Clunk… Clunk… Whirr… What’s that noise? (Migrating from IBM 3995 optical storage)
Perhaps it’s been a while since you last heard the dulcet tones of an optical jukebox emanating from the server room, and you may be wondering what happened to all the old data you used to read from it! With reliable disk storage (SATA / m.2) now cheaper and more capacious than ever, many optical jukeboxes are being decommissioned to make way for snappy and silent SAN/NAS which retains the security advantage offered through WORM using advanced permissions, replication, version controls and audits.
The nature of a WORM disk (write once, read many) makes it suitable for secure, long-term storage of bulk documents. However, their relatively small capacity means that after decades of use, the result is many full disks, all containing sensitive data. Of course, once the jukebox has reached capacity, older disks then have to be moved out of the device to make room for new volumes. This not only makes retrieving old documents harder (having to swap disks out), but it could also increase the risk of loss once those disks are out of the device. In cases where the jukebox is in a state of disrepair (it is a mechanical device after all), or the migration of data was not complete before the jukebox was decommissioned, this can leave a company with a big box of 3995 optical disks and no way to read them.
What happens to those disks next? Maybe they’ll languish in a cupboard, unable to be safely destroyed with no way of confirming what they contain, all the while taking up space and potentially posing a security risk. Perhaps there is a better way…
PacSol maintains an IBM 3995 jukebox on site for situations exactly like these; either assisting with pre-emptive data migration for a move to a disk array, or, in a more retrospective scenario, scraping data from old disks for return to the customer in a more readily accessible format. That data can then be reviewed by the customer, imported or re-integrated into the existing document management platform, catalogued into a new, standalone repository or disposed of as necessary.
To discuss a potential migration of production optical 3995 storage volumes or even to review the scope of extract options for a stack of ‘unidentified’ archive media, please contact PacSol via support and we will work with you to implement the most appropriate solution.
Martin Pentlow, Support Technician. August 2021.
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