Traditionally, data files and TIF files resulting for digitization processes have been kept in external hard drives. Communities around digital preservation are well aware of the fact that storing is not preserving. Information is affected by multiple risks and losses caused by this practice are huge.
Nevertheless, Alvin Cox, an investigator from Seagate has published a paper that confirms what we are already finding out in our customers : SSD disks (solid state disks, which are becoming more and more common) are uncapable of retaining all the information, when stored at room temperature, while information tends to degrade at an alarming rate when temperature increases.
According to this paper a high quality grade disk (business grade) stored at 35ºC will lose data in less than 6 months. For each 5ºC of temperature reduction the period of time during which the data are kept will be duplicated, but still will be much lower to the one we were used with traditional disks.
Periods of time guaranteed by consumer grade disks manufacturer (the ones which we usually find in external disks) are much lower, having retention periods of 3 months in most cases. Nevertheless some Organisms such as JEDEC awarn about data corruption after only one week.
If we don´t want to put at risk our information, we must have a digital preservation process in our organisation. Meanwhile, if we want to store our information in external disconnected disks we should avoid SSD disks.
libnova and our integrators can help to migrate all your daya currently kept in external hard disks or tapes to a system which will guarantee the long term surivival of your information.