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Talkin’ Tech: Storage

Understanding the terms associated with network storage is the first step to making sure your critical data is protected

Storage may not be top of mind for many small businesses, but it should be. Small businesses are built on data—intellectual property, financial records, marketing materials, and more—and losing that data can cost your company in lost revenue, reputation, and customers. Your company’s continued success depends on protecting that business-critical information.

In this installment of our Talkin’ Tech series, we define key terms to help you understand the basics of network storage so you ensure your data’s protected in the event of a disaster.

Storage Glossary

  • Backup and restore: The manual or automatic process of making a duplicate copy of data on a different storage medium and then recovering lost data in the event of a system (hardware or software) failure.
  • Direct-attached storage (DAS): As opposed to network-attached storage (NAS) [see below], a storage device, such as an external USB drive, is connected directly to an individual server or PC and cannot be accessed from other servers.
  • Disaster recovery: A plan for duplicating and recovering computer systems—applications and data—critical to running your business in the event of a catastrophe.
  • Failover: A backup operation that automatically switches to a standby device in the event the primary system fails or is temporarily shut down for maintenance.
  • Network-attached storage (NAS): A server dedicated to file sharing and delivering data to users, and provides an efficient way to centralize and protect critical business information.
  • Redundancy: Having a secondary storage device that takes over if the primary unit fails (see “failover” above).
  • Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID): A category of disk drives that use two or more drives for fault tolerance and allows you to store the same data in multiple places and allows you to store the same data on multiple drives, so your data is protected even if one or more drives fail. There are a variety of RAID levels, from Level 0 to Level 10 and RAID 0+1.
  • Storage virtualization: Combines multiple network storage devices, such as network-attached storage (NAS) units into a single, virtual storage resource and allows you to assign any storage resource to any user regardless of its location on the network.

Is there a term we didn’t include that you’d like defined? Or a technology category you’d like us to focus on in the future? Let us know!

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