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Behind all their added value, specialized storage systems are built on software and general-purpose computing components that can all fail. Some failures have an immediate visible impact, such as the total failure of a disk drive. Other failures are subtle and hidden, such as a software bug that causes latent file system corruption that is only discovered at read time. To ensure data integrity in the face of such failures, the best storage systems include various data integrity checks and are generally optimized for performance and systems availability, not data invulnerability. In the final analysis, they assume that backups get done, and make design tradeoffs that favor speed over guaranteed data recoverability.
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