Frequently asked questions-Disk Hardware FAQDisk hardware best practices <<previous|next>> :Why do enterprise storage arrays cost so much when hard drives are so cheap?
What advice do you have for long-term storage of disk drives and other media?
Still, there are some common tactics that can help. Keep your hard drives in a climate controlled environment within an acceptable temperature and humidity range. Also, protect the drives from electrostatic discharge (ESD) and vibration -- this is normally done in their packaging, but it's important to prevent ESD, physical shock and excessive vibration when the drives are removed for storage.
All magnetic storage media has a finite life because magnetic fields start to decay as soon as they are written. This means a tape or drive will not retain its data forever. In a proper storage environment, it's reasonable to expect that the drive should remain readable for up to 10 years. The concern is more about the drive's mechanical reliability; will it physically spin up? After a very long period of disuse, the spindle bearings or head actuator may be stiff, resulting in read/write errors. These considerations are particularly important for long-term archival storage systems, as well as the new class of removable hard-disk drives that are now appearing from ProStor Systems Inc., Imation Corp., Quantum Corp. and Iomega Corp.
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08 May 2007