Skip to content
Home » Digital Storage and Backups

Digital Storage and Backups

Digital Tape Stack

There was a time when protecting information was a lot simpler. Files (mostly paper) were easily stored in basic reinforced concrete vault systems. Increasingly, most of today’s vital corporate information is stored in electronic format. While these formats make the storage of operational and archival information much more compact and efficient, most storage media are extremely fragile. They require precise levels of environmental control when stored. In fact, when exposed to extreme heat, those same concrete vaults that once protected paper files will create steam, destroying any magnetic or digital data.

Today, protecting and easily retrieving critical information assets are absolute requirements for businesses to survive, despite the odds in today’s marketplace. According to recent statistics, 71% of companies whose data processing facility is destroyed by fire or other disasters never recover from the loss, or fail within three years.

FIRELOCK® vault systems are specifically-designed to protect magnetic media and other electronic storage systems by securing the vault chamber environment and preventing excessive temperatures from jeopardizing the integrity of the media being stored. FIRELOCK® vaults are engineered to address the challenges presented by today’s technologies, corporate facilities, and ways of doing business.

Media Vault

Climate Control Issues
The Digital Dilemma
Many people fail to realize that computer media is not permanent. Things like tape backups, CD-ROMs and other media last only about five to eight years if they are not stored in the proper environmental conditions. Microfilm is also susceptible to damage from improper storage environments. Temperature and humidity need to be precisely controlled for diazo and silver halide film and they should be isolated from each other as well as from computer media or other source material that may produce gasses that result in degradation and cause redox blemishing.
  • Digital media breaks down in 5 to 8 years if not protected properly.
  • Concrete vaults destroy digital media when high temperatures force steam into the vault chamber.
It is important to understand that in these times, there is a need for contextual protection in addition to protection of the information in its entirety. In terms of the possible legal consequences, the loss of even a part of your business information due to improper storage could be damaging, to say nothing of the reproduction costs associated with returning your digital information to a useable condition.

Unfortunately, these issues are compounded by the fact that even businesses that understand the need to protect their data mistakenly assume that concrete vaults that protect paper documents will also protect digital media. This just is not the case. In a fire, a concrete vault will fill with steam as a result of the breakdown in the cement bond in the concrete, meaning the atmosphere inside of the vault will reach 212°F and 100% relative humidity. While such conditions may be acceptable for paper, digital media is damaged at temperatures greater than 125°F and relative humidity above 80%.