Feeds

Boffins ponder 100-year archive made of TOMES

A MAID to preserve culture and decency

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.