Sony Eyes Data Centre Boost With Cold Storage Acquisition

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Sony Corporation has acquired OAI, an optical storage startup, to technological demands from the growing cold archive market

Sony Corporation has bought a storage startup which provides optical storage systems for data centres.

Optical Archive Inc. (OAI), a creation of Facebook alumni Frank Frankosvsky, was started in March 2014, and with the acquisition, Sony will be able to boost its optical disc and manufacturing technology to develop new optical disc library systems that will meet the technological demands from the growing cold archive market.

“This acquisition marks the beginning of our commitment to this growing market,” said Terushi Shimizu, senior vice president, Device Solutions Business Group, Sony Corporation.

Demand

“Optical disc libraries will provide many advantages to customers who are currently using tape or hard drive technology to store cold data, such as lower costs, extremely durable media life, and higher data throughput rates. We plan to leverage and expand our existing optical disc production lines in order to accommodate the growing demand for this media.

“We are thrilled to be part of Sony,” said Frank Frankovsky, now CEO of OAI.  “Merging Sony’s excellence in optical engineering and manufacturing with OAI’s experience and capabilities in data centre hardware design and operations will deliver innovative new storage solutions to customers.”

data centreFrankovsky was previously the vice president of hardware design and supply chain optimisation at Facebook. He is partly responsible for Facebook’s system of using a storage cabinet that used 10,000 Blu-Ray discs for cold archiving.

The term “cold archive” refers to a class of data that must be kept over a long period of time but isn’t accessed frequently, such as cloud-based photo storage and data retained for legal or regulatory reasons. Cold archiving is one of the largest and fastest growing portions of the data centre storage market. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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