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Storage System for Thousands of CDs and DVDs? 244

Posted by Cliff
from the more-discs-than-you-can-shake-a-bookshelf-at dept.
Lucy V. asks: "My husband works for a firm in New York that receives customer data on CD and DVD. After copying the data to their server, they are required to retain the original media for several months until the job is delivered and the customer has approved the work. It is common for the firm to have 30,000 CD's and DVD's on hand at any one time. They are struggling to find a better storage solution than what they have now as the current setup is awkward and requires quite a bit of space. They are removing the media from the jewel case and slipping them into one of those large notebook style disk holders and then storing the notebook on a shelf. I have spent quite a bit of time doing web searches for CD and DVD storage but nearly all the racks that I find are low capacity ones intended for home use. I have found one vendor called Can-Am that makes a high quality steel drawer system that might fit the bill." Has anyone found (or put together) a storage system that can handle thousands of discs?
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Storage System for Thousands of CDs and DVDs?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:29AM (#15978629)
    How about a bookshelf, or some of the spools that new CDs come in? I would think you could buy those in bulk somewhere.
    • by The Great Pretender (975978) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:38PM (#15979307)
      Coming from an environment that is required to retain client data for up to 7 years, it strikes me that a simple book-shelf is terrible. Surely the CD/DVD's should be in a fire/earthquake/flood proof container? I would have to ask what the liability of the original posters referenced firm is should they have disasterous loss. The original poster makes reference to a steel draw, suggesting that fire proofing is required. Assuming that the original CD's need to be retained the best method that I could think of would be to archive the images of the CD/DVD's on a harddrive for ease of use and then find a third party managed storage space off-site for bulk storage of the disks. Once a week, or month, do a store/purge cycle. The liability for the hard copies then falls under managment of the third parties facility and their iinsurance.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tylernt (581794)

        archive the images of the CD/DVD's on a harddrive ... find a third party managed storage space off-site for bulk storage of the disks

        I agree. Of course, 30,000 CDs would consume over 18 terabytes, but most of them are probably not filled with 650MB of data. Plus there are a myriad of compression tools such as PK/WinZip and GZip that will decrease the storage requirements further. With high-density IDE and SATA disks and PCI or software RAID being so cheap these days, it should not be hard to build an inexpe

        • by Skreems (598317)
          You can build a decent 20 terabyte storage array for around 20 grand. It'd span 7 or 8 servers, but still, much better than trying to organize rooms full of DVDs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by couchslug (175151)
        There are plenty of good commercial solutions to storing such items. Automated rotary and sliding shelving systems are available where you may manually or electronically select the item you want. Bookshelf systems are available (we use them for USAF Tech Order binders) so if you want to store binders of DVDs it's no problem. They are robust enough for industrial tool cribs, and specc'ing an enclosure or fireproof room if required is routine (though expensive).
        If your facility has the room, 20 or 40-foot ISO
    • Spools would be ridiculously annoying after about the 10th time you have to grab the CD on the bottom of the stack.

      We need to ask this question to the submitter: Is there some legal requirement for keeping the data on physical media? I mean, they are on CD's, really its no different than keeping the data on some hard drive. The only thing that's changed is the storage medium, its still all electronic data. Why not invest in some sort of large network storage device, and keep the data there? As long as
  • by daeg (828071) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:31AM (#15978654)
    Buy a few crates of cake containers from a CD or DVD distributor. Then hire an intern. Label each CD with a sequential number and label the cake containers with their sequence number. A simple Excel sheet or simple database can handle mapping a CD with who it came from and the date to a cake container/CD number. The intern then fetches said CD.

    Remember, interns are cheaper than actual solutions.
    • by edmudama (155475) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:44AM (#15978778)
      Remember, interns are cheaper than actual solutions. That's actually a very good point. If I had mod points it'd be +1 insightful.
    • by CodemasterMM (943136) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:31PM (#15979243) Homepage
      Hey, I'm an intern currently!

