[Tig] Archiving (was Re: Holographic Drive at NAB)

Jean-Francois Panisset panisset at gmail.com
Thu Apr 24 00:05:41 BST 2008


On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 5:59 PM,  <TSassoon at aol.com> wrote:
>  Having worked painfully to recover material written by others from DTF2,
>  single tar over a couple of tapes, alignment problems, etc, etc, and having seen
>  what happens when the binder fails, I'm dubious of the infallibility of tape,

Currently in the process of converting DTF2 Flame archives to LTO, not
a pleasant process. That's definitely one of the problems with
archival hardware: even if it scratches a specific itch when it comes
out (DTF/DTF2 was fast and dense for the time and became useful for a
while as an interchange format between facilities), you definitely
want to try to stick to what is going to have the widest market
penetration and is more likely to survive past a couple of hardware
generations. LTO looks like a reasonably safe bet right now as it has
definitely been very successful outside of the VFX industry, but who
knows that the future holds. And of course sticking to software
formats which are well documented and available as open source
implementations (DPX files on a tar formatted tape for instance) goes
a long way towards avoiding vendor lock-in / software obsolescence.

There was an interesting paper at the USENIX 08 storage conference
about an academic system called Pergamum:

http://www.usenix.org/events/fast08/tech/storer.html

which talked about building very cheap, very power efficient storage
nodes which could be used to replace tape archiving. Given the low
cost of most of the underlying technology (SATA drives, single board
Linux computers, GigE switches), you could imagine a "tape" vault
where the shelves are lined with these little storage devices,
hopefully using only a minimal amount of power. Now someone just needs
to actually build these things for real...

JF Panisset
A52/Rock Paper Scissors




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