Feeds

Boffins ponder 100-year archive made of TOMES

A MAID to preserve culture and decency

Top three mobile application threats

University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) researchers have designed Pergamum, a hundred year archive system using Ethernet-linked redundant and powered down intelligent disk drive building blocks.

The Pergamum researchers are UCSC graduate students Mark Storer and Kevin Greenan, and researcher Kaladhar Voruganti of NetApp. One problem of building a digital archive to last 50 to 100 years is that the storage medium can undergo ten or more changes in that period with the original medium no longer capable of being read. Few people now can read paper tape or punched cards.

Storer said: "There is a risk that an entire generation's cultural history could be lost if people aren't able to retrieve that data. Everyone is switching to digital cameras, but we've never demonstrated that digital data can be reliably preserved for a long time."

Pergamum was a library and settlement in Ancient Greece.

The Santa Cruz Pergamum stores information in TOMES: single disk drive units in a small case with an ARM-style processor (think iPhone), some flash memory, and an Ethernet port. TOMES link together over Ethernet to form the archive. Data is replicated on individual TOMES and across TOMES, protecting against latent sector errors on individual drives, and also against a hard drive failure.

It's easy to add more TOMES or to replace failed drives. The software doesn't care what the storage medium is and TOMES using a different storage medium could be added in the future, insulating the archive contents from media and media drive changes. This is the issue that prevents tape being used, because of its regular format changes and format extinctions.

Storer said: "In 50 years, the devices might use holographic storage. "As long as you can wrap the new storage medium in this intelligent layer that speaks the protocol, it can participate in the network."

When not in use TOMES power down almost completely. What power they do draw, about 13 watts, is delivered over Ethernet. Many operations can read and write data in flash, obviating the need to spin up the hard drive. This is a MAID-like (Massive Array of Idle Drives) aspect of Pergamum.

UCSC has other archival storage projects. Deep Store cuts the space needed to store data and POTSHARDS uses a secret splitting technique instead of encryption to secure an archive's contents.

This is an academic project and there is no indication of any commercial activity to productise Pergamum. More here.

Copyright © 2008, Blocks & Files.com

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.