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Storing data/photo's on CD/DVD

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I seem to remember this was discussed some time back when somebody was looking for a way to store their photo's but the same applies to data as well. Basically the data on your hard drive would have more of a 'life' than what you have stored on CD and DVD. For me I have gone the NAS route. Unfortunately the link below does not contain the actual video which was really interesting and went in to a lot more detail.



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The BBC Click prog was highlighting the longevity - or lack thereof - of the various media used to store information - particularly CDs/DVDs. The answer was to:

a. store it in two or more places;

b. renew the storage medium periodically, say every two to five years.

It's certainly got me thinking about the viability of a DVD in ten year's time.

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Well to be honest I have a Compaq Proliant server with RAID 5 running with Novell but then not everyone would do this for domestic use. I also have a NAS box which has 2 x 1tb disks, one mirroring the other which I store video on, a DVD jukebox if you want. What the guy said in the program is that even high quality CD/DVD's have a life of about 2 to 5 years with most starting to deteriorate from about 18 months even if they are not used (the layers come apart). He claims that even two CD's from the same box will degrade differently and that basically there is no deterioration when data is stored on a HDD and it will last a lot longer, even a DAT tape will last longer. So it seems to me that if you have something separate with some form of  Redundant Array of Independent Disks, especially RAID 5 then you should be pretty safe. If the box you have them in goes bang you can get another box, you can loose a drive (although I prefer the 4 disk system) your data is safe and you can replace the drive and it will re-stripe automatically.

I get the feeling, the more I think about it, that perhaps the best and currently most secure way of storing photo's etc for normal people is to use the disk space given to you by your ISP or use one of these sites that allows you to download photo's many of which can be made 'private' so only those you permit can see your photo's. As the chap said the more places you can download your photo's to the better.

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I should have known that it was more than just a NAS box [;-)]

Even online storage has no guarantee, if the operator goes bust your data likely goes too. Connection speed can be a big issue too.

Shadow copies on multiple USB hard drives seems about as good as it can get for the average Joe.

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