      Wait... I've been making labels for the past two weeks.
      Crap, he's right.
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      Buy a few crates of cake containers from a CD or DVD distributor. Then hire an intern. Label each CD with a sequential number and label the cake containers with their sequence number. A simple Excel sheet or simple database can handle mapping a CD with who it came from and the date to a cake container/CD number. The intern then fetches said CD.

      I'm gonna modify this slightly for more ease of use. I still like the basic idea, though.

      Use the above mentioned CD labeling system.
      Place CD's in 208/300 CD/DV
      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Friday August 25, 2006 @01:14PM (#15979599) Homepage
        Use the above mentioned CD labeling system.
        Place CD's in 208/300 CD/DVD binder.
        Get shelving that will fit the Binders (Ikea IVAR works great for adjustments)
        FTFA:
        They are struggling to find a better storage solution than what they have now as the current setup is awkward and requires quite a bit of space. They are removing the media from the jewel case and slipping them into one of those large notebook style disk holders and then storing the notebook on a shelf.
        Sounds like that's about what they currently do and it's not working out for them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by daeg (828071)
          That's why I suggested cake containers instead of binders. Binders are great for when you use CDs or DVDs frequently, e.g., music or movies that you would like quick access to and when reading the face of a CD/DVD is useful. However, if you simply label CDs sequentially and never (rarely) need access, you can stack them a few hundred to a case. Label them in series chronologically. When you need to make space on your shelves, simply follow FIFO -- reduce from the lowest sequence up.

          Binders waste a lot of sp
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        CD binders are themselves frequently responsible for the deaths of CDs. I've had the vinyl (yes, they use vinyl) clear plastic stick to the metal layer, and pull it right the fuck off. CDs belong in jewelcases if you care about them.
        • by Ironsides (739422)
          I've had the vinyl (yes, they use vinyl) clear plastic stick to the metal layer, and pull it right the fuck off.

          Was this by any chance due to a lack of air-conditioning? I've never had this problem, but mine have all been kept below 85 degrees F.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)
            Probably so. The house definitely didn't reach temperatures unsafe for either humans or CDRWs, though, and to me basically everything needs to be able to handle those temperatures. With that said, I have a lof of CDs in binders :) but I wouldn't consider it a safe storage method.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "Remember, interns are cheaper than actual solutions."

      Yes but the shipping to India will inflate costs.
  • That's the big question. That, and how organized does this need to be? I can think of a couple of surprisingly simple solutions that are easy to keep organized, but it's hard to make recommendations without knowing exactly what they have to work with.
  • by HoosierPeschke (887362) <hoosierpeschke@comcast.net> on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:31AM (#15978663) Homepage
    I can't image there isn't some system like this on a larger scale. If not, I'm sure it could be easily designed. The system would take up more room and require more maintenance that a CD case.
    • by Kuukai (865890)
      For years I've wondered if anyone out there has converted a jukebox into a giant CD-ROM sorter/finder/drive (possibly labeler), nice to know someone has the same question... I agree though, if you're forced to deal with tens of thousands of CDs, it would be nice to have some sort of automated system dealing with them... Sure, you'd have to maintain said system, but it would ultimately save you time...
    • by avronius (689343) *
      There are dozens of optical disk jukebox solutions available. The biggest problem with them is cost.

      HP used to sell them, and are likely a good starting point.

      Here's the first link from a google search that I ran:
      http://www.kintronics.com/jukebox.html [kintronics.com]

      I used the following search criteria:
            optical disk CD-ROM DVD jukebox

      Good luck
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:32AM (#15978665)
    "Keep the original CD" sounds like a silly requirement. Why not just upload the contents of the CD to a file server, do a SHA1 hash of the original filesystem on both the CD and the file server, replicate the fuck out of the file server and toss the CD?

    I'd bet you could ROI the "don't keep the original CDs" plan to under a year.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:45AM (#15978796)
      "Keep the original CD" sounds like a silly requirement.

      Yes, but legal work often has all sorts of silly requirements. Sometimes you do need the original rather than a certified copy.

