What Does Persistence Mean?

Persistence refers to object and process characteristics that continue to exist even after the process that created it ceases or the machine it is running on is powered off. When an object or state is created and needs to be persistent, it is saved in a non-volatile storage location, like a hard drive, versus a temporary file or volatile random access memory (RAM).


Techopedia Explains Persistence

In terms of data, persistence means an object should not be erased unless it is really meant to be deleted. This entails proper storage and certain measures that allow the data to persist. In terms of computer threads and processes, a persistent process is one that cannot be killed or shut down. This is usually true for core system processes that are essential to a properly functioning system.

For example, even if a Windows operating system (OS) explorer fails or is killed, it simply restarts. A persistent state refers to the retention of that state, even after the process has been killed. In this case, the state is saved in persistent storage before device shutdown and then reloaded when the device turns on, ensuring that the device, workspace or data are in the same state after turning on the device.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…