StorageDNA – Sony Optical Disk Archive

Storage DNA - Sony Optical Disk Archive

There was a Lot of Interest in this NEW Technology at IBC 2015, Here is a FAQ Created by StorageDNA


DNAevolution Optical FAQ - What is DNAevolution Optical?

DNAevolution Optical is a combined software & hardware storage solution, providing a new option for media professionals to better manage their media pipelines. Key highlights include:

  • Built upon proven Sony Optical Disc Archive technology.
  • Unique, hybrid storage medium offering both long-term archival, as well as “hard drive-like” random access performance capabilities.
  • Powered by StorageDNA’s DNAevolution software - the only software available that enables new workflows that provide “direct access” to content on Sony Optical Disc Archive cartridges in either standalone ODA drives or libraries.



Why is DNAevolution Optical Special?

  • New “removable storage” option for file-based media workflows
  • End-user friendly, direct access to content
  • Eases IT strain by eliminating need for content restore requests
  • Long-term archival grade media with a 50 yea



What are the top 5 Reasons to Adopt DNAevolution Optical?

  • Reduces both Online and Nearline storage costs. New storage tier option that provides both nearline and long-term storage capabilities.
  • Reduces or eliminates overall third party middleware licensing costs by removing need for expensive, specialized add-on functionality such as partial restore.
  • Simplifies IT complexity and involvement as end users can “plug n’ play” for direct access to media from their favorite editorial/creative applications.
  • Allows for a second archival copy in addition to LTO that does not have to be migrated.
  • Can be easily exchanged, removed and transported



How is DNAevolution Software Different from other 3rd Party Software?

All currently available implementations of software built for use with Sony Optical Disc Archive utilize the common “store” and “restore” archive concept. DNAevolution is the first and only software that enables “direct access” operations to/from Sony Optical Disc Archive cartridges in both standalone ODA drives and libraries, in addition to the common “store” and “restore” operating modes.



How is DNAevolution Software Different from just Plugging in a Standalone ODA Drive via USB, Mounting the Cartridge and Accessing the Files?

Without DNAevolution software, when an Optical Disc Archive cartridge is loaded and mounted on a desktop, all files on the cartridge are shown to the user as one large drive. However, the files are in reality spread across 12 discs in the cartridge. When one file is accessed on a disc and then another file requested is on another disc, the drive has to load one disc and unload another, resulting in a physical change with up to a 30 second load/unload time. Thus, an application that attempts to access multiple files across multiple discs will likely result in an end user having an unfeasible workflow experience. DNAevolution Optical, on the other hand, tracks exactly which disc has a particular file. When multiple files are requested for access, DNAevolution's Smart Access feature only loads files from one disc at a time. This allows the end user to fully maximize the random access capability of each individual disc. When ready, an end user can then select the next disc and so on. As a result, DNAevolution Optical is the only solution that can enable a true "direct access" experience.



Is DNAevolution Optical Designed to Replace LTO or Nearline Disk?

DNAevolution Optical is meant to provide users another storage tier choice that can live between Nearline disk and LTO, allowing users to store warm content (content that needs to be stored occasionally). In this capacity, it could replace some Nearline disk capacity while also serving as a more accessible archival medium than LTO. Based on a customer’s needs, we see DNAevolution Optical as a partial replacement for Nearline disk and/or LTO.



What are the Different DNAevolution Optical Solutions Available?

  • DNAevolution is available in two model offerings:
  • As a micro-server based network solution combined with on or more standalone ODA drives.
  • As an HP rack-mounted network server solution for use with scalable ODA library configurations.



How Open is the Media Format?

DNAevolution Optical is built on Sony’s Optical Disc Archive technology.Data is written directly to discs within the actual cartridges which are formatted in a completely open standard (UDF), and can be freely accessed by mounting the cartridge on any Windows or Mac system via a standalone ODA drive and free software.



What is the Commitment to the Media and Format?

Optical Disc Archive has a long-term commitment from Sony. Sony has maintained backward compatibility from CDs to BluRay discs in the consumer space, and this same commitment now extends to Sony Optical Disc Archive for professional users.



How Many Users can be Archiving at the Same Time?

Sony Optical Disc Archive technology by itself provides single user access to the ODA drives. This means one person can be writing to or reading from a drive at a time. DNAevolution Optical, however, provides multi-user access via a specialized server implementation that provides a network hard drive cache that multiple users have access to, allowing parallel operations to/from the Optical Disc Archive subsystem. The server also orchestrates queues and automatically manages simultaneous read and write activity for most efficient operation of the system.



Can Users Edit Directly from the ODA Cartridges?

It is not recommended to perform complex editing operations directly from the ODA cartridges. However, simple operations such as sub-clipping and/or simple rough-cuts can be done.



What Applications can I use to Directly Access Content?

Since DNAevolution Optical presents files natively through a standard file system, any application can be used to open and access files. However, applications that perform parallel read operations will not work well. We have successfully tested Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, VLC, RED CineX, Telestream Episode as of this publication. We plan on testing more applications and providing a detailed matrix in the future.



Which Media Customers can Benefit from DNAevolution Optical?


  • Enables producers and editors fast access to content without IT intervention.
  • Reduces Nearline storage costs since “warm” content can be migrated to DNAevolution Optical.


  • Enables quick repurposing for sports programming pipelines, providing the ability to quickly mount and access content for sub-clipping (partial restore), transcoding etc.
  • Dramatically reduce partial restore times and specialized middleware costs.


  • Provides a single storage platform for archive and Nearline access.
  • Users can find and access content without any IT assistance.


  • Acts as a long-term 4K master.
  • Can also be used for 4K conforming e.g. via direct AMA linking from the media. * Currently direct conforming for 4K is being tested on Sony XAVC formats

Reality TV:

  • Perfect replacement for aging XDCAM workflows. ü Allows any HD format to be stored and conformed directly from the media.



Further Info:



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