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Why You Need to Consider How Your Data is Stored


If you have a computer, it has data on it that you’ve stored. Whether it’s the novel you’ve been working on in your spare time or pictures from your kid’s sixth grade graduation on your home PC, or the databases and applications that your business’ infrastructure supports, all of this data is generally stored in exactly the same way. Whatever your case, you should know that your data is terrifyingly fragile - far too fragile to ever be kept in just one place. Let’s dive deeper.

How is Data Stored on a Hard Drive?

A hard disk drive, better known as the traditional HDD, works a little like a record player. Your data is stored on small, magnetic platters that are all stacked together and spin. A small mechanical arm rests over these platters.

To give you a bit of perspective, a record player usually spins between 33 and 78 times each minute. Your hard drive spins about 7200 times in a minute.

This speed creates a cushion of air that keeps the head at the end of the arm from touching the platter as it spins around. The slightest touch could easily destroy the data contained on the drive.

As is true for anything mechanical, these drives are ultimately subject to failure.

Your car doesn’t last forever, and neither do storage drives. The drive’s motor might burn out, the arm might stop working, and many other complications can arise to make the hard drive inaccessible and cause the data stored upon it to follow suit. Everything you do makes the hard drive read and write data, so the stability of your drive is crucial to you.

In fairness, there are also SSD drives that store data without any moving parts. This makes them a little hardier, but these drives can fail, too.

Each day, we trust these devices with our data. Your workstation or laptop may have a couple in it, and the server you rely on almost certainly has many more. Some of us have external hard drives to help us move our data around. If these hard drives are mechanical, all of your data could be lost very, very easily.

So, the question we have to ask is…

Why on Earth Would You EVER Rely on a Single Hard Drive?

There is no gentle way to put it. If you only have one copy of your data that’s stored on a lone hard drive, it is at extreme risk. A single issue could happen, and it could all be gone.

On the other hand, it has also never been easier to prevent data loss. At 415 IT, we regularly help businesses establish and manage backup solutions that have been tested and proven to be trustworthy. That way, you can know that your data is safe and accessible, regardless of the circumstances. This involves storing at least one extra copy of your data elsewhere in the office on a separate device, as well as an additional offsite copy—usually in the cloud—that protects it from just about anything chance could throw at it.

Find out more about implementing a backup solution by giving us a call at (415) 295-4898.

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