Sony Optical Archive Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, today unveiled the Everspan Library System (Everspan), a scalable optical library system solution that delivers archiving capabilities far exceeding the capacity of what is available in the marketplace today, at a fraction of the cost.
Everspan utilizes Sony’s 300 GB Archival Disc to store data. Unlike tape or hard disk drives which need to be refreshed/replaced every 5-7 years, the Archival Disc can support data storage for over 100 years in data center environments. Because of the durability of optical discs, unlike other storage media, users are expected to never need to migrate data and Sony is offering 100 year warranty for optical media. Everspan also provides speed and efficiency with a vastly reduced environmental impact.
“We believe that Everspan addresses a large and rapidly growing need in the storage marketplace,” said Frank Frankovsky, CEO of Sony Optical Archive Inc. “In a world where customers have been frequently forced into deciding which data to retain based on the ongoing cost of archiving, Everspan provides a welcome and affordable solution. It is our goal to make it possible for customers to store everything for as long as they wish in a low-touch, low-cost optical library.
Everspan is comprised of three units: the Base Unit, the Robotic Unit, and up to 14 Expansion Units. Capacity can be easily increased by adding Expansion Units, which require a nominal increase in power consumption, and cooling requirements. Up to 64 Sony optical array drives can be incorporated into the system, each of which has an average transfer rate of 280 MB/s. Everspan has the ability to store an enormous 181 PB (Petabytes) of archival data. Up to four systems can be connected in a single system, giving access to an astounding 724PB of total addressable storage. To give a sense of scale, if you were to envision one bit of data as the equivalent to one second, then 1PB is the equivalent of 285 million years.
Everspan utilizes fully automated robotics, providing both high speed and efficiency between the stored media and optical drives. It is able to transfer almost 18 GB of data per second, outpacing the best performance of tape libraries and archival drive platforms. This performance level is especially important when dealing with loading or restoring data as well as handling requests for unstructured or random data.
Everspan is designed with industry-standard system interfaces to help customers easily integrate it into their existing applications and environments. Everspan software support includes the S3 object store as well as file system support. With these options, redundancy is provided through erasure coding. For those who prefer to create their own direct interface, Sony delivers an optical drive interface that leverages the Sony MMC-6 SCSI multimedia command set. Alternatively a tape drive interface lets customers easily transition from tape library to optical library.
Energy efficiency is an issue facing many enterprises today, and Everspan tackles this with one of the most efficient power/storage ratios in the industry. The Base Unit and the Robotic Unit draw power but all of the additional Expansion Units draw miniscule power to keep the sensors and air filters running. This design allows customers to scale up data storage, only marginally impacting the total system power. In data center environments, at approximately 9kW for a typical 181PB system, Everspan is far more efficient than conventional archive alternatives. Even more impressive is that when the system is idle power consumption drops to less than 2kW for a complete 181PB library. The Everspan Library System is currently being evaluated by several companies and institutions, including Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
“At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, very large, multi-terabyte data samples are routinely processed,” said Brett Hollander, High Performance Computing Archive Lead at LANL. “LANL has evaluated the specifications of Sony’s Everspan optical storage library and are expecting to see significantly reduced recall times when dealing with extremely large files for analysis. LANL seeks to determine if optical storage will outperform both tape and hard drive technology in this usage model. LANL has been appreciative of the Sony team’s cooperation during our evaluation.”
Sony Corporation of America