What type of data storage should you use?

You’ve heard the advice, read the articles and finally decided it’s time to get a better data storage system in place. After all, data that hasn’t been backed-up is susceptible to deletion and corruption. But deciding you need a long-term data storage solution is only half the battle. The real decision lies in which type of data storage you choose.

There are three categories of data storage: primary, secondary and tertiary:

  • Primary Data Storage: Within the primary category, you’ll find RAM and ROM storage, which is essentially your computer’s internal memory. RAM – which stands for Random Access Memory – is where temporary information is stored and then deleted when your computer shuts off. ROM, which means Read Only Memory, permanently stores data that’s not usually changed or deleted, like firmware.
  • Secondary Data Storage: If you’re wondering where your saved computer files are stored, it’s in a type of secondary storage: the hard drive. Computer hard drives are sealed directly within your computer’s Central Processing Unit. Other types of secondary storage, which are also external to your computer’s processor, include external hard drives, magnetic tape, CDs, DVDs and flash drives.
  • Tertiary Data Storage: Tertiary storage houses data that is rarely accessed by the user. So, this category could also include external hard drives, magnetic tape, CDs, DVDs and flash drives that are not accessed regularly and usually stored offsite.

So Primary and Secondary Data Storage is where the data you use on a regular basis is saved and stored. But if you’re looking for a place to back-up a lot of data that you don’t need to access on a regular basis, consider types of tertiary data storage and their different advantages. Data can be accessed faster from an external hard drive than from a magnetic tape. But if you’re on a budget, the best bang for your buck is going to be magnetic tape. CDs, DVDs and flash drives are better if you need to access the data a bit more often, and don’t have as much data to store. It’s always good to talk with data storage experts about your options and which is the best fit for your business.

Finally, no matter how you decide to back-up your data, store it at a secure, offsite location that is temperature and humidity controlled. That’s just as important as the type of storage you choose.  Stevens & Stevens’ climate-controlled vault is designed specifically for the secure storage and preservation of all types of backup data storage. Learn more here

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