Neil Young's Optical Storage Archive

Hey, hey, my, my... The ever-young Neil shills for Sun, prompting thoughts of archives to come

May 10, 2008

2 Min Read
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Sun's storage sales may be hurting, but the vendor put its best open-source foot forward when it chose boomer icon Neil Young as a spokesman for the JavaOne conference this week.

Young reportedly thanked Sun for enabling him to create an optical archive of his music from 1963 through the present, which will be issued on five Blu-ray disks, powered by Java code, starting soon. Java will enable fans to add material to the disks by downloading from the Internet, a feat that wouldn't be possible without the code, Young said.

For many IT pros, Young's appearance is more than a reminder of lost youth (can you be 60 on Sugar Mountain?). It's a prod to consider optical storage, a niche that's growing in attraction for many corporate users.

Just ask PowerFile, a company that uses Blu-ray disk as the key medium for storage archiving. "We're seeing quite a bit of uptake and significant increase in proof-of-concept projects," says director of product management Jim Sherhart. "People like the ability to keep archived data online for a small incremental cost over keeping tape on a shelf."

PowerFile and other suppliers like Rorke Data see the potential of Blu-ray as a tape replacement that also can be cheaper to grow over time compared to disk.It's not an easy pitch. Sherhart acknowledges that, despite some early momentum, enterprise customers traditionally have viewed optical archiving with suspicion. That's changing, he insists, as users see the potential of Blu-ray to bridge the gap between tape and disk at a good price.

The numbers don't bear Sherhart out -- yet. But given that corporate data is increasingly multimedia and there is a pressing need for more efficient archiving, it's likely that many skeptics will at least cast a glance at optical storage in the months to come.

Meanwhile, isn't it truly surreal to see Neil finding a new home onstage at Sun? Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • PowerFile Inc.

  • Rorke Data Inc.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.

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