Glass storage is not just for flatware anymore

By Michael
October 30, 2012

For the longest time, people have been captivated by the fictional tech of Treks and Wars of the stars, marveling in the things only imagination could make possible. They used backup tape management to store and catalog all those aspirations, but now it seems some technology gurus have found new ways of bringing those tools into everyday life. However, the practical applications of such media, and their associated price tags, could leave many wanting. Sometimes it’s better to stick with what is known, rather than throw everything at the stars.

Through the tech glass
Not long ago, Hitachi announced it had perfected a method for storing massive volumes of data within a piece of glass-based, transparent material – so ostensibly it’s glass – that can withstand extreme fluctuations in temperature, humidity and other weathering factors that traditionally would wreak havoc on data storage devices. According to PCWorld, this method of writing information can hold up to 40MB per square inch, which is somewhat higher that competing solid-state storage.

The only problem is, from making it to writing on it and reading it back, the process is terrifyingly expensive. Maybe in the future it will be as affordable as 3D printing which, thanks to MIT’s research, is now near the consumer level of practical affordability, but for now, companies will have to stick with backup tape management.

Why it is so popular
As Network Computing pointed out, these forms of future-tech are popular not for what they offer now, but what they promise the future to hold. Businesses still rely on their tape tracking systems to hold the fabric of their organizational structure together, but they also like to look at the shiny new toys rolled out at every gadget show and imagine what could be.

This is all part of the growth process, of course, but trepidation in the face of new endeavors is never a bad thing, especially when dealing with corporate data. Considering how revolutionary cloud computing was only a few years ago and the plethora of threats now facing companies that jumped on it too quickly, businesses should be mindful that exploring bold new worlds and seeking out new storage is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

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