CD-ROM vs. DVD for long term storage
In an earlier answer you stated that CD-ROM could be the only viable optical format for long term storage. With the incredibly fast rise in DVD sales, don't you agree that the DVD format should be considered as the only real option for long term compliance storage?
Optical media will continue to provide viable options for long-term archiving but not the only options. In reply to an earlier question -- "Will compliance spell the end of optical storage?
" -- I noted that optical storage can be good for long-term archiving (off-line vaults) especially if you're saving data -- such as key documents and reports -- for more than 10 years. I also noted that technological obsolescence was a big problem with unique 14" and 5.25" WORM
formats but current CD-ROM formats are likely to be readable for many years due to the format's use in consumer products.
formats include the original CD-ROM format and many of its derivatives and extensions such as CD-R
and DVD-R or DVD+R. Since today's DVD drives can read discs written with the older CD-R format, users of CD-R media are not yet forced to copy all their old archives to new media to ensure ongoing readability. And, for near-line archives, users can mix old CD-R media and new DVD media in the same drive and library infrastructure.
Presumably future generations of consumer disc recorders will be able to read several previous generations of recording formats. Users with very long-term archiving requirements will still need to copy old data to new media, whenever drive or software vendors stop supporting earlier recording formats before the archive data retention periods expire. But this will happen less frequently for users who choose widely-supported standard formats for archive media.
Let me know if you have any questions on this one!
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This was first published in April 2004