      Me, I would copy the CD to an iso file, make it read-only, stick a barcode on the physical CD, then ship the physical CD to an offsite storage facility. If they ever need the physical CD they can get it, but otherwise you work from the iso.

      I'd bet you could ROI the "don't keep the original CDs" plan to under a year.

      Yes, but you would have to include "lose the legal work" in your ROI calculation :)
    • by rednuhter (516649)
      its not their choice "they are required to retain the original media for several months", although whether or not thats a legal requirment it does not say.
      • If everyone agrees on a cryptographic hash, modern technology (and law) often let you toss the physical media as long as you can prove you haven't changed the digital contents. (This is where the concepts of "integrity checks" and "non-repudidation" come in.)

        We do this every day with checks, payroll sheets, purchase orders, receipts and all kinds of other tidbits that used to have to have a physical component, but we (and our various industries) got smarter.
    • by Buzz_Litebeer (539463) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:36PM (#15979289) Journal
      If you do contracting with the government, and have to follow some of the subsections of Sarbains Oxley, if you have data that comes in on physical media in a digital format, you have to be able to audit for that data and keep the data in storage, sometimes for years.

      This is the government/legal system at work. If you were to lose the CD's and an audit was done and you did not have them, you can face massive legal fines.
      • by mre5565 (305546)
        > This is the government/legal system at work. If you were to lose the CD's and an audit was done and you did not have them, you can face massive legal fines.

        Which is precisely the reason why the data should be put in a RAID protected disk subsystem that
        has Sarbanes-Oxley compatible data retention (WORM) capabilities. CDs don't last. Data online can
        be made to last indefinitely.

    • The problem with that is that there's really no way of proving that the contents of the CD weren't changed.

      We have a similar situation at my job. We get files from clients on CD and DVD (although a LOT less often in the last year or two due to high-speed internet connectivity and me setting up an FTP server) and we need to keep the CDs on hand for extended periods of time. We do keep a backup of the original files on the server for quick access.

      At least if you keep the original media, and someone says that
    • by paro12 (142901) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:58PM (#15982503)
      "Keep the original CD" sounds like a silly requirement
      Keeping the Original CD is the ONLY way to prove what was actually submitted to the company in the first place. If you simply upload the information to a server, how do you prove that document X wasn't actually on the original CD two years into the project, when the projects been shot to hell and the lawyers are called in?

      That is why it is imperative to keep the original CD.
      Self Preservation.
  • Paper boxes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kosmosik (654958) <{ten.kisomsok} {ta} {sok}> on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:33AM (#15978672) Homepage
    Easy. The same as with paper documents. Put them into proper envelopes and boxes and into shelves in some offsite magazine. There are loads of established paper documents storage systems - you label it, put it into database, do monthly check and retire old stuff etc.

    You don't need to have quick access to these CDs, you have digital copies on servers so you just need it in emergency.

    You need normal storage same as for paper documents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by walt-sjc (145127)
      Exactly. A simple box like this one [buyonlinenow.com] where you use standard paper sleeves with the disks. Label each sleeve with a sequential serial number, and enter the info into a database. If you have multiple different retention periods, you have several boxes going at once - one for each period.

      Put the range of disk numbers on the front of the box.

      If you want to get fancy, use a prefix that indicates the retention period (6m-123 is not the same as 6y-123)
  • CD Hook-on Files (Score:3, Informative)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:33AM (#15978675)
    CD Hook-on Files like these [connectworld.net] work well. I've seen them used, for example, and cd / video exchange stores, etc.
    • by grapeape (137008)
      Sorry but when your storage cost is 5-6x the cost of the media something is definately wrong. Neat idea but way way overpriced for a piece of plastic and some cardboard sleeves.
    • by Bishop (4500)
      While these hook files look like an expensive solution, it probably isn't. The cost to handle the CD is probably greater.
      • Of course, if you go with the vendor in the link, it's an insanely expensive solution, but if you think about it, you can buy those sleeves for cheap, and build your own hooks. And per another posters comment, I think it's a good idea to build it with access to both ends of the hook, therefore you can do a FIFO policy ... slip the cd's on one side, pull them off the other. We're talking about backups here, not a library. Odds are you are only going to need the oldest or most recent, not the one in the mi
    • by twitter (104583)
      You might want something cheaper than 45/$65 when you need 30,0000 stored, but the principle is valid. I use regular manila folders with slits cut to receive the CD. If they already store paper with each customer's stuff, they already have the answer. All you need is an index to keep things organized.

