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Data availability is the process of ensuring that data is available to end users and applications, when and where they need it. It defines the degree or extent to which data is readily usable along with the necessary IT and management procedures, tools and technologies required to enable, manage and continue to make data available.
Data availability is primarily used to create service level agreements (SLA) and similar service contracts, which define and guarantee the service provided by third-party IT service providers. Typically, data availability calls for implementing products, services, policies and procedures that ensure that data is available in normal and even in disaster recovery operations. This is usually done by implementing data/storage redundancy, data security, network optimization, data security and more. Storage area networks (SAN), network attached storage and RAID-based storage systems are popular storage management technologies for ensuring data availability.