If you’re looking for a way to back up your computer’s data, and you’re doing a bit of research before making a purchase, good job. Remember, there’s a whole lot of people out there that think that their data is safe, when that actually couldn’t be further from the truth, and if you’re reading up, you’re not one of them.
Now, one of the terms you’ll come across quite a bit when looking at data backup methods is “redundancy.” In data storage “redundant data” is any data that exists in more than one place. The more places that data exists, the more redundant it is. Simple, right?
It gets a bit more complicated, but that’s the gist of it. Here’s a deeper look at data redundancy, and some tips for home and office PC users looking for a great data backup solution.
Any online data room always has a data backup ready in order to tackle security issues which is quite prevalent in the cyber world.
Basic Data Backup
The most basic way to backup data is simply to copy it from one hard drive to another (not cutting and pasting, as this still leaves only one copy of a certain file or folder). Many modern data backup programs work this way, only for a ton of files at a time; the software that comes with external hard drives and backup programs that come with operating systems basically just copy files onto an external hard drive, a second hard drive in your computer, a flash drive, or anywhere else besides the original hard drive where the files were stored.
There are a few disadvantages to this method. One, it’s slow. Two, it’s only a basic level of data redundancy, and as we learned earlier, that’s the bare minimum–hardly worth trusting such a simple setup when you’ve got files that are potentially priceless.
Many businesses use more advanced forms of redundancy that write copies of the data while the original version is being written. This allows fast data backup, and you don’t have to stop everything to run some backup program.
Most businesses (and some consumer external hard drives) use either a RAID 1 or a RAID 5 configuration to ensure a higher level of redundancy. To simplify things, the RAID 1 “mirrors” information–that means that when information is written to one hard drive, it’s written to a second hard drive at the same time. RAID 5 systems write information to several hard drives (a minimum of 3) simultaneously, and every bit of info is written to at least 2 drives. RAID 5 systems are very fast, and if one hard drive fails, it can be replaced without losing any data. However, they’re generally expensive, since they require at least 3 hard drives to operate.
Those are the basic facts of data redundancy. Hopefully, you’ll have a good idea what your office tech-guy is talking about the next time he brings up redundant data or RAID arrays. And remember–back up your data. It’s an important part of owning a computer, and some day, you’ll be very thankful that you did.
Do you have any questions about data redundancy? Post in our comments section below.