appliances can be availed from 16TB capacity to 320TB. So, whether it’s a small business or a large scale surveillance environment, video storage will never be an issue.

Subsequently, for all your IP Video Storage needs for your mission critical video surveillance environments do not hesitate to proceed for DNF Security Video Surveillance solutions.

To know more, call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Security Seahawk Video Storage range.

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Buying Tips for Enterprise Backup solutions!

Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions are crucial for a business to perpetuate further and so, if organizations are leaning towards upgrading their backup technology significantly, for instance by moving from tape to disk, then it is better if they fore mostly re-evaluate retention cycles, as well as when and how their data should be protected.

The other primary thing which has to be evaluated is what are you looking to solve, fix or address via the technology you are going to acquire? The question must be are you looking to solve, fix or address the problem with the help of latest technology, or are you trying to simply move or mask the problem?

Many users make a major mistake of focusing too much on obtaining something new and then using it in an old way.

Therefore, the factors which weigh heavily in the decision of buying an enterprise backup solution include performance, availability, and capacity needs as well as the product’s ability to interoperate with an incorporate existing hardware, software, networking technology, and infrastructure.

Keeping aside the above said features, data storage industry is nowadays witnessing a new trend of offering backup and disaster recovery services in a single box. Since, both are inter-related and are necessary for business continuity, enterprises which value for data are interested in such solutions, to stay up-to-date with regards to technology.

StoneFly, Inc is one such vendor which is not only going with this notion, but is getting way ahead. It is offering features such as storage, backup and disaster recovery in a single box called StoneFly DR365.

DR365 is the ideal purpose-built Hypeconverged infrastructure solution to consolidate all your server, storage and backup system needs into one easy to manage appliance. It’s a total backup solution to manage an enterprise physical, virtual servers and workstations from a single box. This enables management of backup operations of an enterprise data center or office via a single central management console.

Each node in this Backup and Disaster Recovery appliance will provide anywhere from a few Terabytes all of the way to 1.5 Petabytes of backup and storage capacity for your business. Every node can accommodate any combination of SATA, SAS and SSD storage tiers as required, achieving the performance factor to the core.

DR365 appliances are highly available, as these products are obtainable in integrated, high-availability modular, or scale-out high-availability modular configurations. An embedded hypervisor allows backed-up Virtual machines and new user-created Virtual Machines to be spun up directly on the DR365 appliance.

The storage controller and backup controller provide a wide range of features and functionality for backup, data-management, high-availability and mobility.

Additionally, this backup appliance has the ability to migrate your existing Windows and Linux physical servers into Virtual Machines running directly on the StoneFly DR365appliance and greatly reduces an enterprise hardware footprint and run many more applications on much less hardware.

To know more call 510.265.1616 or click on StoneFly DR365.

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True benefits of IP Video Surveillance!

Over the past few years, the term physical security has undergone through enormous transformation. Typical proprietary video servers are being replaced by newer video servers that offer redundancy, open-standard compatibility, and high performance. As video images are getting digitalized, the demand for networked video servers and cameras powered via Ethernet has increased to many folds. This clearly states the fact that surveillance field is slowly and steadily shifting its base from analog to IP video surveillance.

Therefore, with the new trend to centralize over the network picking up, security managers are having the opportunity to take advantage of advanced features such as redundancy, high availability and data protection which were previously available only in data centers. As surveillance going digital and video footage turning critical for compliance, safety or asset protection; it is important to make sure each component of security system is fault-proof.

Utilization of existing IP Network infrastructure lowers deployment costs and management overhead, since resources are centralized, and can be shared across the network. An enterprise IP network infrastructure enables convergence of widely distributed systems onto a common IP network for easy access from anywhere on the network. In order to build an efficient security infrastructure, it makes sense to leverage innovations in workstations, video servers and storage to increase system performance. With the help of integrating the surveillance needs with IP technology, organizations can augment the benefits such as-

Simplify Infrastructure – Security managers often face challenges such as managing surveillance infrastructure with fewer resources, increased demands on time, performance and capacity. But with the help of IP-all the cameras, storage and video data can be managed from a single and centralized network.

