Storage options

storage options

1. Introduction

Digital storage devices are inherently unreliable and therefore a backup strategy is vital. This section looks first at some suggested storage strategies and then at backup tools that you might wish to consider.

Essentially, making regular back-ups of your data is a means to protect yourself from accidential (or malicious) data loss. Reasons for data loss occuring include:

  • hardware failure
  • software faults (corrupted data)
  • virus infection 
  • power failure
  • human error

The statistics for data loss are particularly scary.  

  • A hard drive crashes every 15 seconds.
  • One in 5 computers suffer a fatal hard drive crash during their lifetime.
  • 25% of lost data is due to the failure of a portable drive.
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their PC files to events beyond their control.
  • 32% of data loss is caused by human error.
  • 60% of companies that lose their data close down within 6 months of the disaster.

Data Loss Statistics (taken from the SHARD Data Preservation course)

The amount of advice and disccusion online about data loss speaks for itself. For instance, on YouTube the University of Edinburgh Data Library have produced a variety of videos about data management and, in particular, about storage. Look at this video example below, where Edinburgh's Jeff Haywood describes the dangers of data loss.


This and other videos from the University of Edinburgh's Data Library can be found on their Youtube channel here.