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Monday, August 29, 2005
Plasmon Launches Compliant Write Once UDO media

Plasmon has developed a new optical disc for compliance-based systems that allows selected data to be physically destroyed on the disc while leaving other data intact, the company said Monday

The disc is based on Plasmon's UDO (Ultra Density Optical) optical media format and will be offered as a third media choice from Monday, the company said. The compliant write-once media will have a capacity of 30GB, the same as the write-once and rewritable versions of UDO, and will cost $65 per disc. That's halfway between the $60 and $70 the company charges for write-once and rewritable media, respectively.

Designed for archive applications subject to regulatory compliance and for ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) environments that have very specific data retention and disposition requirements, Compliant Write Once media contains a new feature that combines Write Once authenticity with the ability to physically destroy records, thereby enabling organizations to be in compliance with data retention and disposition regulations.

UDO is a phase-change optical storage system. Data is stored by changing the state of the disc's recording layer between amorphous and crystalline. Such changes affect the disc's reflectivity and it's this change that is detected when data needs to be read off the disc. In the compliant write once discs data is selectively destroyed by changing the entire state of an area occupied by a file into the crystalline state.

The new media is a hybrid that offers the data longevity and authenticity provided by True Write Once media, but with the ability to destroy designated records. Using a special "shred" operation, targeted data sectors on Compliant Write Once media can be physically destroyed. Unlike the erase pass on magnetic disks, the shred operation on Phase Change media leaves no residual traces of previously written data. As a result, shredding data on Compliant Write Once media provides the highest possible standard for absolute data destruction.

"The availability of Ultra Density Optical (UDO) Complaint Write Once media is key to customers requiring data longevity and authenticity while maintaining data retention," states Brian Garrett, analyst and technical director of Enterprise Strategy Group Lab. "Plasmon's offering is particularly compelling because it offers shredding technology which destroys data and keeps an audit trail to verify that the data was indeed eliminated. This is a capability that current disk-based systems do not have and thus a major advantage for those in business environments where compliance is a major issue."

Compliant Write Once media is extremely well received by Plasmon's community of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who support UDO drives and G-Series libraries within their data storage and document management applications. UDO drives already installed in the field can support Compliant Write Once media by means of a straightforward firmware upgrade.

As part of a trio of UDO media formats that also includes Rewritable and True Write Once, Compliant Write Once media provides organizations with the flexibility to match the business needs of their diverse data types with the most appropriate archival storage technology.

UDO was launched in November 2003 and is based on a similar blue-laser technology to that used in the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc consumer optical media formats. UDO discs are encased in cartridges that are almost identical to Magneto Optical (MO) discs which means it's possible to mix and match MO and UDO drives in the same library. Doing so allows companies with MO-based archive systems to gradually replace the older MO system. A second generation disc capable of storing 60GB is due on the market in late 2006.

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