Data Storage in the Digital Era
The internet has changed the way we store and share information, bothfor individuals and businesses alike. No longer do we need to keep physical copies of our work by using paper and folders, instead we now store most information under the digital form which we can share across the world in an instant. This rise of the new data storage methods does however mean that we are more reliant on technology, and we need to make sure we use the right methods in order to avoid incidents of data loss. The consequences of data loss will of course have a different impact depending on whether we are a business or just an individual.
Most people now use their computers in order to store their personal files. Those can often vary from word documents to the occasional spreadsheet, going through pictures and personal videos. A lot of text documents will often take the form of word .docx files, or even .txt files, whilst spreadsheets will often be .xlsx files which can be used with the Microsoft Office suite. On the other end, pictures will often take the form of .jpg or .png files, whilst video files will vary from the .avi to the .mp4 format.
One of the best data storage solutions for individuals is to use an external hard drive as a way to create backups of our files. The hard drive can be plugged into our computer via USB and we can use it to regularly copy our files onto, making sure we have spares of our files in case our computerâ€™s main operating hard drive decides to give up on us.
Another easy method for individuals to store their data is to use cloud computing services such as Google Drive. Those services allow us to store online copies of our files, ensuring that we can access them from any computer which is connected to the internet. Of course we will still need to have the right credentials to be able to access our cloud services, meaning that they are not only practical but also safe to use.
Businesses have greater data storage needs than individuals do. This is because the running of a business often implies having to create a lot of data and documents. As well as using a lot of text files and spreadsheets, businesses need to store a lot of communication data such as emails; which are essential to keep as they contain a lot of important information which often need to be recalled onto. Furthermore, different businesses will produce different types of data depending on the nature of the said business. For example, an engineering company will often keep many project files which are under specific tailor made formats, whilst a graphic design company might need to keep a lot of photographic and artistic materials as well as project files such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign project files.
When it comes to businesses, RAID is probably the best and safest method of data storage and data sharing. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, it is a method which basically uses multiple hard drives as a storage method. Not only is the data spread but it is also duplicated across those drives. This means that if one of the drives in the array decides to fail, the other drives will still contain spare copies of the data, ensuring that we do not lose our precious data. RAID is probably the best way for businesses to keep their data in-house, but it does require knowledge to operate. It is also worth noting that it is best to use specialist RAID recovery services if our RAID system does land into any issues, as using unqualified staff to do so will most liekly result in a business losing its data.
Ultimately, choosing the right data storage solution will depend on many factors. Whether we are individuals, a small or big business; our data storage needs will dictate which method of storing data is best suited to us. Furthermore, we obviously have to consider how much we can afford investing into our data storage, and we need to make sure that we have the knowledge to use such methods. Whichever solution we decide to choose, it is important to also consider the human aspect of things; as data storage will still mostly rely on people and staff to run well and efficiently.