Optical disc

Sony optical disc archive stores and secures vital MSU content

MONTCLAIR, NJ — In 2015, Sony Electronics and Montclair State University (MSU) entered into a strategic alliance to give students, faculty and school staff access to the same cutting-edge Sony professional technology used by leading global broadcasters – often meeting or exceeding equipment standards that students would encounter on the job. From switches, servers and storage to projectors, monitors and studio and PTZ cameras, MSU uses Sony solutions on its campus.

One way to stay ahead and preserve our most important media is to embrace Sony’s Optical Disc Archive (ODA), which is essential to our long-term archive storage. We use Sony’s ODSL30M PetaSite, a scalable 30-slot master library unit to easily archive, save and recall the university’s most visible live events, including graduation ceremonies, presidential speeches, theatrical performances and concerts.

We chose Sony’s ODA for our long-term archive storage because it is contactless media, which means the only thing that touches the drive during the write / read process is a laser light. Other archiving options use a physical tape that touches the drums, rollers, and heads. This results in less wear and a longer shelf life.

Another reason we chose the ODA system is its backward compatibility. If we choose to buy a next-gen system, I can take my second-gen cartridges and the system will read them. I don’t have to worry about making sure I transfer my old media to new media to stay up to date, and readers and writers are compatible too. This translates into savings for us in the long run.


In terms of workflow, we archive large-scale events and performances that represent the university. Once an event takes place, we can send the RAW files to the ingestion folder. From there, Storage DNA will collect them. We tag the files by metadata for easy searchability, which are then sent to a cartridge in ODA.

Before adopting ODA, we mainly used external hard drives. Using Sony’s solution is easier, faster and gives us peace of mind. I don’t have to worry about a hard drive sitting on a shelf for years and then plugging it in and hoping it works.

Also, hard drives are often not labeled and to understand what’s on the drive you need to plug it in and check it. With ODA and Storage DNA, I can just search the metadata tags for the content I’m looking for and it will locate the cartridge it’s on.

This allows me to easily tell the system to grab a specific cartridge and export its contents from that folder to our hard drive system, so that I can locate it and do whatever I want with the file. Previously, we would dig into hard drives or lose track of tapes and information due to staff changes. With ODA, I know that everything important to the university is secure and easily found.

Another advantage of ODA is its scalability. It’s great that we can buy a smaller base unit knowing that in the future we will just be able to add more bays and more drives to expand and expand the system, which has less of an impact on our results.

Between the purchase of the system, the cartridge and backward compatibility, we are confident that it will grow with our operations for years to come.

Adam Goldberg is Montclair State University’s chief engineer for the College of the Arts broadcast and media operations. He has also been chief engineer of WMSC radio since January 2013. He can be reached at [email protected]

For more information visit www.sony.com.