Write once optical storage media offers certain advantages for low power, long term durable storage of data that is immune from electromagnetic interference (perhaps not the drives that read a write to the media). Examples include blue-ray, m-disk, Sony’s archival disk, and the 5d quartz storage used by the Arch Mission Foundation. The challenges with these technologies include higher cost, higher latency, slower read and write times, and lower data density (currently).
Given the competitive nature of chunk retrieval, is there any way for this technology to compete with traditional HDD and SSD technology?
Should anything be done to encourage optical storage technology by incentivising it’s use via the SAFE farming algorithm?
There was a good post by @mav a few weeks back about data storage stats. One interesting fact was that most data is stored, immediately read, then only accessed infrequently afterwards. For this sort of data, robust write-once storage options seem almost ideal.
I suspect an ideal setup would have hot copies of new data stored to solid state, prior being replaced with long term cold storage solutions. Essentially, a cache for these long term, cheaper, storage mediums. The cache can then be freed up to be used for new data, which would expect some subsequent read access.
Given that we have appendable data types, SAFENetwork seems to fit this model well. Subsequent changes would be stored on hot, fast access media, with related data being pulled from cold storage to hot storage too.
I suspect the economics of such an architecture would encourage its adoption, as storing rarely accessed data on expensive, fast media would seem uneconomical.
That’s how it would seem but I’m not so sure it is that simple unless optical write once media could surpass the storage density of hdd by one to three orders of magnitude. In order for optical disks to be economical you need them to be stored cold on a shelf, not 1:1 in an optical drive. Typical latency for a robotic optical archive to fetch could be about 30s to 1 minute (Edit: this product claims 2s to 6s). The infrastructure for that is rather expensive. Competition with 8 other farmers for the same chunk means you always lose if just one of them have the chunk tucked away somewhere on a big old hdd. Also, SSD drives consume much less power than an optical drive in standby/idle so the SAFE Network economics may favor a fast giant 100TB ssd.
In order for the benefits of optical worm storage to be taken advantage of and supported, I think the farming algorithm will need to be adjusted to reward more players rather than just the fastest to return a chunk. How long a chunk has been in storage also needs to be considered in order to incentivise keeping old data around in perpetuity.
For a proper backup, you can’t really get around optical media. Virtual tape libraries (big boxes of disks pretending to be a tapedrive) have been around since forever but they’re complex and expensive and usually can’t really held up to their promises.
I suspect otherwise. The network surely needs to verify at times that people are still holding the data that they are supposed to. It is too late if the infrequently accessed data is requested and the farmers supposedly responsible for it all reply “gee, I didn’t think anybody was going to request that one again so I decided it wasn’t worth keeping around”
Truly stale data may only exist on cool/cold storage, so they may be competing with other slow sources anyway.
For some old/stale data, availability may be far more important than actual raw performance. Obviously, it is ideal to have both, but thawed data will become warm again while it remains in immediate demand.
I don’t think SAFE can allow any cold data. All data will need to be warm since vaults need to constantly be probed to make sure they actually have the data they are supposed to have. This means bandwidth consumption is maxed out 24/7 and chunks are always flying. A transmitted chunk would either fullfil a client request or an audit request. Maybe MaidSafe has some more clever ideas on how to do this well. I think it’s a pretty critical feature that is required for survival of the network.