Backup Mass Data Storage Devices

By: Roland Jefferson

The huge amount of data stored on computers at home and in businesses, combined with the need to protect the files from disaster, has resulted in the need for backup mass data storage. Often when backups are full of copies of a network with increments of file changes, the backup is even larger than the originals. Because the data needs vary greatly, so do the backup mass data storage devices that meet them.

All Shapes and Sizes

Large businesses often store backups on tape devices. Sometimes the entire network is copied at regular intervals and the tapes are stored and then reused. Sometimes the network is copied, and then supplemented with taped copies of only the changes made since the last copy was completed. The copies have to be made at times when the network is not being used, and the tapes have to be stored carefully and replaced before they become worn. Other backup mass data storage devices use discs such as CD's or DVD's. The procedure is similar to that used with tapes. Because tape reels can hold more data, the discs have to be changed manually as they become full. Compression is used to fit more data on each device. For individual files, or those on a home computer, a zip drive may be sufficient to compress the data for storage.

USB devices often serve as backup mass data storage devices. External hard drives can backup all of the programs on a computer hard drive with or without the data files. It acts as a mirror of the existing hard drive and can restore a damaged computer easily. Flash memory devices are good options for both permanent storage and portable storage. The USB Implementers Forum has come up with a standardized set of communications protocols for backup mass data storage using USB. This ensures that all devices whether for external storage, digital cameras or cell phones will work with the USB port on a computer regardless of the manufacturer. This includes the operating systems of most computers.

The need for backup mass data storage devices began with large businesses like banks and stock exchanges, and has now filtered down to small businesses and home computers. The important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that otherwise irreplaceable files are backed up for protection. Whether the files consist of credit card numbers for thousands of customers or the first photos of someone's grandchild, backup mass data storage devices can be lifesavers.

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