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Why Facebook thinks Blu-ray discs are perfect for the data center

Why Facebook thinks Blu ray discs are perfect for the data center Ars Technica


Facebook's hardware guru thinks Blu-ray discs might have a brighter future in the data center than in consumers' homes.

We wrote on Wednesday about how Facebook has developed a prototype storage system that uses 10,000 Blu-ray discs to hold a petabyte of data. After that story posted we were able to talk to Frank Frankovsky, VP of hardware design and supply chain operations at Facebook, to find out just why he's so excited about the project.

While the Blu-ray storage system is just a prototype, Facebook hopes to get it in production sometime this year and share the design with the Open Compute Project community to spur adoption elsewhere. If Facebook and others start using Blu-ray discs for long-term archival storage, Blu-ray manufacturers will see a new market opportunity and pursue it, Frankovsky said.

"I think that the media suppliers, especially after all of the community excitement around it with Open Compute, they see a huge opportunity here," Frankovsky said. "Economies of scale could take over really quickly, and they could start producing those discs for the Open Compute community at much lower cost than they do today because, believe it or not, this is one of those areas where really high-capacity Blu-ray discs are in relatively low demand on the consumer side and in relatively high demand on the data center side."

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I'm disappointed that some post-Blu-ray, even-higher-capacity storage system has not been developed.

It's hard to get excited about needing 10,000 Blu-ray discs to store a petabyte.

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