Today InPhase starts a demo of their prototype holographic backup device. This device is one of the most exciting developments in backup media that I have seen in a long time. The reasons are multifaceted. First, holographic storage is intrinsically different from other storage mediums out there. It can read and write through the medium. This takes advantage of 3D storage. We are no longer limited to writing onto just the surface of a storage medium. We can write thousands of holograms onto the same location, yet at different depths.
Second, holographic storage writes millions of bits of data in a single laser stroke. This translates into a recording burst speeds of 640 Mbps and sustained speeds of 160 Mbps! The initial storage medium will hold 300GB of data on a single disk. Later roadmapped versions of the disks are already in the works with storage of 1.6TB. The current version is read only, but roadmapped versions include rewriteable media in the 300 to 800GB range.
Third, these drives have a host of possible security features that make it an interesting choice. This should be forefront for folks dealing with HIPAA or Sarbanes Oxley compliance. You take security over your servers, but are you as cautious with your backup media? The tapestry disk could allow RFID tagging of the library map of the disk. This would map a disk with a certain drive using an encryption key. Also, the disk could be watermarked. Again, the drive would have to know the watermark to proceed with reading the disk. Next, the medium can be tuned to be sensitive to a custom wavelength. How’s that for an added layer of security. Sorry, no pun intended. And yet another great possible security feature is to introduce a unique phase mask. This is a sort of filter when data is being recorded and read out. They have to match. A custom phase mask could be applied that would make reading the medium extremely difficult. The costs and effectiveness are shown below: