You need to manage your storage media at least as well as you manage your records.
Nothing lasts forever, including your data storage media. The process of writing and rewriting data onto storage drives and tapes gradually wears down the surface of the media itself until it can’t store any new information. The result? Data loss, possibly catastrophic.
Option #1: Don’t use rewritable storage media. Drawbacks: It’s expensive and requires much more storage space.
One option is to use storage media that’s not rewritable, which means you can only save data on it once—it can’t be erased or rewritten on once it has been used. This eliminates the rewritable media degradation problem, but it’s exceedingly expensive to buy media for one-time use. It also means your stockpile of storage media is going to quickly grow far beyond what it needs to be, and you’ll need to store it all to keep your data.
Option #2: Use rewritable media, but manage it to extend its usable life. Drawbacks: The risk of data loss if it’s not done properly.
The more cost-effective alternative (and the option most organizations choose) is to use rewritable media, but handle it in a way that extends its usable life as long as possible. Which means:
- Maintaining a supply of media greater than what you need to store your data
- Tracking how old it is, how many times it has been used and what sections/sectors are seeing the most wear
- Monitoring its storage effectiveness over time, and
- Eventually replacing it on a pre-determined schedule to ensure no data is lost due to media failure
It’s not a simple process, but it works. DeVries can make it easy—we handle the hard parts for you!
There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re managing storage media:
- Documenting when new media is deployed and how often it’s used
- Ensuring wear is evenly distributed on the media itself, and
- Taking old media out of service before it dies
With so many details to follow, tracking it all it isn’t simple, but it can be easy if you have the right systems in place.
DeVries has developed processes for tracking your storage media’s use and performance over time, and for adding new media and retiring the old systematically. We make sure the media we deliver to you to backup your critical data is always in good shape and will do what you need it to do—store your data.
Until storage media comes with an iron-clad lifetime guarantee your data will be preserved, there’s DeVries.
While improvements in technology and our understanding of how storage media works and how long it lasts have helped increase its life expectancy in recent years, it still doesn’t come with a lifetime data protection guarantee. Until it does, the smartest choice is to have someone experienced and knowledgeable, with solid rotation and exchange protocols in place, manage your storage media for you.
Please contact us today to learn more about how DeVries can manage your storage media as efficiently and cost-effectively as we manage your records, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about!
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