March 1, 2013
ECE Professor and Associate Data Storage Systems Center Director James Bain has two important messages for the modern computer user: back up your data and plan to move it from time to time if you want it 40 years from now.
During a broadcast in February, Bain instructed KDKA-TV's John Shumway and the CBS affiliate's viewers that the best way to preserve important data on your personal computer is to back it up in at least two places, including the cloud.
Bain went on to discuss how much storage a typical user might need and the importance of periodically upgrading your storage as the industry changes. He noted that the version backed up in the cloud is migrated automatically. "They are constantly upgrading their hardware. So behind the scenes, you've got banks of thousands and thousands of hard drives," he said.
"Most of the manufacturers of disc drives will specify that they will last for 10 years. That is their designed lifetime. They don't anticipate that these things are going to be around for 40 years and still readable." he said. "Thus, for copies stored at home, you need to plan to move your data to a new device every five to 10 years"
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