Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


Updated Format Fully Supports Windows NT, Enhances Data Security for NT and UNIX, Provides Backwards Compatibility

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., February 23, 1998 – The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) today announced availability of release 2.0 of its Universal Disk Format (UDF 2.0), a file system specification for writable optical disk devices and media. Created by OSTA member companies, UDF 2.0 fully defines support for Windows NT®, enhances data security for NT and UNIX, adds additional support for CD-R (Compact Disc-Recordable) and defines backward read capabilities between the discs created with the new UDF 2.0 format and discs created with earlier versions of UDF.

Ultimately the new UDF features are viewed as a critical step making backup and archiving with writable optical drives much more robust and easier to accomplish. The new features are expected to further broaden the fast growing number of applications for writable optical storage in the business and home markets.

"OSTA's evolution of the Universal Disk Format continues to make writable optical storage an ever more compelling backup, archiving and distribution medium," said Isaac van Kempen of Next Wave, chairman of OSTA's File Interchange Committee. "The additions in version 2.0 continue to enhance optical storage as the best choice for low-cost, easy to use, high-capacity permanent storage."

Easier Backup - Named Streams and Power Calibration

--Named Streams

The most critical addition to UDF 2.0 is support for named streams with Windows NT. Use of named streams allows users to back up and restore to/from hard disk with much greater ease by associating related pieces of data to one another. A database application, for example, can now use various streams of data almost as if they were independent files, but users will only see and back up one file for the database rather than many.

--Power Calibration

A potential limitation affecting use of CD-Recordable packet-write capabilities is the restricted number (100) of power calibration areas available on current CD-R media. Power calibration areas on CD-R media establish the appropriate power settings for the CD-R drive to write and read data to and from the disc currently in the drive. Appropriate read/write power settings can vary significantly from drive to drive and media to media. However, with the addition of the Power Calibration Stream, UDF provides a means for reducing the number of times a power calibration needs to take place, thus increasing the usability of CD-R media and making it an even broader, more appealing storage mechanism for end users. In this instance again, UDF 2.0 has made CD-R much easier to use for all types of home and business applications.

Enhanced Data Security

Another key feature within UDF 2.0 is full support for access control lists in Windows NT and UNIX. This feature means that all security access features in UNIX and Windows NT are applied to the backup, preventing unauthorized access to backup files. Also, subdirectories may be backed up in their original configurations with all user access parameters included. ACL support is particularly useful for backing up networked drives.

Backward Compatibility

The backward read and write capabilities within UDF 2.0 ensure that older media using earlier UDF versions remain protected. That is, any UDF 2.0 compliant implementation shall be able to read all media writtenunder UDF 1.5 and 1.02. Also, if a UDF 2.0 compliant implementation writes to disks using the older UDF formats it must write using the older UDF format. This assures the older media is still accessible under earlier UDF implementations.

UDF 2.0 was created as an update to the previous edition, version 1.5, released in June 1997. The UDF 1.5 revision defined the use of UDF on CD-R and CD-RW media and added support for Windows® 95 and limited support for Windows NT. DVD specifications require the use of UDF 1.02 as the standard file system. UDF 2.0 is available for viewing and download on the OSTA Web site at www.osta.org.

OSTA Background

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of writable optical technologies and products for storage of computer data. The organization's membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 80 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. They work to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of CD/DVD, file interchange, market development, magneto-optical and planning committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at 805/963-3853 or by addressing its Web site at http://www.osta.org.

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Editors Note: Windows and Windows NT are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.