Folio Photonics innovates in optical data storage for enterprise data centers


At CES 2023, Folio Photonics will reveal an enterprise-grade optical data storage solution. Here’s what we know about it so far.

Connection network in dark servers data center room storage systems 3D renderingImage: Adobe Stock

Folio Photonics has announced that it will reveal the first-ever enterprise-scale, optical disc data storage solution during CES 2023, on Jan. 5–8, in Las Vegas. The new technology is designed to drastically reduce upfront costs and the total cost of ownership of data storage and backup while making data archives accessible, active, digitally secure and sustainable.

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Currently, companies worldwide store and back up their data in massive cloud data warehouses, data centers, edge centers, and on tape and discs. But from energy usage to accessibility, reliability and costs, each storage system has its unique pros and cons. In this report, we’ll cover Folio Photonics’ latest release and what it could offer to people looking for new storage alternatives.

Optical multilayer enterprise disc storage solution

Folio Photonics, a company that focuses on data storage innovation, will present the first enterprise-scale optical data storage system during CES 2023. The company claims to have created a system that exceeds traditional disc storage by leveraging game-changing advancements in materials.

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The new Folio Photonics storage system is a licensed technology that spun off from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and its National Science Foundation Center for Layered Polymeric Systems by professor Kenneth Singer.

The company explains that the system is a high-capacity optical storage solution with improved write/read capabilities. The single Folio disc has the same storage capacity as more than 100 DVDs, with a long-term roadmap to 10TB on a single disc.

“The high cost of storage is untenable with exploding data growth, cyber threats continuing to escalate, and data centers being one of the top contributors to energy and water usage and CO2 emissions,” said Steven Santamaria, CEO of Folio Photonics. “We look forward to CES and the opportunity to show how Folio Photonics has achieved a significant breakthrough in multilayer optical storage disc technology that will enable an unprecedented level of cost, security, performance and sustainability advantage.”

The benefits of Folio Photonics’ newest solution

Folio Photonics’ technology overcomes historical optical constraints to reshape the trajectory of archive storage. The company explains that the new discs are designed for data centers and hyperscale customers. The system can reduce upfront costs related to storage and backup.

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When the discs are not being accessed, the technology uses no power, and even when active, the system has minimal climate control requirements, thus meeting environmental social and governance requirements. The company has turned to novel fluorescent materials to mitigate interlayer crosstalk issues present in traditional reflective optical storage media, such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

The layers of storage — 16 or more per disc — are extremely thin, high density and random-access capable. Data is written and accessed through a proprietary drive with a novel confocal optical pickup unit that can track through layers at high spin speeds.

Planning for the future of data storage

The demand for future-proof data storage hardware systems will continue to rise at the rate of the global digital acceleration. Enterprises looking to store and back up systems, architectures and high-value data expect long-lived, high-capacity systems that can be accessed instantly if needed.

But with most current data storage solutions, cloud and data center costs may be unsustainable due to the amount of data that needs to be stored. Therefore, low-cost storage solutions are becoming attractive and increasingly in-demand.

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Protected against intrusion, encrypted to mitigate ransomware and physically resilient, Folio Photonics invests in innovation that reimagines an existing technology to provide solutions to the currently expanding global data storage crisis.

“Leveraging patented advancements in materials science, Folio Photonics has developed the first economically viable, enterprise-scale optical storage discs with dynamic multilayer write/read capabilities, which will enable the development of radically low-cost/high-capacity disc storage,” Santamaria added.

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