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Disk-based data protection (DDP) is data backup technology that uses hard disk storage hardware to maintain backup copies of systems, thus enabling data recovery after a data or hardware failure in a live system.
DDP systems can offer continuous data protection, near-coninuous data protection, and incremental or restrospective backups depending on the equipment and software being used.
Disk-based data protection is also known as a disk-based backup system.
Computer systems are only as robust as the hardware they operate on - all of which are subject to varying risks of failure. Of all devices used in computer systems, the two main items that have mechanical components are cooling fans and disk drive units, both of which wear out on a known duty cycle but also can fail for any number of reasons. Failure of either of these units can cause a catastrophic failure. Fan failure causes overheating inside computers and hard disk storage units and can lead to data corruption before failure occurs. In addition, data errors can be induced by problems, such as power fluctuations and component tolerance failure. Finally, servers or an entire data center can be lost as a result of a fire or natural disaster. This is why data centers may choose to remotely back up their data, rather than on-site.
Disk-based data protection may be provided in a number of ways to minimize the risk of exposure to data corruption or loss. Physically, DDP involves on-site or off-site disk storage units that constantly back up data as it passes through the disk controller or the data layers of an application. They usually require software that controls the operation of the disk storage units, although some are built into the hardware, as is the case of some mirrored RAID servers.
A service may be run under the operating system (OS) to copy every disk read and write to a remote disk storage unit. This unit can store the data compressed, encrypted or in a RAID configuration to maintain either a timed or live backup. Usually, these backups are immediately accessible, allowing either real-time data integrity assurance or a rapid restoration based on a timed or incremental backup policy.
DDP may use a number of technologies, including continuous data protection (CDP), disk mirroring, encryption, compression, RAID devices, cyclic redundancy checking and many other proprietary data storage and backup mechanisms. Online storage services have increased in popularity, providing off-site, disk-based data protection that is network based (often via the Internet) and uses third-party storage equipment.