Reduce Costs for management and ownership – One can clearly observe that operational costs can be reduced with a centralized storage infrastructure and this includes administration, maintenance and facility costs. Moreover, with all resources centralized on the network, one can add more cameras without adding more video servers to the mix.

Increase data protection and availability – Centralizing the network allows security administrators to leverage advanced features like clustering, mirroring, and split video recording to keep their infrastructure high available and protected from system failure.

Boosting surveillance efficiency – By networking the servers, admins can work more efficiently, and can save resources and time for important surveillance duties. A centralized infrastructure enables an increase in the number of applications, terabytes and systems managed without increasing administrators.

Finally, by hosing video servers, storage and cameras on an existing IP network, surveillance administrators can attain the sophistication of reduced management costs, improve efficiency, and consolidate resources. This facilitates the privilege of spending less time on managing systems and offers more time to respond and diffuse incidents.

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Why you should recycle your E-waste!

Electronic Waste (E-Waste) which is touted as a most rapidly growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream, is a term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment that has or could enter the waste stream and this specifically includes all those goods, which are being powered by electricity or battery supply.

This electronic waste contains toxics and hazardous materials including mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium and chemical flame retardants, which have the potential to leach into soil and water. This can not only prove hazardous to our mankind, but can also prove extremely dangerous to other environmental species such as flora and fauna.

Thus, government organizations all over the world are advising all the electronics users to handle e-waste in a carefully way and better dispose them to e-waste recycling vendors.

By handing the electronics waste to recyclers the following advantages can be gained

Conversation of natural resources can be availed as recycling recovers valuable materials from old electronics that can be used to make new products. As a result, we save a lot of energy, reduce pollution, cut down greenhouse gas emissions, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.

It helps in protecting the environment. Safe recycling of outdated electronics promotes sound management of toxic chemicals such as lead and mercury.

By donating the used electronics or by passing on ready-to-use or refurbished equipment to those who need it.

Saves landfills and ocean waters- Generally, most of the electronic waste generated goes into the landfills or is thrown into the ocean water. But due to recycling or handing it over to reputed e-waste recycling firms, you conserve the environment. As these firms throw only the non-hazardous waste into permitted landfills & ocean waters and divert the hazardous to permitted landfills, a responsible disposal of e-waste is assured.

Now, if you have grasped the content and are willing to dispose your E-waste in a responsible way, you do not take have to take the help of Yellow Pages and Yelp. DNF Corp Recycling does the recycling & disposal of e-waste in a responsible way.

Dynamic Network Factory (DNF) offers recycling services in and around California. DNF will arrange for pickup and transportation of the equipment to the recycling location and that too for free of cost. However, the services are currently limited to the state of California. If travel is required outside California, please call DNF Corp Recycling services team in advance at 510.342.5884 and ask for details.

Whether it is a home or a company willing to dispose their electronic waste, DNF will perform a detailed inventory and assessment of the equipment and a detailed report will be generated and provided to the consumer at no cost.

Then each unit will be carefully disassembled and parts will be sorted based upon their recyclable properties and whether or not they contain hazardous properties. This process is performed with full compliance from the EPA and the clients of DNF Corp recycling have the option of receiving a full waiver of liability for any and all disposed and recycled products.

The highlight is that if the e-waste is related to PCs and Laptops, the data stored in those PCs will be permanently erased and then the process of recycling will take place then after.

Users will love this feature of DNF Corp Recycling and that is the company offers credit for buying new hardware, if in case, their disposed e-waste like Pcs and Laptops have re-usable components in them. However, the credit amount will be based on certain stipulations and is only applicable to computing e-waste.

So, what are you waiting for?

Call 510.962.5012 or click on DNF Recycling.

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DNF Security Video Management System advantages!

