The basic advantage of the Tapesty system by Inphase Technologies over other holographic and other optical storage solutions is the fact that millions of bits (data) can be recorded and read in pages by a single flash of light (laser). As a result, Tapesty outruns optical discs in terms of data transfer rates while it offers faster file access relative to tape solutions. The company's first holographic drive, the Tapestry 300r, has a rated capacity of 300 gbytes per disc, 20-120 Mbytes data transfer rates, and access times in the milliseconds.
The Tapestry system uses block addressable media, allowing the the ArchivistPro software to provide "random access" reading & writing to the disc until it is ejected. These WORM media have a projected archive life of 50 years, according to Software Architect.
The ArchivistPro provides the user with two writing options: direct, file by file writing to disc, or mastering of file sets. While mastering to disc is a convenient method of batch writing files, it requires a hard disk with sufficient capacity to support the handling of temporary volume image files approximately the size of the disc (up to 300 gbytes). Direct writing provides the user the ability to write a single file at a time, delete and update a file prior to ejecting the disk. This writing method is more suitable when files are being recorded in a less structured work flow, and does not require a hard disk cache.
Just after installing the ArchivistPro software, the holographic drive appears as a drive letter in MS Windows Explorer. Files can be added or deleted just as if someone was writing to a hard disk drive.
ArchivistPro software writes to the disk using the UDF (Universal Disk Format), based on an international standard (ISO 13346) for optical recording.
The software is priced at $19,995. A windows version will be available next month, followed by another one for Linux in June 2008. A Mac OS X version will be available in Fall. The company will also provide Software Developer Toolkits for Windows and Linux in June.