Friday, March 9, 2012

Data Storage- How to choose your storage requirement?

Most of us take data for granted till our PC crashes and we start worrying of losing precious data – mails, docs, excel sheets, business plans, holiday pictures, song collection and movies…so on.  The idea is not to scare you here but to get you thinking on how to safeguard your precious data.  One of the best ways of storing data would be an external hard disk drive.  

Hard disk drives are of two types – Mechanical (Hard disk drives) and Solid State (Solid state drives)

Hard disk drives is the traditional drives that run most of the PCs today that works with the help of disks running on a spindle.  The RPM (rotations per minute) and the onboard cache memory decide the through-put of the hard disk drive.  The risk of such drives is the possibility of the disk crashing or refusing to spin, which can occur anytime anywhere without any rhyme or reason. Having said that the technology on hard disk drives has evolved so much so that it is one of the most reliable storage media widely used.  Therefore, as a first level of backup of your data you can look at carrying a personal USB based External hard disk drive.  These are sleek USB powered hard drives that will work seamlessly on a MAC or PC available in different colors to meet your personal color tastes though black is the most sought after color.  The capacities recommended is either a 500 GigaByte or 1TeraByte considering the average size of pictures, movies and data stored by an average user.  Brands suggested are Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Sony, Buffalo etc…all available on

SSD drives are the new form of high performance hard drives found in high end sleek laptops like the Mac Book Air or Ultrabooks running Windows.  They are now found in the external form factors interfaced using USB.  They do not have any moving parts hence considered more reliable and are the elder brothers of flash drives or pen drives.  They are available in capacities of 32, 64 and 128 GB.  Though priced very high, these are relatively more reliable for storing confidential data.  Available brands are Sandisk, Kingston, Transcend etc on

NAS or Network Attached Storage is the third option one should look at for backing up data as a secondary storage at office or at home.   These storage devices can carry multiple hard drives and can be scaled up in capacity at will.  They incorporate RAID (redundant array of independent drives) features making it more reliable.  For example, data on one drive can be mirrored onto another drive within the NAS and in the event of a drive failing, data can still be retrieved from the mirrored drive effortlessly.  The other benefit of such drives is one can archive data wirelessly over the network or even over the internet.  The popular brands to look for are Seagate and Buffalo on

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