DNF Security, a business unit of Dynamic Network Factory offers network centric video surveillance hardware which supports video streaming, monitoring, recording and management features. The solutions offered by DNF Security work with advanced features and functions of the IP Network Infrastructure switches, routers, and other network security devices to enable secure, policy based access to live or recorded video.

DNF Security Video Management Engine (VME) happens to be a core component of the company’s product catalog and performs the following network video surveillance system functions-

  • Compilation and Routing of video from a wide range of cameras and encoders over an IP Network.
  • Securing and archiving the videos in a redundant way.
  • Event Tagging for review and archival purposes.
  • Bandwidth management for both live distribution and historical recording.

Thus, with the help of powerful and advanced capabilities of IP Networks, DNF Security Video Management Engines provide unparalleled video surveillance system flexibility and scalability to support

  1. Deployments that range from small systems to those with thousands of cameras.
  2. Hundreds of simultaneous users accessing live and recorded video.
  3. Can support video codecs such as Motion JPEG, MPEG4 H.264 and H.265( in-future) simultaneously in a single media server.
  4. DNF Security VME can also store conserved events, clippings, record-on-motion and loop-based archival options.
  5. This video management engine can integrate with other security and IT applications using open, standards based API and RTP/RTSP streaming.
  6. As this system is fault-tolerant, greater efficiency can be achieved and maintenance will be much easy.

What’s more? The benefit of DNF Security Video Management Engine or Video Management System doesn’t end here. It provides additional benefits like

  • Increased access to video.
  • Enhanced Interoperability.
  • Integration and synchronization with other security and business applications.
  • Ability to dynamically add cameras and encoders using drive packs.
  • Easy review of tagged events.
  • Secure local, remote and redundant video archives capabilities.
  • For high availability DNF Security offers Dual Video Management Engine called Falcon DVME 200h.
  • For those who need a 1U Gateway video management engine, Falcon VME 400h will be an ideal choice.
  • A 2u gateway video management engine cluster called Falcon VME 400hd Cluster will be an ideal product to choose.
  • For extreme high availability applications Dynamic Network Factory’s Falcon Series Quad Video Management Engine-Falcon QVME 200h will be an ideal solution where surveillance administrators are able to display and manage a large number of megapixel video streams from multiple networks, without any latency or performance benefits.

With support for many surveillance cameras such as ACTI, Avigilon, Arecont Vision; encoders and video management softwares such as AIMETIS, Luxriot, Milestone Systems, Genetec and such- the video surveillance abilities offered by DNF Security allows its customers to build high-quality video surveillance systems that optimize cost, performance and capability.

To know more call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Security.

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Shipping Datacenter Crates becoming a new trend in storage business!

Traditional data centers are those large facilities which are designed to create controlled, safe conditions for computing needs. Systems and Storage Devices in these facilities are kept at controlled temperatures and humidity levels that are ideal for the safe functioning of the systems.

But with the technology advancing, there is a proven record that industry standard system can work reliably at higher temperatures and humidity levels than systems belonging to earlier generations. Thus, companies like Google, Facebook and other web-scale companies are taking advantages of these advances in system design by putting data centers in new places that include shipping crates or trailers that can be transported and dropped to new site. Tagged as ‘Modular Data Centers’, these data center crates can be shipped to places as per requirement and when the necessity arises like in case of data continuity.

By using this approach, the following characteristics can be achieved by the companies depending on them.

  • First, of all by placing data center crates in places where there is lowest cost real estate, companies can achieve some savings in investments. This may mean that a concrete pad is built out in a rural area or in a desert. In the recent past, there was widespread industry speculation that Google was building several floating data centers that would be tethered near large seaside cities as a way to lower real estate costs. This not only saves costs for the companies investing on data centers, but also works in an environmental friendly way, as it saves many farm lands and forests from being cut to make way for budding data centers.
  • As the systems, storage and networking equipment is in an environment with minimal needs, limited cooling and heating equipment costs can be incurred.
  • Since, data center sites are selected where power is available at low cost, the operating company can incur some savings with this approach. If in case, the power fails for some reason, the data center crate can be moved to another place or its workload can be migrated to a different facility. There is enough evidence available online that during the Hurricane Sandy of 2012, some companies from East Coast relied heavily on these modular data centers for their core operations.

