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Summary:

During the Open Compute Summit in San Jose, Facebook VP of Engineering Jay Parikh shared some big statistics for the company’s cold storage efforts, including those for a protoytpe Blu-ray system capable of storing a petabyte of data today.

At last year’s Open Compute Summit, Facebook VP of Engineering Jay Parikh suggested the company might consider Blu-ray discs as a medium for improving durability and cutting costs for its long-term cold storage efforts. Now, Parikh said Tuesday during a keynote at this year’s event, the company is actually doing it.

Facebook has built a prototype Blu-ray system capable of storing 10,000 discs and 1 petabyte of data in a single cabinet, with plans to scale it to 5 petabytes per cabinet. Blu-ray storage would save the company 50 percent in costs and 80 percent in energy usage over its existing hard-disk-based cold storage methods, Parikh said, and will provide 50 years worth of durability for data stored on the discs.

That’s not the only tidbits Parikh shared about the company’s cold storage efforts, though. He said that the first site is now in production and storing 30 petabytes of data, but a second will be coming online soon. Within a couple months, Facebook expects to have 150 petabytes of data in cold storage, which is just a fraction of the 3 exabytes each facility is designed to house.

One other nugget worth noting from the morning as it relates to Facebook’s innovation on the storage front: In order to save money over data center-grade SSDs but still speed up the process, Facebook is now booting web servers using netbook-grade SSDs, hardware executive Matt Corddry said.

Facebook has posted a video, here, of engineering director Giovanni Coglitore showing off the Blu-ray cabinet.

  1. 50% in today’s prices; hard disks are rapidly falling in price, while Blu Ray is going nowhere.

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    1. Derrick Harris Friday, February 7, 2014

      Perhaps, but Blu-ray disks do have a longer shelf life, I believe.

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