TagBlue-Ray

Amazon uses Blu-ray disc to archive data, just like Facebook

A few years back, Amazon introduced a somewhat bizarre sounding file backup service. Unlike an ordinary S3 bucket, Glacier was designed to protect data that you didn’t constantly need access to. As the name implies, it’s a sort of digital cold storage. It also moves slowly, like a Glacier would. If you need to retrieve some files, it can take three to five hours to “thaw” them. Ever since the service was announced, people (geeky ones, anyway) have been wondering what kind of hardware Amazon Glacier uses that lets them charge such ridiculously low rates. Storage is never cheap when you’re talking about petabytes of data, but if Amazon’s only charging 1 cent per gigabyte of geo-distributed secure storage they must be …

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Amazon uses Blu-ray disc to archive data, just like Facebook

Amazon’s Glacier secret: BDXL

Remember when Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Glacier, a data archiving service, almost 2 years ago? Long-term, slow-retrieval (3-5 hours) storage for 1¢/GB while maintaining several copies across geographies. Pretty amazing. Less amazing now that disk prices are reaching 3¢/GB, but there’s still power, cooling, mounting and replacement costs to consider in addition to multiple copies. Tape? Amazon denied that. Plus the long-term storage requirements for tape require a level of climate control that their data centers may not support. Not tape. Hard drives to the rescue?That left disk. Perhaps Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives that, in theory, could double existing drive density at the cost of expensive rewrites. Which an archive wouldn’t have. Seagate announced they’d sold a …

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Amazon’s Glacier secret: BDXL

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