So, with data centers becoming a disposable tool, built to be just good enough to get by, the future of them looks bright. When needed the shipping crate data centers are put together at a staging site, are smartly set-up and are easily managed. Moreover, they are highly scalable. Therefore the need for large facilities, security and administrative staff gets cut down. If something fails, work just routes around the failed systems or data centers and the end users won’t notice the difference.

After two to three years of use the old shipping crate and data center are picked up and new ones are placed on-site. The older ones are shipped back to the provisioning center so the systems, storage, networking and other equipment can be refurbished or replaced as needed.

Although, these data centers are not meant for all applications, they can surely be used as a part of disaster recovery and business continuity planning.

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DNF Professional can help you in your Enterprise Storage installation and configuration

With the advent of big data, enterprises of all sizes are busy focusing more on generating revenue from their data blocks. Therefore, the onus on the enterprise IT teams increases, as the said trend will enlarge their storage installation and configuration responsibilities to many folds.

It is evident that large companies can afford a dedicated team of storage experts, in their premises. But for those small and medium sized business, who hardly have a dedicated IT team, leave alone a storage expert, the process of storage installation, configuration and maintenance may prove painful.

So, for such SMBs which cannot afford a dedicated team of storage experts, DNF Professional services can prove as a boon.

DNF Professional can not only help in setting up an enterprise storage solution- including a SAN fabric, storage RAID and a network setup; but can also assist the SMB in expanding their existing storage array.

What’s more, the team of expert engineers from DNF Professional can lend their hand in all types of storage installation and configuration, which includes VTL, disk to disk backup, clustered and mirrored storage arrays. They work with the enterprise IT team to identify the space allocation and forecast, the future needs for initial setup and configuration of the storage.

After the implementation of the equipment infrastructure, a DNF Professional service doesn’t end with it. If needed an experienced team of storage experts from DNF Professional can continue on in a formal or as needed basis to monitor and maintain the re-designed or newly installed infrastructure via remote management, periodic reassessments or optimization planning.

So, no matter for what purpose the data is being stored ( for big date needs or for something business intensive) keep you data safe with the help of Dynamic Network Factory Professional Services.

To know more call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Professional Services.

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What is a disaster recovery appliance and how does it offer data continuity?

Disaster Recovery (DR) in storage sense is nothing but to have a quick and easily accessible copy of data in question. A disaster recovery appliance, takes this concept a step further by adding processing ability to the data. In general, a backup simply means an additional copy of data, for achieving data continuity with the help of data redundancy.

Almost a decade ago, tape libraries were used as backup media for disaster recovery purposes. But from the year 2007, disk based recovery appliances have taken the storage market, as the access rates of these data backup appliances are far more better than their tape media cousins.

A disaster recovery appliance usually includes the necessary infrastructure to process data quickly. The hardware and applications that process the data are available and are ready to process. This architecture tries to eliminate the need to build an environment while in a recovery scenario, as this can be time-consuming and can result in errors.

Disaster Recovery appliances are often found in virtual environments today as it allows the user to combine many applications or servers on a single physical server so that each application functions independently, but are actually on a single server. On an additional note, in virtual environments, the user can have applications that usually operate on different hardware platforms. This offers huge savings in dollars and time when setting up a DR environment.

StoneFly, Inc is one such vendor which offers a total backup solution for all physical and virtual server and workstation needs through a single box. Enterprises can manage all their backup operations for datacenter or officer through a single central management console.

Each StoneFly DR365 appliance node can provide anywhere from few terabytes all of the way up to 1.5 Petabytes of backup and storage capacity for your business. Every node can accommodate any combination of SATA, SAS, and SSD storage tiers as required, achieving the performance needed for your requirements.

