ISO Approves Optical Disc Test Standard for Archival Grade Media
Global Standard for Optical Media Suitable for Reliable Long-Term Storage of Important Documents, Images and Data
OSTA and Ecma International recently announced that the International Standards Organization (ISO) has approved ISO/IEC 10995, a global standard for optical media archive life testing for recordable and rewritable DVDs. The standard will enable the optical storage industry to offer reliable archival-grade optical discs to help end-users select the media life expectancy best suited to their application requirements.
Approval of the new standard is the culmination of joint development efforts by OSTA and ECMA to define standard procedures for media archive life testing and classification, and then fast track the archival-grade optical disc testing specification through the ISO process.
OSTA established the Optical Disc Archive Testing (ODAT) Committee in 2005 to enable a broad team of industry experts, including global manufacturers of 120mm optical media and drives, as well as university and government participants, to define the test methodology. In 2006, OSTA and ECMA agreed to work together to fast track the test methodology, initially approved as ECMA-379, through the ISO process.
“Optical discs are an excellent archival medium for secure, removable, portable storage of important photos and documents,” said David Bunzel, President of the Optical Storage Technology Association. “Approval of this global standard is an important milestone in our goal to enable end users to more easily identify and select archival-grade optical media, and we encourage industry-wide implementation of this standard to assist them in their purchase decisions.”
“Ecma is pleased to have had the opportunity to fast-track the finalization and approval of this standard, which is designed to assist the market in clarifying differences in optical media quality,” said Istvan Sebestyen, Ecma Secretary General. “Our TC31 committee was chartered in the 1980s to develop optical disc and disc cartridge standards, and has been involved with virtually all of the CD and DVD read only and recordable/rewritable standards. This experience contributed to our ability to finalize this media archival life test in a relatively short time.”
Next steps for the ODAT committee are to discuss ideas and processes needed to establish industry-wide archival grade media using the approved test standard for archival grade optical discs. Multiple topics related to that issue will be covered at the upcoming March meeting, along with an update on related applications, including the Photo Archive initiative.
COSA Focuses on Green Storage and Industry Education
OSTA’s Commercial Optical Storage Applications Committee was re-launched during the Dec. quarterly meetings and outlined objectives and initiatives for 2008. Graham Irving, from K-PAR Archiving Software, will serve as COSA Committee Chairman. John Wade from Intervision and Jim Wheeler from Q-Star Technologies will serve as committee Vice Chairmen. The COSA Committee’s charter is to promote storage solutions that incorporate optical storage technology to meet the growing need for regulatory compliance with regards to long-term data retention and/or in a non-alterable format; provide education and information about compliance storage technologies to the industry, resellers and end user customers; explain how these technologies operate; define the integration process that enables its use, and provide growth and development in markets for automated storage technology.
Focus for 2008
The two major areas of emphasis agreed upon for 2008 are industry education of the value proposition of optical storage in archiving and long-term commercial data storage applications and a Green Storage Initiative, to increase awareness of optical as a lower power storage alternative to spinning discs in the data center.
In 2008, the committee will work to define the value proposition of optical storage as a long term storage solution to address industry compliance issues. Archiving is no longer a luxury in today’s business world, and failure to do archive data properly can result in fines or even jail time. The committee is developing a road map and position paper or Best Practices Guide for data archiving to outline how optical storage fits in the archive as part of a long-term storage solution. This document will serve as a launching platform for a series of best practices guides for vertical markets, such as video and medical.
In December, the Storage Networking Industry Association presented its work on the 100 Year Archive Task Force (100YrATF) operated by the SNIA’s Data Management Forum as a global, multi-agency group working to define best practices and storage standards for long-term digital information retention. COSA is looking into ways OSTA can participate in this effort.
Optical as a Greener Storage Alternative
One of the hot topics for the committee was green storage, with most of those attending either interested in this topic or already involved. The committtee’ssecond major initiative is to promote optical storage as a storage solution that can reduce power consumption, lower cooling costs and provide long-term data protection.