BD-R XL vs External HDD for storage of data of long life span?

What I am considering in this question are two options:

  1. BD-R XL (e.g. Verbatim BD-R XL, 4x, 100GB, 5 ks, jewel, printable), cost 75,-EUR

  2. External HDD of the same size, 500GB that is, e.g. Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive 500GB Black, cost 74,-EUR

It does not have to be Verbatim, is does not have to be only 500GB. These are only examples for direct comparison.

What would you recommend and why?

EDIT1: Budget is unlimited.

EDIT2: The amount of data I would like to store is at maximum 5TB. Starting at 0.5TB right at this moment. The solution should be disk-failure-resistant if it is a RAID array.

  • What is your budget exactly, and I do believe that Amazon ships to the Czech Republic, which is stated as your location in your profile. You could always go the prebuilt route like that verbatim unit, or you could get an inexpensive USB 3.0 2.5" SATAIII enclosure, and an inexpensive 2.5" HDD, and save money that way. Just an idea Dec 22 '16 at 6:38
  • So if money us not an issue, can we go "really" expensive with our recommendations? How long is "long life span" for you? About how much data are we talking here?
    – SEJPM
    Dec 22 '16 at 9:10

Money may be no object to you, but may well be for other readers, there for I'll keep budget in mind.

So if not budget, I assume that reliability and resilience are your primary concern. In which case, we can discard Bluray disks; no-one knows yet how these disks will fare over time, even if treated well. But given that they are usually physically more vulnerable, I'd certainly not rely long term on anything. In fact, I rip all my blurays disks as soon as I get them, just in case...

SO my recommendation is for a decent, even premium, NAS box running RAID 6 or 10, so you have (upto) 2 broken disks of leeway. 4 of the major players are Buffalo, Drobo, QNAP and Synology; I have experience of some sort with all other this companies' ranges, and I'd usually be happy with any of their offerings.

However, given that we're required to provide a recommendation, I'll plump for a a Qnap TS-431P which currently retails for approx 280GBP.

Relevant Features:

  • 4 disk capacity -
  • Supports RAID 6 and 10 (and others)
  • Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and USB3 connections
  • Low power hardware - useful if always on
  • Decent performance compared to peers
  • Decent useability - consumer/SOHO focused rather than corporate
  • Decent reliability - assumed by brand
  • Can function as a private cloud server, if that is of interest

Note: It it not possible to start small with RAID6/10 and scale up as needed. You could go with RAID1 (mirroring), add a disk and move to RAID 5, and then later add a disk and move to RAID6/10, but for each move you'd need to copy your data elsewhere while you made your changes, so this is not practicable.

  • 1
    It might be easier to mess around with software RAID arrays than hardware ones. If flexibility is important, OP might like to try ZFS or something.
    – timuzhti
    Dec 23 '16 at 5:27
  • If the OP wanted storage in his PC, s/w RAID would be sound. In fact I use it myself. However, he's clearly looking for a separate storage solution. That said, ironically most NAS offerings will be using s/w RAID under the bonnet; only the more expensive ones have dedicated raid h/w.
    – CJM
    Dec 25 '16 at 1:40

Since this question has been asked some time ago, I feel, I should update you on the actual accepted solution, see below.

I have found, that M-Disc (Millennial Disc) technology could allegedly endure up to 1000 years.

A little comparison image:

M-Disc vs other storage media

I have bought the below Blu-Ray writer; you can find their compatibility with M-Disc DVD/Blu-Ray 4.7/25/50/100 GB on this page.

My final pick of the writer was: ASUS BW-16D1H-U PRO

It is noteworthy to say, that any Blu-Ray reader can read these M-Discs.

  • The irony that the company that developed the M-Disc didn't even last as long as a conventional DVD - the went bust in 2016.
    – CJM
    May 8 '18 at 12:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.