DR365 appliances are available in integrated, high-availability modular, or scale out high-availability modular configurations. An embedded hypervisor allows backed up VMs and new user-creates VMs to be spun up directly on the DR365 appliance.

The storage controller and backup controller provide a large range of features and functionality for backup, data management, high availability and mobility.

The backup engine automatically creates backup images of physical servers based on flexible user-defined policy. These images can be restored to the same hardware, to dissimilar hardware to build a new server, or can be mounted as a drive to retrieve an earlier copy of a specific file, folder ….etc.

StoneFly backup and disaster recovery appliance (DR365) converts every backup automatically into a virtual machine. These virtual machines can be quickly spun up and hosted on the DR365 appliance. This feature will prove quite useful for business continuity for an enterprise production environment if a physical server or workstation goes down and needs to be repaired. Replica Virtual machines can be used for any testing based on the user’s choice, which includes non-invasive compliance testing.

StoneFly DR365 also includes delta-based snapshots with R-W snapshot volumes, virtual machine and volume backups, thin-provisioning, one-pane management, SSL-Encryption, level 1 data-deduplication at the source, compression and much more.

DR 365 of StoneFly can be used as independent backend enterprise storage for an enterprise physical and virtual machines. Moreover, this storage engine can be configured to replicate to a second DR365 appliance on campus and a DR365 appliance at a remote-site or in the cloud for the ultimate disaster recovery solution for your entire enterprise.

To know more call 510.265.1616 or visit StoneFly DR365-Disaster Recovery Site in a Box.

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Video Surveillance predictions for 2015!

Video Surveillance is turning into a big business and is anticipated to get even bigger in the current year. With security professionals and business owners vying to provide safety and security to their clients and staff, surveillance is becoming the primary medium for them to rely upon.

From the past few months, new HD Standard 4K or Ultra HD have become two of the year’s most talked about technologies in the digital world. Both of them have also succeeded in showing their influence on the surveillance industry. Infact, they have proved as the industry’s ongoing endeavors to enhance image quality and greater surveillance coverage.

Expectations are ripe that HD Standard 4K is said to make a big impact on the field of video surveillance in 2015. Image quality will prove as a core consideration and a real challenge, regardless of how bad or ambient conditions are. Technology that enhances image quality for advanced video applications will be a key innovation here and an industry driver.

However, advancements in image quality have generated bigger pressure on managing the resources that support them. For instance, the advancements have the potential to impose a significant burden on network bandwidth and storage requirements, necessitating more effective compression methods.

Video Surveillance as a service will be the one to watch out for

This is where video surveillance-as-a-service becomes invaluable for managing and archiving surveillance video footage via cloud storage. IP Video Surveillance systems can prove as a powerful tool in preventing or investigating crime when installed in locations such as shopping centers, parks, banks, airports and other public transport locations.

Rapidly growing demand for video surveillance systems on a global note proves that there has been an increasing concern for safety and security terms on a world wide note. According to a research carried out by Transparency Market Research, the video surveillance and VSaaS market is expected to reach a value of $42 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 19.1% from 2013 to 2019. By system, the IP based video surveillance market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.2% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019.

Valued at $9.49 billion in 2013 the hardware market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019. It will include analog and IP based video surveillance equipment such as cameras, recorders, storage, encoders and monitors.

The recorders and storage segment will hold the largest share of 37% in 2013 of the total hardware market followed by surveillance camera share of 32%, but is expected to lose share in the coming years due to a growing preference for cloud based storage.

Also, the share of surveillance cameras is expected to increase to 66% by 2019 owing to the growing popularity of IP based video surveillance cameras that offer better quality and in-built recording systems and video storage features.

Analytics and business intelligence will rise

It is evident that network cameras have the capability to provide higher resolution video along with the connectivity ability –around the clock from everywhere. Security departments are receiving more information from a wide array of sources with this capability.

