Panasonic Teams up with Facebook to 'Freeze-ray' Cold Data

By CIOReview | Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fremont, CA: Panasonic Corporation unveiled freeze-ray, an Optical Disc-Based Data Archive System, developed in partnership with Facebook. As the name freeze-ray implies, the system is intended for the efficient and sustainable management of “cold data”–– data which is not accessed often – or maybe never – but it should be kept in the world’s data centers.

The freeze-ray system uses Blu-ray optical discs as they offer many advantages such as longevity, immutability, backward compatibility, low power consumption and withstand environmental changes. Consequently, this reduces the costs involved in data center operations without harming the data integrity. The two partners envision freeze-ray as a feasible medium which will make data centers more efficient and reliable going forward.

"As Facebook continues to grow, we needed to address some of our fundamental engineering challenges with an efficient, low-cost and sustainable solution that matches our speed and exabyte-scale of data," said Jason Taylor, PhD, VP of Infrastructure, Facebook. "We're seeing exponential growth in the number of photos and videos being uploaded to Facebook, and the work we've done with Panasonic is exciting because optical storage introduces a medium that is immutable, which helps ensure that people have long-term access to their digital memories."

Panasonic provided its expertise in high-density optical technology, optical discs, drives, related robotics, and library software for the smooth functioning of the system in data centers. For its part, Facebook provided extensive feedback during development and its experience in managing, designing, and servicing numerous data centers across the globe.

"Panasonic is delighted by the opportunity to collaborate with Facebook, with its strong position and influence in the data storage market and expertise necessary to develop the optical data archiver in validation with actual data center environments," said Yasuji Enokido, President of Panasonic's AVC Networks Company. Currently, Facebook is installing the first-generation 100 GB Blu-ray Disc-based archive system in its data centers and expects to deploy second-generation 300GB Archival Disc-based archive system later this year. Both companies have also agreed upon extending their partnership to develop next-generation systems of even higher densities of 500GB and one terabyte archival discs with future plans for petabyte storage capacity systems.