  • Imation Disc Stakka (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fbelch (9658) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:33AM (#15978676) Homepage
    Maybe something like this might be what you are looking for....

    http://www.imation.com/products/disc_stakka/index. html [imation.com]

    - Stack units up to five high to create a tower that holds up to 500 discs without any extra cabling or rebooting your computer.
    - Connect towers using powered USB hubs to control over 100 towers (that's over 50,000 discs) from a single computer.
    • We use these at my office. Wonderful little toys. We've only got 2 in use, but damn if they don't make access easy. If they weren't $90-$100, I'd be tempted to pick up 1.. or 5... for myself at home. (I've got alot of DVDs)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bastardchyld (889185)
      This solution is not needed first of all in order to support 30,000 cds you would have to have 300 units broke up into towers of 5 that is 60 towers. Where would that go? Besides at a price (newegg) of $115 each that is $34,500.00. That is insane. The only way you could justify spending that much money on this is if it was not going to be a nightmare to install (i.e. single box). Besides the fact that you would still have to buy powered usb hubs to power all of these bus powered devices. This may be a
      • by Dekortage (697532)

        Besides at a price (newegg) of $115 each that is $34,500.00. That is insane. The only way you could justify spending that much money on this is if it was not going to be a nightmare to install (i.e. single box).

        If it was the cost of doing business with the government, or (better yet) the cost of winning federal project bids because you have demonstrably faster data archive access than the next bidder, then $35K is dirt cheap. The only thing cheaper would be an intern.

      • Besides at a price (newegg) of $115 each that is $34,500.00. That is insane.
        Not insane. Just a minor variation of Hanlon's law: never attribute to insanity that which can be sufficiently explained by an inability to read — especially on Slashdot!
    • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @02:25PM (#15980208) Homepage Journal
      http://dansdata.com/quickshot005.htm [dansdata.com]

      Holds 50% more discs for 25% less price.

      I had the DC-101, it was awesome. The 300 is supposed to be superior in every way.
  • by eric2hill (33085) <eric@@@ijack...net> on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:37AM (#15978714) Homepage
    It looks like you're trying to find a "better way" to store these vast libraries of CD and DVD materials rather than rolling your own. You should contact a company [buildingdesign.co.uk] that builds multi-tier racking for books, cd's tapes, x-rays, etc. The companies that make x-ray film libraries in the US do the same thing for other media types as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      It looks like you're trying to find a "better way" to store these vast libraries of CD and DVD materials rather than rolling your own.
      If she wanted a solution from Clippy, she would have used MSOffice Help.
  • by Optic7 (688717) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:41AM (#15978754)
    There was a story here on slashdot a few months ago about an alternative to jewel cases, where people discussed all kinds of options for CD/DVD storage. I found this particular comment to be the most useful for really large scale CD/DVD storage. It seems simple, effective, and practical. Also check the other comments on that story for other ideas, but I think this is really the best solution for you based on what you said:

    Large quantity CD/DVD storage solution [slashdot.org]

    • The above linked post from the previous discussion is the best answer. Design your system for reuse of the CD sleeves to save money (assign a sleeves number separate from the project/owner/etc number). Keep the sleeves when you destroy the media at the end of the project. When new media arrives, log the room, cabinet and drawer you put it in. The sleeves only need to be sequential in the drawers, so you could have sleeves 1, 2 and 3 all in different cabinets. It doesn't matter, your database tells you where
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)
        The above linked post from the previous discussion is the best answer.

        Not quite the best. It still requires you to have organizational skills to put the CD back where you found it so you can find it again next time. Searching through meatspace is annoying.