Therefore, more analytics are needed to help organizations make sense of the tremendous amounts of big data (such as images and videos) generated from the cameras. Increasingly intelligent applications will also be needed to help categorize and interpret the wealth of information, so that it can be turned into something useful and constructive.

This is where IP video transforms the surveillance camera from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems to a proactive tool designed to improve business processes. According to a CRR retail survey, integration of BI applications was the single most important reason for UK retailers to migrate to IP Video, with 27% citing it as their main driver. Nearly half of the UK retailers polled also said that people counting and queue management were the two most important non-security network IP applications that most interested them.

Similarly, video images can be used in conjunction with analytical horsepower to analyze retail customer traffic patterns and shopping behavior, as well as gather data to isolate bottlenecks in-store.

Video compression and bandwidth usage will increase

It is evident that video compression technologies are aimed at reducing and removing redundant video data, so that the video or image file can be effectively sent over a network and stored on portable media. With efficient compression, a significant reduction in file size can be achieved with little or no adverse effect on the visual quality. The video quality, however, can be affected if the file size is reduced further by increasing the compression level for a given compression technique.

This is where Video Compression standards like MPEG 4, H.264 and H.265 usage comes into affect. At the same time, the continual improvement in image resolution and light sensitivity will also increase the data output from the cameras-imposing higher demands on the efficiency of the video compression. Video surveillance manufactures need to balance the upsurge in resolution with improvements to H.264 compression algorithms to make sure network bandwidth and storage costs do not go out of control. Also in parallel, a combined effort of working on noise reduction methods and bit rate reduction should run in parallel with investigation into new video-codecs to get the best results.

Also, the adoption of H.265 will be seen heavily in this year. Its usage can reduce bandwidth and storage demands by up to 50% under the right circumstances, so a rise in this technology usage can be seen in this year. However, although this technology is in demand from the past few months, only few manufactures have come up with products such as cameras supporting this technology.

Ultimately, high quality images and videos such as 4K resolution needs to be supported by the right technologies in order for organizations to get the most out their data, which can be analyzed and turned into useful insight not only for security purposes, but also for efficiency to gain competitive advantage.

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How long does a data storage medium last?

Data is recorded and stored on different media in order to keep it in an accessible state for future needs. But did anyone ever try to know or find out the lifespan of the storage media on which they are storing the information. We know that many of you might be interested in knowing it, but may lack the exact resources which guide on this issue.

The anguishing truth about data storage media is that no medium will last forever, and most of them are replaced by a new storage method before long. But the question is just how long your favorite storage method will last? How long do you have before you need to copy the information over to a new form?

Before we get to that, remember that there are always a lot of exceptions to the general rule. Just because a storage media manufacturer claims a media device to last for a certain amount of time, doesn’t mean that it will surely last till the expiry date. Keeping away the warranty tag, usually, the life span of the media depends on many reasons like environment factors, usage rates, components quality and manufacturing features.

Thus, the life span figures suggested over here are very general guidelines. The only true way to protect data is to have multiple copies of everything, and the best way to do that is to invest in a good Backup & and Disaster Recovery solution.

Here’s an article which will give you feel of the storage media lifespan. Remember, the life span specified for different media in this article may vary in actuality, as it can be influenced by different factors.

Magnetic Tape – Magnetic tape has the nature of loosing data when its magnet looses its charge. Or there is a probability that when layers of tape start to separate, the media starts to loose the data. According to most veterans from storage industry, tape can last for up to thirty years. Therefore, it can prove as a useful medium for archiving purpose. The problem with the specified number is that magnetic tapes will only last that long under absolutely optimum environmental conditions– meaning they need to be kept in a place where both humidity and temperatures are stable. If this can be achieved, then the tape media life will easily range in between 20-30 years, although they are more susceptible to wear and tear if used frequently.

