And more importantly, why is it so important to you?
Read any article about computers, or have any discussion with anyone involved with computers and you will come across a variety of terms relating to storage & backup. These will include, backup, storage, data synchronisation, NAS (or Network Attached Storage), USB/Firewire Storage and cloud storage.
All of these relate to where you keep copies of your data, or more simply your files such as text documents and spreadsheets, databases, email, contacts, pictures, music, etc. Basically, anything that is on your computer that is important to you.
For now, don’t get tied up in what constitutes your data, in this article we are going to concentrate on what you do with it.
First some definitions (according to Keith):
Data – all of the files, databases, email, photos, music etc that are stored on your computer and are important to you for any number of reasons.
Data Storage – hard disks, CDs/DVDs, thumb drives, NAS, etc that contain your data. These can be in your computer, attached to your computer or on your network (e.g. Network Attached Storage or NAS for short).
Data Sychronisation – the process of ensuring that ‘live’ copies of data stored on various PCs, on external devices or in the cloud are identical. Often used when you have a desktop & a laptop. (Note ‘live’ = data you are currently working on, today, tomorrow or whatever).
Data Backups – secure & safe snapshots of your data stored in a safe place, preferably off-site. These are used to recover your data in case of emergencies
The Cloud – for all intense and purposes, the Internet.
Cloud Storage – storage for your data in “the cloud”.
Cloud Backup – a backup system for your data in “the cloud”.
Archiving – The removal of “old” (i.e. not ‘live’) data from storage (see above) to a safe place such as a fire proof safe. Examples of this may be data related to a completed project. You may require access to the data at a later date for various reasons such as compliance regulations. Archiving can be used to recover storage space or just to tidy up your storage (it can be tricky sorting through a thousand projects looking for a specific one).
OK, now we’ve got that out of the way, lets get started. [Read more…]