        Instead, attach little RF receivers and piezo speakers to the spindle hole of each CD, low enough power so that it is powered by the signal (no dead batteries). Maybe an LED that will shine through to the edge of the CD too. Each tag gets a unique ID.
  • White folder boxes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jnaujok (804613) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:46AM (#15978805) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this is a bit too low-tech for slashdot, but when cleaning up stacks of empty cd cases, I found that the small white "document storage boxes" that you can get at any office supply store perfectly fit six stacks of CDs in their cases. Just stack the disks into the box, mark them with a "keep until" date and when that rolls around, just toss the whole thing (the boxes only cost about $0.50 each.) Keeps it clean, reduces the time to pull them out of the case, and if you need to recover one, just pull the box that falls into the date range and search that box. Each box holds about 500 discs, so you'd be talking about 60 boxes, which means a decent size file room will store them all.

    It's cheap and easy. But probably way too low tech for the slashdot crowd.
  • Storage solutions (Score:3, Informative)

    by iotashan (761097) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:48AM (#15978830)
    Did any of you even read the article? They need to store the physical media, after it has already been archived to another data storage system.

    I'd check out any of the big-boys that deal with large-scale, physical storage.

    The one company I can think of off the top of my head is Spacesaver. If you've ever seen a hospital's records storage system, it was probably a Spacesaver unit.

    They even claim CD/DVD support:
    http://www.spacesaver.com/appl_cat.asp?cat_id=4 [spacesaver.com]
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      Did any of you even read the article?

      In their defense, sometimes one needs to question the premise of the question. Perhaps there is some give in the requirement that allows other solutions (e.g. do the disks still need to be rapidly or readily accessible or even readable?), and surely there are other readers interested in solutions that aren't so encumbered.

      I know that, though my DVD collection isn't yet that big, my Atlantic Penguin and (lately) Elf racks aren't quite meeting my needs, especially since I

  • How do you scan them in now? Do you put them in an automatic machine, do you have humans sitting there doing the work, etc?

    However they come out of the scanning process should direct how to store them.

    If you've got humans doing the work then put them back in the jewel case, and drop the case into a filing box that you can store on shelving. Mark that box with a large barcoded sticker. Every week scan all the boxes, and have the system beep when you scan a box due for disposal. Dump the contents into the secure shed bin, and put the box on the pile of empties for new projects.

    If you do the scanning automatically,a nd simply have a human de-casing the disc and putting them on a spindle or stack, then buy spindle carriers that can pick up the spindle or stack on the output side and drop the entire thing into a suitably sized box, then do the same as above. (I'd probably go this route anyway rather than the storage in jewel case and big box above).

    Look for "cake boxes" that are really spindle CD/DVD boxes, such as the following: cake boxes [supermediastore.com]

    Are the CDs/DVDs in small batches or big batches? ie, do you have to store 5 of them together, or 500 together? Is there a great variance (do you accept both customers that give 5 and customers that give 500?).

    If you want to spend tens of thousands of dollers then a good engineering firm can design a system that you just feed discs into. It'll then scan them for you, store them, and on regular intervals shred those that have been authorized for shredding. Should take up the space of a large closet or small cubicle for a storage capacity of 5,000 or so discs, and scanning capacity of a few hundred per hour.

    -Adam
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      Are you sure cake boxes are good for readability over long-term storage? There'd be a risk of disk-to-disk adherance which could separate the reflective layer from the substrate. Vertical (on-edge) storage supported by the spindle hole I thought was the safest solution for data longevity.
      • by Bishop (4500)
        That is a good point. The submission did suggest that really long term storage was not an issue as the CDs were destroyed when no longer required.

  • FIFO is key (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:55AM (#15978907)
    You're going to keep the CDs for a couple months and only need them for some legal/contract requirement, so you don't need to "file" them. Just get a long metal bar (or bars) and put the CDs on them as they come in. Of course label them and keep a database, but basically once the bar fills up you just start taking them off the back end and check the database whether they can be thrown out. If so, toss. If not, put back either on the back of bar or front.

