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Panasonic puts freeze on data center storage with Facebook technology

12 Jan 2016

Panasonic says a new ‘freeze-ray’ solution it has developed will reduce data center operating costs and energy use, while providing strong data integrity.

Freeze-ray is an optical disk-based data archive system, developed in collaboration with Facebook for stroring rarely accessed data cheaply for extended periods in data centers.

The storage system is based on technology Facebook created to store photos.

The offering has real world tested by Facebook, which is deploying the first-generation 100GB Blu-ray disk-based archive system into its data centers and expects deployment of the second-generation, 300GB Archival Disc-based archive system later this year.

The companies are continuing to collaborate to develop systems utilising higher densities of 500GB and 1TB.

Panasonic says the offering meets the need for ever-increasing data volumes, providing density of up to 547.2TB per standard 19-inch rack. By adopting the 300GB Archival Disc, due later this year, the system can densify up to 1,641TB.

Panasonic says its main contribution to the partnership was the high-density optical technology, key devices including optical disks, drives and robotics, and library software to control the system in the data center.

Facebook, in turn, provided expertise in designing, deploying, managing and servicing storage systems in data centers and provided technical and real-world data center feedback during the development.

Jason Taylor, Facebook vice president of infrastructure, says Facebook needed to address some fundamental engineering challenges with an efficient, low-cost and sustainable solution that matches Facebook’s speed and exabyte-scale of data.

“We’re seeing exponential growth in the number of photos and videos being uploaded to Facebook, and the work we’ve done with Panasonic is exciting because optical storage introduces a medium that is immutable, which helps ensure people have long-term access to their digital memories,” Taylor says.

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