Jargon-buster

  • Backup: The copying of files or data in case of an equipment failure or physical disaster, backup is most often a daily (or nightly) task at small and large businesses. The job of retrieving files you have backed up is called restoring them.
  • Direct-attached storage: Sometimes referred to as DAS, this is storage hardware that connects to a single server. In computing, direct-attached storage is in fact a term to differentiate non-networked storage from a storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS).
  • Hard disk: A hard disk is the part of a disk drive (hard drive) responsible for storing and providing access to any data. A hard disk is a set of stacked disks, and data is recorded electromagnetically on each in “tracks” on the disk. One head records (writes) or reads the information on the tracks. Two heads, one on each side of a disk, read or write the data as the disk spins.
  • Network-attached storage (NAS): NAS refers to storage elements that connect to a computer network and provide file access services to computers. NAS elements may be attached to any type of network. Almost all NAS systems are computing-storage devices that can be accessed over a computer network (usually TCP/IP), rather than directly being connected to the computer (using a computer bus like SCSI). This lets multiple computers share the same storage space at once. NAS systems usually contain one or more hard disks, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays.
  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks; originally redundant array of inexpensive disks): A way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks so users’ I/O (input/output) operations can overlap in a balanced way, which will lead to improved performance.
  • Storage area networks (SANs): A SAN is a high-speed, special-purpose network (or sub-network) that interconnects multiple types of storage devices and their associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users. Most often, a storage area network is part of an overall network of computers and other resources for an enterprise.

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