    This is way more space efficient than folders and prevents them from getting 'stuck' to the soft plastic if the environment is bad. It's far cheaper and also easier. A "proper" system will of course have small sections that can be taken out to retreive a particular CD without too much effort... take some out, check with database, do binary search to find CD. This should be such a rare occurrence that the time to locate a particular CD.

    If you have other requirements please elaborate... such as having to return the CD when the work is done. If not, this is a great, cheap solution imho.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      If only I had mod points -sigh-

      This is a great idea. It's far more space-saving than any other design offered here, and it keeps the discs perfectly safe if used in a fairly dust-free environment. The FIFO aspect is genius. It fits their problem exactly.

      I'm not sure I'd go for the wires, though... I'd probably go for a series of hooks on a wall or rack. The hanging wires tend to sway too much when you are adding/removing discs and could prove to be your undoing.
  • In my local Ikea, I noticed that the very top warehouse shelf is stacked not with furniture, but with huge boxes of till rolls. I believe it's a legal requirement to keep till rolls for a certain amount of time (for auditability), but the truth is that it's very unlikely that anyone will ever ask to look at them, so they're stored in an efficient to store, inefficient to retrieve method just in case, and once the archive period is over for the whole box, they're pulped.

    It sounds like you've got a similar re
  • I am assuming that it a requirement from the customer that you must retain the physical media. I am also assuming that the media arrive with labels that identify what they are, and that it is quite acceptable to search through 100-200 discs on the rare occasions when they are needed. The important thing is to know which batch to look at.

    My solution to that would be to use the 100 disc spools that are often used to package blanks. Slap a date range on the top or side of each and store them in sequence.

  • Filing cabinets, empty paper boxes, and CD envelopes.

    Yes, filing cabinets. The kind made for hanging folders. I've got one drawer at home full of CDs. Several hundred, in fact.

    Put the CDs in paper envelopes and stack them into the lid from a 10-ream box of paper. I think one box lid will hold around 500 CDs in this manner; I've never tried to fill one up this way so actual results may vary. Stack two filled box lids into a drawer. 10 four-drawer cabinets should be sufficient for storage, and help you keep o
  • I got a $1000 200 CD-ROM jukebox with FireWire. A patched mtx on Linux will expose its control/transfer API, so I wrote a Perl program to extract with cdparanoia, lookup its metadata in FreeDB, and advance discs. The cheap jukebox offered only 2-3x read in DAE mode, so 200 CDs took about 90h, or 3 days. Including 30s per CD to strip the plastic jewelcases, load, then unload into big CD books, which I didn't want to spend two hours twice a week, it took about about 2 months to scan 3000 CDs, including a few
  • A warehouse
    Lots and lots of shelves.
  • Back in the day my company used to convert a lot of data for customers converting to our software.
    As a service we used to keep the conversion just in case they had a crash and didn't have a backup.
    This was when a one gig hard drive was every expensive so we used floppies.
    We made shelves out of old floppy disk boxes and gave each floppy a number. In the customer record we entered the self number, the box number, and the disk number. Don't worry this wasn't any type of personal data. And the customers didn't
  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:22PM (#15979160) Homepage
    Lots of companies make cabinets for large scale archiving for data centers and the like. They don't tend to be cheap, but they can pack them rather densely:

          http://www.russbassett.com/products/cabinets_disc. cfm [russbassett.com]
          http://www.can-am.ca/cdvideo1.htm [can-am.ca]

    There are also moving shelf options, but they normally are for mixed media (tapes, cds, etc), and you have to buy the shelves, then fill it with media packs to hold the type of media you're storing:

          http://www.systems-supply.com/nms2k/edpstorage.htm [systems-supply.com]
          http://www.russbassett.com/media/products_disc.cfm [russbassett.com]