Cassette Tape – Actually this media is truly very similar to magnetic tapes and so the life span of this storage media is also the same as of the magnetic tape. But some have been known to wear out quickly due to excessive use, while others may even last for more than 30 years. However, going with a safe bet, a cassette tape lasts between ten and twenty years.

Floppy Disk – Many of you might be in an assumption that the usage of floppy drives is now an extinct practice. But the reality is that some healthcare organizations in United States are still using this media for temporary needs. Therefore, from what we found, there are still some organizations both government and private which are still using these drives for data storage. Usually, these drives only last for 5-7 years. But some organizations claim that they are using floppy drives from the last ten to 15 years and still they are lasting for re-use. So, may be they were made of top quality and the kudos goes to the manufacturing brand. But still Floppy drives use the same tape in a plastic casing and so the lifespan of it may range from 5-7 years in general notion.

CD & DVDs – According to US National Archives, both these optical disk media have similar life spans and they have a shelf life of 5-10 years. The experimental life expectancy of recorded CDs and DVDs is between two -5 years, though based on manufacturer claims, ten to 20 years is their actual life span. However, the said numbers depend on environmental factors and how often the disc is used. It has to be noted over here that any optical media is extremely susceptible to damage because there is very little protection on the readable surface.

Blu-Ray – The day, Facebook announced that they are using Blu-Ray discs for archiving the data generated by their 1.5 billion users; this disc medium is back in limelight. Blu-ray discs come with a lifetime warranty. That means, under prime environmental conditions, they are supposed to last quite a bit longer than CDs and DVDs. This is due to the fact that their recording ability results in more durable storage and may last a bit longer than their other disc cousins. But these drives are also susceptible to scratches, high-temperatures and sunlight.

M-Disc – This is an optical media storage disc solution that supposed to last for 1000 years, even in the face of environmental damage caused by scratching, high temperatures. While the M-Disc is new format introduced to the storage world, it can be used with any standard DVD to read information. But in case of writing, advanced technology has to be used to engrave the data into the advanced metal. Additionally, it is theoretically believed that this media will live for 1000 years. In practical, no one knows how long this media will really last. M-Disc details- The M-Disc is composed on chemically stable and heat-resistant materials that are not used on any other DVD or optical disc format. Data is engraved into the M-Disc by physically altering the recording layer and creating permanent pits or voids in the disc, preserving your files forever. Because of its permanent make-up, M-Disc is not affected by temperature, humidity, or sunlight. On the contrary, DVDs and optical drives use organic dyes that begin to fade and decay the moment you record your info, resulting in corrupt and unreadable data over time. The M-Disc has the storage space of a DVD i.e. 4.7GB and can store up to 8,000 photos, 240 minutes of video footage, or over 100,000 documents.

Hard disks – Most Hard drives last for more than 3-5 years before some component fails. So, almost all manufactures of hard drives offer a Mean -Time -Before -Failure time of 5 years. Drives which are targeted at home users may not live up to the said expectation. But enterprise drives usually last for the said life span.

Flash storage – Flash storage comes in 3 stages- flash drives, SD cards and Solid-State drives or shortly called as SSDs. There is a general notion that SSDs last for more than 10 years. But according to NYTimes, the lifespan of SSDs depends on the write cycles, which means the more you write and delete, the more quickly the memory in the device will start to degrade. Given the variety of manufactures, lifespan might differ quite a bit from one device to another, but flash memory devices rated for more write cycles will usually last longer.

Conclusion:

While going for the storage media, do keep in mind that it is better to have a backup copy on hand and when needed. The other point is that the selection must be made based on the data value from business perspective, the rate at which it is accessed and the archival period. Then the money factor should be taken into account and a wise decision has to be made.

Summary:

Magnetic tape and cassette tapes-10-20 years
Floppy disks-10-20 years
CDs and DVDs-5-10 years unrecorded; 2-5 years if recorded
Blu-Ray-2-5 years recorded
M-Disc- 1000 years
Hard drives-5-7 years
Flash storage- 5 to 10 years and depends on the write cycles.

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