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Does anybody have an opinion about backing-up servers on blu-ray disks?

I always have a security backup on disks, and I already switched from DVDs to DVD-DL a few weeks ago, but I have 3 double Layer DVDs to burn every week... I was wondering if burning 1 Blu-ray wouldn't be less complicated. But is it as safe as other disks? And how long does a blu-ray disc survive? Thanks for your experiences.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Making backups is really a game of probability. Assuming the data is successfully written to any media (as confirmed by the backup program's "verify backup" function), the weak link becomes the shelf life/survivability of the media. Backup tapes can break and be demagnetized. Hard disks can crash. Optical media (like DVDs and Bluray disks) degrade over time. I view the question of "Is it safe to back up to media X?" less of a yes or no question and more one of your goals and retention requirements.

If you're looking at a one-time/one-off/adhoc backup that you plan to use in the short term for recovery, then it's less an issue of reliability and more a question of convenience.

Assuming that you're looking at a corporate server backup solution (e.g. ongoing backups, some media rotation schedule and some retention period requirement for each backup), it's still less of an issue of reliability (since you'll assumingly have at least a daily backup) and more one of convenience. So assuming your backup process is rigorous (done according to a schedule and verified for errors) and frequent, I see no issue taking advantage of the larger capacity of Blu-ray disks.

Under no circumstances though would I rely on any optical media for long term storage. For long term, tape will be most reliable. To really reduce risk of long term backup storage and avoid restore failures I think it's important to have multiple backups stored in different locations.

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I saw some longevity tests from a year or so back when this first became an option that suggested that Blu-ray disks are about as reliable as regular DVD - certainly not significantly better or worse. I'll try to find the article and update this post.

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Ok, thanks a lot. I googled a bit around, but I stayed unsuccessful, at least no concrete tests, just suggestions... – waszkiewicz Oct 9 '09 at 10:01
Hey "Chopper3", what is with the article? Can't you find it anymore? That's too bad, it would have been interesting. – waszkiewicz Oct 16 '09 at 11:17

I have dvd backups from 2000 still going strong, over time these have definitely been the most reliable of all the different methods I have tried. Whatever method you choose, if you have a backup of a backup, in theory you should never lose your data. Guess it all boils down to good management.

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I would be interested to see how much more or less reliable the actual burning process is for Blu-Ray vs DVD. That would be an expensive coaster. Of course, you'd need to get quality media and hardware for burning.

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