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Media Longevity Sidebar for INSIC



Oliver T. Slattery


The long-term preservation of digital data is a fundamental objective for many government agencies, businesses and individuals alike. With positive claims from manufacturers with regard to longevity, optical media has generated interest among the archival community. As capacity increases (DVD ? 4.7GB, Blue Laser ? 23-30GB, Holographic 100GB ? several TB), optical storage technologies is becoming a viable option for the long-term storage of the huge and ever increasing amounts of digital data being generated. While this report only deals with the issue of media longevity, it should be noted from the outset that media longevity itself will not guarantee the retrieval of data several decades from now; since both hardware reading devices and application software will also be needed. It is, however, a critical issue for many customers and needs to be specifically addressed. We begin by describing what are the key features of archival storage media; we describe what is meant by media longevity and how it is measured; we summarize various efforts relating to measurement standards and methods to determine the longevity of optical media; and finally we summarize the results of a media longevity survey sponsored by the Government Information Preservation Working Group (GIPWoG), the DVD-Association (DVDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and summarize its recommendations.
International Storage Industry Consortium


Optical media longevity


Slattery, O. (2006), Media Longevity Sidebar for INSIC, International Storage Industry Consortium (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2006, Updated February 17, 2017