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DVD jukebox technology appeals to CD users. (Tape/Disk/Optical Storage).

Information technology has dramatically altered the demand for data storage and enhanced its value to the workplace. Desktop, department, and enterprise environments have all evolved to the point where data that was once viewed as a static resource is now viewed as a mission critical company asset.

The emergence of key enabling technologies that fuel global competition have significantly impacted the market for mass information storage. These developments can be credited with opening up and accelerating the opportunities within the optical disc storage segment of the mass storage market. More specifically, these opportunities include record-once and rewriteable CD and DVD technologies housed within jukebox storage devices.

CD-R (recordable) and CD-RW (rewritable) technologies have been integrated into automated jukeboxes, allowing data access to and from banks of media using multiple drives within the same physical unit. CD-R and CD-RW media could be easily created and then accessed, stored in disc slots within magazines for later access, or exported from the jukebox to be read by CDROM drives or simply archived to another location. CD-R and CD-RW technologies in jukeboxes provide companies with the ultimate industry-standard gigabyte storage solution.

With the introduction of recordable and rewritable DVD technologies including rewriteable DVD-RAM, recordable DVD-R or DVD+R, and rewriteable DVD-RW and DVD+RW, 4.7GB and 9.4GB disc capacities are realized, and a new terabyte storage solution has appeared. This capacity increase represented more than 7 and 14 times the storage capacity of a 650MB CD-R and CD-RW, respectively. Initially, DVD recording jukeboxes were not able to record CDs, which made it difficult for users to replace their CD jukeboxes, and the first-to-market DVD technology called DVD-RAM could not be exported and read in standard DYD-ROM drives. Jukebox vendors used both CD and DVD drives within the same unit to accommodate CD write functionality along with DVD writing capability. Software application vendors were forced to supply complicated drivers to handle the insertion of a CD into a CD drive and insert a DVD into a DVD drive. Today, despite the fact that there are still multiple writable DVD formats, most DVD jukeboxes include drives t hat can write and rewrite DVD media that can be read in most DVD drives, as well as write and rewrite CD based media. An added benefit is that software vendors have produced reliable and automated disc-handling software. By allowing recordable and rewritable DVD jukeboxes to support both reading and writing of DYDs and CDs we have effectively replaced the need for a CD-R- and CD-RW-only jukebox.

There are other market reasons for why writable DVD jukeboxes can replace writable CD jukeboxes. A number of broad interrelated factors can be identified that are shaping information requirements and the way businesses want to use data. Within each of these emerging markets, DVD jukeboxes are playing a critical role in satisfying these needs and it is simple enough to say that DYD offers higher capacity and faster access times while retaining the ability to read and write CDs and read them in standard CD- or DVD-ROM drives.

Growth of the Internet and intranets: The explosion in Internet and intranet use by businesses is supporting the creation of vast amounts of information and multimedia content. The need to have online or near-line access to this information and media is becoming a mission-critical activity for the modem enterprise.

Data warehousing and mining: Data collection and the ability to manipulate and analyze that data has become a valuable commodity in itself and an important dimension. Mass storage devices that facilitate access to such databases form an integral part of any storage strategy.

Multimedia content and applications: The creation of new media forms has dramatically increased the need for storage solutions to accommodate the growing sizes of applications and data files. Broadcasting, entertainment and publishing are all examples of industries undergoing rapid change with respect to types of media and how it is being stored for purposes of production and distribution.

Migration to digital medium: Digital technologies are quickly becoming the standard not only for traditional information storage but as the media of choice for audio, visual, and network-based industries as well. The quality, integrity, and reproductive accuracy made possible by these digital standards face few obstacles to widespread use other than being affordable. DVD storage devices, and, in particular, jukebox devices represent an important enabling technology.

Declining storage costs: The emergence of affordable DVD drives and new, low-cost DVD recording techniques have made DVD disc creation inexpensive and the opportunity to own such systems available to a very sizeable market. As accessibility to DVD technologies becomes available to more market segments, businesses that require such technology will grow, further fueling the market opportunity for DVD storage devices.

Faster access to greater amounts of data: This is the most compelling force driving the demand for DYD storage devices. As enterprises cope with greater amounts of information, the ability to store, retrieve, and disseminate data becomes a critical factor in the execution of daily tasks and long-term strategic planning.

The key benefits of using DVD jukebox storage are the following:

* Managing data across not only local and department levels, but also the divisional and corporate levels;

* Handling the vast quantities of data entered and being generated by the organization

* Performance of the storage and processing devices relative to the needs of the users and cost-per-megabyte

* Reliability of media and drives as well as jukebox solution

* Data integrity of the media Organizations can rely on DVD jukeboxes. in order to satisfy their information storage needs. DVD jukeboxes are deployed in varying configurations today. From a single drive, 100-disc jukebox, to a 28drive, 1,000-disc jukebox. The nature of the information to be stored and the life cycle of the information typically drive the selection of a storage device. At certain stages in its life cycle, information is subject to different usage patterns. DYD can accommodate such life cycle usage as it uses rewritable media for frequently changing information and write once media for archived data. Thus, the combination of reusability, longevity, stability, and remove-ability makes it a comprehensive data storage solution.

As the demand for data storage grows, more and more organizations are turning to DVD as their storage solution. Along with increased acceptance, DVD jukebox and software products are adapting to meet the data storage needs of many organizations. This combination of growth and change is providing customers with greater benefits while the changes taking place to adopt DVD technology is a natural migration from the CD.
Figure 1

Comparison of CD and DVD media technologies


Capacity 650MB 650MB 4.7GB SS 4.7GB SS, 4.7GB SS
 9.4GB DS

Record Once Yes No Yes No No

Rewritable No Yes No Yes Yes

Record Speed 40x 12x 2x/2.4x 2x 1x-2.4x

Read compatible with Yes Yes No No No
CD-ROM and CD players *

Read compatible With
DVD-ROM and DVD players * Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Maxell media Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


* Media must be formatted using OSTA's Universal Disc Format (UDF) or
ISO9660 format. Compatibility is subject to media and drive vendor tests
and does not represent the author's test results.

* Record speeds are the maximum speeds at the time of this writing and
reflect the current generation of media only. DVD-R/+R and DVD-RW/+RW
media is single-sided since one side of the disc can be labeled similar
to CD-R/-RW. DVD-RM media can be single-sided bare media or double-sided
cartridge media.

Rich D'Ambrise is senior engineering manager at Maxell Corp. of America (Newark, NJ.)
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Article Details
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Author:D'Ambrise, Rich
Publication:Computer Technology Review
Article Type:Industry Overview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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