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Backup your digital photos part 2 - it's a RAID!

As our collections of digital photos steadily increase, the question of storage and backup becomes ever more important. After all, once we format our memory cards our computers often contain the only copy we have of many precious memories. Should fire, flood or theft take your system, you stand to lose these photos forever.

  Ever-increasing folders of digital photos
 

Making regular backups of your photos (along with other crucial files) is of course the answer and in our previous article, Backup Your Photos Part 1, we discussed several solutions to cope with collections which could measure tens of Gigabytes. An important consideration is portability, as a backup should always be kept in a different location – after all, few thieves or natural disasters are considerate enough to take your main computer but leave the backup intact.
 
But while fire, flood and theft are the most common reasons for backing-up, hard disk failure can be equally devastating. You could have the most secure home or office in the world, safe from thieves or natural disaster, but still stand to lose everything should your hard disk fail. And it will at some point, as all hard disks have a finite lifespan.

Backups can of course again save the day, but they’re only as good as the last time you made them, and that could be yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. Luckily there are technologies in place which constantly backup your data and protect your computer from the nightmare of disk failure. In this second part of Backup Your Photos we’ll reveal all.

Buffalo TeraStation external NAS storage appliance  
 

To find out how best to protect your data, simply take a leaf from the techniques long-employed by mission-critical corporate and web servers to keep them running 24-7. One of the most popular and effective technologies they use to combat disk failure is called RAID and the latest affordable versions mean homes and small businesses can enjoy the same kind of protection as the largest corporate web servers.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) hard Disks, and employs two or more hard disks working together as a single storage ‘array’. This allows the storage array to deliver greater reliability, increased performance, or even a combination of both. The great thing is this technology takes place behind the scenes and as far as you’re concerned, you simply have a new place to store files which is more secure and often quicker than your normal hard disk.

To find out how RAID can save your data, turn to Backup your digital photos Part 2 Page 2...


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