As each day passes law enforcement and government agencies struggle with managing more sources of digital evidence and multimedia, like body worn cameras. The massive amounts of data storage required have led many to finally consider secure cloud-based storage solutions, but as some have found out, despite the minimal capital investment cloud storage costs can quickly exceed the LE & IT budgets of even the largest agencies. Let's break this down and talk specifically about digital evidence and archiving.
How are you archiving all of your digital evidence today? A tiered storage solution? Hybrid cloud solution? LTO tape? Hard drives? Optical discs (i.e. CD-R, DVD+/-R, BD-R)? Lots of questions and options, so lets talk specifically to the last group; those using optical discs.
I've written about using optical discs for digital evidence archiving in the past, as well as recovering from damaged optical media. What I'm really interested to know now, and maybe bring more attention to, is have you considered or are you using M-Disc?
What is M-Disc?
If you're not familiar with M-Disc, it's an entirely different type of write-once optical media that doesn't use a dye layer OR a reflective layer. Instead of burning the data into a dye layer, M-Disc "etches" the data into a special carbon-based layer that also serves as the reflective layer (comparatively speaking). This makes the end result more like a machine pressed CD or DVD, in gist, which we all know can easily last decades even with excessive use and improper care.
I first posted about M-Disc back in 2011 I believe, and I'm really curious to know more about who is or has considered using M-Disc for digital evidence archiving. You can comment below via DISQUS or if you'd prefer not to discuss publically, log-in and comment on our related member forum post. As always, I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, here are a few M-Disc related links for your perusal:
- M-Disc marketing video overview (~2min)
- M-DISC on Wikipedia
- M-DISC website (Consumer archiving service)
- RITEK M-DISC website (w/Standards, Scientific Data & Tests)
- Our Members-Only Forum Thread (MUST be signed in)