Evolution of Backup Devices
Backup is basically the act of copying databases or files, in order that their appended copies can be restored during an event of a data loss accident. Hence, the first two aspects having connection with backup can be accentuated to be: arsenals for your backup media and storage media for your data. The next substantial aspect is the increasing essentiality in backup generated by the advancement of computer technologies and expansion of data volumes.
Data backup and storage needs have greatly evolved over the years postulating the need for the evolution of data storage devices and methods. The demands for the versatility of storage devices as well as higher storage capacity and also the demand for storage devices that are technologically advanced have become apparent. Let us now take a closer look at the evolution of backup methods and devices.
Punch cards are the oldest form of data storage which date back to 1725 and was found by Basile Bouchon when he made use of a loop of perforated paper to store patterns that had to be used on clothes. These storage types necessarily conform to the definition of backup, as the excess copies of punch cards were used to restore data in an event of a loss.
Though punch cards were being used for more than 200 years in different areas of expertise, but they were in fact of low capacity, slow and required a lot of time, devices and efforts for processing. Hence, those storage devices were eventually replaced by more capable and more efficient magnetic tapes. Magnetic tapes were first used in the 1950s by IBM to store their data. As one roll of magnetic tape could store data as much as 10000 punch cards, the device became instantly popular by the mid 1980s.
The first hard drive was introduced by IBM in the year 1956, called IBM 305 RAMAC. These devices could store up to 4.4MB of data and are still a product under continuous development.
The first floppy disk was introduced in the year 1969, as an 8 inch read-only disk that could store 80kB of data. After four years, a floppy disk of the same size that could store 256kB of data was developed, which was rewritable. The trend has remained the same since then: smaller floppy disks with higher capacity for data storage. These storage devices were also considered as a progressive media for transferring data from one system to another.
CD-R/RW and DVD
Despite the floppy disks had been beneficial to small businesses as well as home users who required backups, their capacity was relatively low. This issue was solved by introducing the next generation of storage media – CD-Recordable (CD-R) and CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) drives. Today, a typical CD can store about 700MB of data. A Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) is fundamentally a CD that utilizes a distinct type of laser technology that makes the storage of large amount of data on the same capacity of storage possible.
The next generation of backup devices is portable USB storage flash drives which were invented in the year 1998. These backup devices have gained immense popularity since their invention. Even the smallest size flash drives can store much more data than other traditional backup devices. Taking into consideration the power, cost-effectiveness, and size of these devices, it is no wonder they form a vital part of the backup market.
Cloud Storage or Online Backup Solutions
Most global and local networks make use of remote computer storage for backing up your critical data. Most people have started to backup their files on an offsite vault in order to protect them against disasters or other site-specific issues.
How Does Cloud Storage Work?
A cloud storage system requires only one data server that is connected to the internet. You send copies of your files over the internet to the data server that documents your information. Whenever you wish to retrieve any information, you can simply access the server by way of a web-based interface. The server will then send the requested information back to you or will allow you to access and make changes in your files on the server itself. A cloud storage system usually depends on several numbers of data servers. It is important that you store your files on multiple machines, as computers may require sudden repair or maintenance. This method is referred to as redundancy. Redundancy is the only aspect of cloud storage that enables you to access your files whenever you need. Also, if you use a cloud storage service to store your data, you do not have to worry about lack of storage space at all.
Time to Move to the Cloud
For some computer users, finding adequate storage space to keep all their valuable data is quite a challenge. While some users invest in bigger hard drives, others invest in external storage devices such as compact discs and thumb drives. Those computer users who are desperate might delete whole folders with their old files in order to empty the space for storing new information. But, some wise people have started to prefer a flourishing trend: cloud storage. Apparently, cloud storage has various benefits over traditional data storage. For instance, if you store your data on a cloud storage system, you will be able to access the data from anywhere, any time and on any device with just an internet connection. You do not have to carry with you a physical storage device or use the same computer to store and restore your files. You can also convert your personal project into a collaborative one by sharing your files and folders with your colleagues. Hence, cloud storage service is the most convenient option and offers more flexibility.