Data corruption is the unintended modification of a file or the loss of information which usually occurs during reading or writing. The reason could be hardware or software malfunction, and for that reason, a file could become partially or fully corrupted, so it will no longer work properly as its bits shall be scrambled or lacking. An image file, for example, will no longer display a true image, but a random mix of colors, an archive will be impossible to unpack because its content will be unreadable, etcetera. In case such a problem appears and it's not recognized by the system or by an administrator, the data will become corrupted silently and in case this happens on a drive that's a part of a RAID array where the data is synchronized between various drives, the corrupted file will be copied on all the other drives and the damage will become long term. Numerous popular file systems either don't feature real-time checks or don't have high quality ones that can detect a problem before the damage is done, so silent data corruption is a very common issue on internet hosting servers where substantial volumes of information are kept.
No Data Corruption & Data Integrity in Web Hosting
We have dealt with the matter of silent data corruption on our web hosting servers by using the hi-tech Z file system, or ZFS. The latter is more advanced than other file systems since it is the only one on the market which checks all the files immediately by using a checksum - a digital identifier that is unique for every single file. When you upload content to your account, it will be stored on several SSD drives and regularly synchronized between them for redundancy. ZFS constantly compares the checksum of all files and when any file is detected as damaged, it is replaced promptly with a good copy from some other disk. As this happens in real time, there's no risk that a damaged file may remain or may be duplicated on the other SSDs. ZFS needs lots of physical memory in order to perform the real-time checks and the advantage of our cloud web hosting platform is that we use multiple very powerful servers working together. If you host your sites with us, your data will be intact no matter what.
No Data Corruption & Data Integrity in Semi-dedicated Hosting
We've avoided any possibility of files getting corrupted silently because the servers where your semi-dedicated hosting account will be created employ a powerful file system known as ZFS. Its key advantage over other file systems is that it uses a unique checksum for each and every file - a digital fingerprint that is checked in real time. As we store all content on a number of SSD drives, ZFS checks whether the fingerprint of a file on one drive corresponds to the one on the rest of the drives and the one it has stored. If there is a mismatch, the damaged copy is replaced with a good one from one of the other drives and considering that it happens right away, there is no chance that a damaged copy could remain on our website hosting servers or that it can be duplicated to the other drives in the RAID. None of the other file systems include such checks and in addition, even during a file system check after an unexpected blackout, none of them will detect silently corrupted files. In comparison, ZFS does not crash after a blackout and the regular checksum monitoring makes a lenghty file system check obsolete.