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A/V enthusiasts are salivating at the thought of discs that pump movies in all of their high-definition grandeur to their stylishly thin plasmas and LCD televisions or pricey projectors. IT pros, on the other hand, can't help but wonder how much storage they'll be able reclaim by backing up gigabytes of data onto high-capacity DVDs.
They may all soon get their wish.
Current DVD media offers storage capacities of just 4.7GB. While generous in comparison to CDs, there's no such thing as too much space for ardent archivists and administrators whose mantra is "backup, backup, backup."
A new standard adopted by the DVD Forum is paving the way for rewritable HD-DVD (High Definition DVD or High Density DVD) hardware and media that features 20GB of space on a single side of the familiar 120mm diameter discs.
The specification, HD DVD-ROM format version 0.9, primarily developed and pushed by Toshiba and NEC, was agreed upon during the forum's meeting this week in Tokyo. Though of little concern to storage admins, the read-only version holds up to 15GB of data.
The jump in storage space is due to the use of a blue laser that operates at a shorter wavelength (405 nm). This allows burners to pack more of the miniscule ruts that make up the 1's and 0's of digital data onto the surface of a disc. Toshiba and NEC pack both red and blue lasers, with a single lens servicing both, for backward compatibility.
DVD Forum's approval of the spec gives HD DVD-ROM some momentum, but the battle for next-generation DVD storage is far from over. Its biggest challenger is Sony-backed Blu-ray technology, which also relies on blue lasers but is incompatible with HD DVD. Blu-ray enjoys support from industry heavyweights like Dell and HP.
Since last year, Sony has been shipping Professional Disc for DATA (PDD) drives and media for enterprise storage customers. While based on blue laser technology that yields 23GB per disk, the company points out that the drive hardware and cartridge-encased media is not to be confused with the forthcoming Blu-ray format.
Tacit Networks this week announced the purchase of the intellectual property and patent portfolio of Attachsoft, Inc., commonly known as AttachStor. AttachStor's email storage management technology will be integrated into the South Plainfield, N.J.-based company's products, with a market-ready solution expected to be available in 2005.
AttachStor's technology is designed to solve the core problems of attachment storage and access for enterprise email systems such as Microsoft Exchange. By providing true single-copy storage of email attachments throughout the network, the technology increases performance of email attachments while lowering total cost of ownership of email systems by 25% to 40% annually, AttachStor claims.
Tacit Networks' technology eliminates roadblocks due to WAN performance and reliability limitations, and enables central and remote offices to operate as a virtual, worldwide LAN over the WAN, with key benefits for typical remote applications such as storage, WAN and server consolidation, backup/restore management, and business continuity.
"This acquisition extends the reach of Tacit's storage consolidation solutions to include email attachments. We continue to see a bright future for common-sense storage management technologies that improve storage efficiency and reduce costs. That is the Tacit value proposition in a nutshell, and the AttachStor technology only expands their capability to deliver solutions with measurable business value," states storage consumer advocate and CEO of Toigo Partners International, Jon Toigo.
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