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You don't have to look far in most businesses to find both applications and data resources that are stored on CDs or DVDs. With their compact size, low cost and the ability to hold up to 18GB of information you will be hard pressed to find a better value in online storage media. Unfortunately, if not implemented and deployed properly they can be difficult and expensive to manage. The solution is to invest in a CD or DVD server. CD or DVD servers can simplify the management of CD/DVD media, improve performance and reduce costs associated with this technology.

Not too long ago, sharing a CD or DVD on the network would require a high-end server with SCSI attached CD or DVD towers. In addition to the hardware solution, you also had to incur the expense of a software application to enable the solution. Those days are gone. Today you can run CD and DVD applications or share their data over a network with a simple to install and easy to manage server appliance.

There are two basic types of CD/DVD server appliances available: The server tower or the caching server.

A server tower is very much like the traditional CD servers of the past. Typically, they consist of 7-14 CD or DVD drives in a tower with a thin server module. The server module is the heart of the unit. This takes the place of a traditional server and has the motherboard, processor, memory, operating system, and network card.

A caching server is very similar to the server tower design except it will generally have fewer CD/DVD drives and instead have one or more hard drives. The thin server in a caching CD/DVD server will use the hard drive to make an image copy of each CD/DVD that you want to share on your network. Since hard drive speeds are far superior to that of CD or DVD technology, the caching server is a viable alternative when performance is critical. The performance advantage due to caching becomes more pronounced if multiple simultaneous users need to access the same data.

Despite their relatively small footprint, CD/DVD servers are rich with versatile features. You will find that they can share CD and DVD in a heterogeneous environment consisting of Windows, UNIX, Netware and even Apple. They also support most security protocols with the option to use security on the appliance itself or use pass through authentication.

Once you've decided that CD/DVD technology is a viable option for your storage needs, you'll be happy to know that these appliances are easy to set up and manage. They come complete with every piece of hardware and software already completely installed. All you need to do to get them up and running is give them an IP address. Once you have this, simply access the IP address in your web browser to manage the server.

It isn't hard to see how many businesses could benefit from an inexpensive, easy to manage way to organize their CD/DVD discs. Below are some more resources to help you get up to speed on this technology.


  • Plug and play installation.
  • Heterogeneous network support.
  • Built in security or use security already in place.
  • All-in-one solution. No software or hardware to install or purchase.
  • Volume aggregation. Each CD/DVD shows up as a directory under one drive letter.
  • Increases productivity by slashing research time.
  • Users can simultaneously access discs.
  • Reduces hard disk storage need.


  • Data cannot be changed, altered or deleted from the images in caching models.
  • Management is limited to the web-based interface on many models.

How can a NAS CD/DVD deliver a good return on your investment?

  • Consolidate multiple CD/DVD towers into a single caching server and save rack or floor space. Reduce collocation costs.
  • Consolidation means less to manage and less to maintain. Reduce your staff costs or free them up for other tasks.
  • No longer have to hand out expensive CD/DVDs to users. Keep them secure yet accessible on the network.
  • Easy to install and to manage. One unit can serve hundreds of discs and users.
  • Save wear and tear on your expensive discs. Once you cache a copy, you can put the original away forever.
  • Improve responsiveness to your users and increase their productivity.


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