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Magneto Optical Solutions

Every business has important information that must be protected from loss, corruption or theft. There are only a handful of choices available to a business to store their data: Hard disk, tape and optical. Of the three, optical provides the best overall protection from loss, corruption and theft. Although CD and DVD also fall into the category of optical storage, we will be focusing on Magneto Optical (MO) for the remainder of this document. This is due to the fact that MO is the preferred optical technology for the storage of mission critical information at this time.

MO has many advantages over disk and tape for critical document storage. First of all optical technologies allow for write once media, typically called WORM for Write Once Read Many. This allows you to store data with the confidence that no one can alter it. This can be critical for items such as contracts, financial records and legal documents.

In addition to this MO media is extremely reliable. While a tape can be expected to reliably hold data for about five years, optical disks have a shelf life of up to 100 years. Also, unlike tape, MO disks do not require routine maintenance to ensure reliability. An optical disk is also more resistant to physical damage then a hard disk or tape cartridge.

Because MO disks are removable like tape, you can ensure highly secure storage for sensitive data. Although a hard drive can be pluggable, it's generally too bulky to store them in a vault.

MO delivers moderate storage capacity per disk. At this time solutions are available that allow 9.1GB of data on one cartridge. For large applications where quick easy access to terabytes of data is required, MO technology uses jukeboxes with multiple disks deployed in a single piece of equipment. Performance can further be enhanced by the addition of multiple drives.

Perhaps you can see a need for MO as part of your environment. You can educate yourself further about this technology by looking at some of the companies and resources listed below.


  • Write once media available. Prevents unauthorized alteration of data.
  • Highly reliable. Media shelf life of up to 100 years without maintenance.
  • Removable media. Easier to secure.
  • High capacity per disk.
  • Scan and store thousands of documents on just one disc.


  • Slower performance than disk subsystems.
  • Costly hardware and software.

How can MO deliver a good return on your investment?

Magneto Optical technology can provide a return on investment through the elimination for paper document storage. When used in combination with software applications to index and retrieve documents or data, productivity and accuracy are improved. Expected shelf life of 100 years reduces the need for microfilm or climate controlled environments to store documents. MO does not require maintenance where tape requires occasional tape retensioning.

  • Random access to near line data storage to reduce data migration time for HSM apps.
  • Ability to restore data without the cumbersome backup software with tape.
  • Economical short-term storage for data migration path.
  • Future generations are backwards compatible to older media.
  • Durable media and does not have to be replaced like tape does.
  • Centralize storage access; ease of management, media is highly secure/reliable, single point of access.


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