    If you're going for cheap and densely packed, I'd probably re-sleeve them and drop them into a drawered cabinet, but you'll need to make sure they're well organized if you expect to ever find them again.
  • Netflix (Score:3, Insightful)

    by camusflage (65105) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:26PM (#15979190)
    Netflix already has done this, I'm sure. Dig around, find out how they run their distribution centers, and copy their work. No use reinventing the wheel when someone else already built a business model around keeping track of a crapload of discs.
    • Actually, I've read that Netflix has something approaching 99% of their discs in circulation at any given time. I don't know that they really would be the best place to look.
  • I have two bookshelves, roughly 800x2200x200cm, with 50x spindles of optical disks in 5 shelves with 10 stacks of 3 spindles on each shelf. I think the bookshelves were $25 each. I dedicate specific shelves to specific topics, and usually leave 10 or so available slots on each spindle, so it is easy to maintain alphabetic order within a topic.
     
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Control Group (105494)
      *blink*

      You have these at home? And they only cost $25 apiece?

      Where did you find the space for a bookshelf that's roughly as long as a seven-storey building is tall? And where did you buy them (or the materials for them)? I don't have the room in my apartment for a twenty-two meter bookshelf, but if the price scales down appropriately, I want in.
  • eMule (Score:3, Funny)

    by DrXym (126579) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:43PM (#15979346)
    Use eMule or another P2P network. Lots of users would love to archive your customer data for you.
  • Robotics! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kouroth (911586)
    If you have the money and will:
    Contract a robotics company to build you a huge multi-disk changer. Take a design similar to those multi-disk changers that hold a hundred disks and just make it bigger. That would cut down on storage space and also make accessing the disks much easer. The investment cost may be high but the end result should pay off in the long run.
  • Although they are a little on the expensive side (for personal use...), there is nothing better. Each drawer holds lots & lots & lots of CD's, you can stack their two drawer & three drawer models, thay have matching accessory racks (for components or CPUs or ?... , and they have a lock setup that's not too bad (but not crowbar proof...).

    Have two units at home for the music collection, works great. Gave away those other cd racks that only held 1-200 CD's, they were just such a waste of floor spac
  • I'm a big fan of LaserLine's "Media Zone" sleeves. They're sturdy, clear, and slimmer than any jewel case. They can be put on shelves (about 5" tall), and they also make flippable files and hanging file-cabinet pouches for them.

    I'm not sure if you can still get them in stores but they can be bought online.
  • Years ago the Washington Post held a contest to find the best system for storing massive CD collections. There were dozens of traditional shelving systems, notebook systems, etc. The winner skipped all that crap, and instead threw out the cases and slid the discs and inserts into ziploc baggies and kept them alphabetized in plastic storage boxes that conveniently fit under the bed. I recently started using a similar system for my huge CD collection, except that I'm using shoeboxes in a closets.

    This would pr
  • Since this is a real cost to your business, I would give your customers the option of what to do with the original after you get the data off of the cd or dvd:

    option 1: throw it away
    option 2: return it to customer immediately
    option 3: throw it away, but burn a new cd at job completion and return that
    option 4: save it until job completion, then return original

    then assign modest fee (postage) for option 2, a somewhat punitive add-on cost to option 3, and a really nasty charge for option 4

    i imagine that curren
  • We used to use CD-Rs for archival purposes, have since moved on to large HDD arrays. But I still have the CD-Rs, simply replaced back to the spindles they were shipped on. A simple spreadsheet or database could be made to keep track of which spindle each CD is on. You can't get much more dense than having them laying on top of eachother.
  • A company called SSI has exactly what you need.

    See: http://www.ssiworld.com/products/products3-en.htm [ssiworld.com]

    They even have impressive videos of their products in action. They can handle almost any input format you can imagine. CDs, DVDs -- they'll even handle Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs.

  • by tomlouie (264519) on Friday August 25, 2006 @01:54PM (#15979955) Homepage
    > ... as many as 30,000 CDs and DVDs on hand ...

    Pththth, amateurs. These guys are storing almost 400,000 AOL cds [nomoreaolcds.com]
  • is pretty simple, effective, and easy to maintain. Granted, I only have about 1500 DVDs in my system, but I think it would scale pretty easily.

    I put them in a case similar to these [bestbuy.com] (the exact ones I use appear to no longer be carried by Best Buy).

