Bit rot is the slow deterioration in the performance and integrity of data stored on
storage media. It is also known by the names bit decay, data rot, data decay
and silent corruption.
Storage array vendors are aware of bit rot and build their products to identify flaws in disks
before they place them in arrays, and then monitor disks in production to detect rot before it
becomes a problem.
While the frequency of bit rot in data is typically low, it can be increased by wear, dust or
other contaminants, background radiation and instances of high heat. To guard against bit rot,
administrators should periodically go through stored data and compare it to a known copy.
See also: erasure
coding, Resilient File System (ReFS)
Contributor(s): Kim Hefner
This was last updated in April 2014
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