The world of enterprise is becoming increasingly reliant on data. Data archives allow companies to make smart financial and marketing decisions as well as provide companies with information on where a company is headed. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) the world’s data will grow by 50x in the next decade. So where will all this data be stored? Enterprises are starting to realize that traditional methods of storage will not be sufficient. Traditional methods generally include hard disk or tape media.
A new method known as flash storage has been growing in popularity. Flash memory uses electricity rather than mechanical parts and only consumes 20% of the power used by traditional methods. The following are problems associated with traditional methods of storage and reasons flash memory is becoming more common in enterprise.
Damage to Magnetic Media
The traditional backup tapes that many enterprises still use today are built with magnetic media. This makes them extremely susceptible to corruption. Despite the fact that tapes are built with a mechanism that can detect potential problems, all it takes is something like a fingerprint or exposure to certain elements and the data on the tape is essentially destroyed. While many enterprises assume that data stored on tapes is safe, many have also learned the hard way that it isn’t the most effective storage method.
Susceptible to Theft
Important data is often compromised at the hands of thieves. Backup data tapes are usually physically located near a server or backup unit and can therefore be easily stolen by someone with malicious intent. Another one of the most common reasons data tapes are stolen is that companies often find it necessary to transport data sets to off-site locations. Third party transporters can easily steal tapes. Some companies, especially smaller ones, try to avoid this by putting an employee in charge of storing tapes in their own home. This method, however, for obvious reasons is also foolproof.
It takes longer to restore data from tapes and hard drives than many businesses would like. When searching for archived data, it is necessary to determine on what tape the data exists. In many cases, the data will be stored offsite, which slows things down even more. It could take hours, even days to retrieve data and start the recovery process. Data accessed from hard disks can take a long time to restore. On the contrary, data stored on flash can be accessed in seconds. This allows companies to make decisions quickly, leads to greater employee productivity, and generally speeds things up in the workplace.
Other Storage Problems
Hard Drives in PC’s and Laptops are stored with a fan that helps it cool. External hard drives, however, typically do not have such fans because there is no room. They also usually don't have much free space around them. As a result, these storage devices are prone to overheating and potential loss of data. Additionally, external hard drives typically don't stay stationary. Unlike the hard drive in a PC, they get carried around from place to place and as a result can get dropped, kicked, or jostled around.
Backing up the backup
While many people use external hard drives or tapes as backup for their files, more often than not they aren’t backups at all, but the only location for the files. External drives only serve the purpose of a backup of the files are also initially saved to an internal drive. Something like a natural disaster, fire, or flood has the potential to cripple a company if files are only stored in a single place.