    In my particular case, I label the DVDs with the content, then write a category and disc # on each sleeve. I created little cardboar dividers that I slip between the categories. I then add the disc to an excel spreadsheet that I keep with the category, disc #, and
  • by dindi (78034)
    just looked under my desk and saw a 50 pack DVD RW. The disks are neatly sitting on a rod in the middle of the packaging tube.

    Knowing that those damn retailers like to spare space, I would assume that mounting DVD/CD medium on a rod would be quite effective.
    Imagine a rod, holding 200-300 discs a piece, with sequential numbers.

    When you run your weekly purge, you just remove an entire rod, or part of the contents of a rod (you need to be able to open the rod on both ends)

    this is a real FIFO system, that make
  • Netflix put them in file cabinets in rows and rows of disk in sleeves. Each disk is barcode or numbered. Or you can alphabitcally them. You can do a google image search on on netflix to see the look of the cabinet. I run an online dvd rental store at www.ehit.com. If you want to save money on making the boxes, you can have the boxes make out of cardboard to your size and dimension. The cost is really low. And then stock them into a sliding shelf or rack. This way I don't see any problem in store all your
  • Good comments on physical alternatives to the binders. Which I don't think are a -bad- idea in this case.

    Where they may get hung up is keeping track of them.

    Here's the answer:

    You use a method similar to an IP address where each octet is a symbol to their location.
    customer_number.shelf_number.binder_number.page_nu mber.pocket_number

    From there you just fill them chronologically. Then you don't run into logistical problems if you try to arrange thing alphabetically. ex. shelf set 1 has customers a-g shelf-s
  • If not, just source some 6' .5" wooden dowel, some long screws and a sheet of plywood. Disk comes in, drop it on a dowel. Dowel fills up, date it. Once it's six months old, unscrew it, carry it (and the discs) to the dumpster, and replace it.
  • (from Wikipedia) "Content-addressable storage, also referred to as associative storage or abbreviated CAS, is a mechanism for storing information that can be retrieved based on its content, not its storage location. It is typically used for high-speed storage and retrieval of static content, such as documents stored for compliance with government regulations.

    "It is of particular interest to large organizations that must comply with document-retention laws, such as Sarbanes-Oxley. In these corporations a la

  • Examing a cakebox of 50 discs I have handy, it is 5 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches tall. So, it would fit in a 5x5x3.5 cube, which takes up a volume of 87.5 in^3.

    30000 discs would require 600 of these, for a volume of 52500 in^3. That's the volume of a cube just slighty over a yard on each side.

    What's wrong with just numbering the discs, putting them in numbered cakeboxes, and stacking them in the corner of a closet, keeping a record somewhere of which disc is in which cakebox?

    The questioner said

  • Read from CD or DVD write to disk protected with RAID.

    30,000 DVDs at say 4 GB each is 120,000 GB, or 120 TB.
  • This is exactly what you need:
    DVD Storage Box - Corrugated Cardboard Holds 108 DVDs. 17x11-3/4x15-1/2. [bagsunlimited.com] "Comes with 2 sets of 6 cell partitions and an interlocking lift-out tray. This allows for easy access to DVDs stored on bottom. Made from 275# test brown corrugated. Comes with a 3" deep cover and die-cut handle holes for easy transport." $11 each.

    Then get some standard steel shelving designed for records boxes, and you'll be able to store about 1200 disks per 4 lineal feet of shelf space and still

  • Reports vary, but she at one time owned between 1,060 and 3,000 pairs of shoes [wikipedia.org]; she might be willing to part with a few of the shoeboxes (at size 8 1/2, the boxes are just about right for a CD or DVD -- at least that's the system I use...)
  • RAID USB 2.0 DRIVES (Score:2, Informative)

    by i621148 (728860)
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTool s/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1784288&Sku=B175-1008 [tigerdirect.com]

    30000 DVDs X 5 GB ISO FILES = 150000 GB
    150000 GB / 300 GB = 500 EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES
    500 EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES X $114.99 = $57,495

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