Information Technology Reference
that it will preserve data for a century or more, no one knows for sure,
because it hasn't been around that long yet.
As long as you periodically move your active backup data to new media
(or restart your backups on fresh media) every few years or so, you
shouldn't have to worry about media degradation. But if you want to
keep archives of data that's no longer on your computer (and no longer
being backed up actively)—and especially if you want that data to be
readable decades in the future—you should take special care with it.
Here are some suggestions:
If you store your archives locally, then whatever media you use
for them, store it in a cool, dry, dark place. At least once every five
years, copy the archives onto new media.
Alternatively, consider using a cloud service (for example,
CrashPlan) for long-term storage. Cloud services make redundant
copies of your data, monitor data integrity and drive health, and
routinely upgrade hardware as necessary. Of course, you'll pay for
this service, but it's a more reliable way than local storage to ensure
that your data continues to be readable for a long time to come.
Regardless of how you store archives, verify them (by attempting to
restore a few random files) at least once a year
If you intend for your data to outlive you, make sure your loved ones
know where your archives are stored, how to access them, and how
to maintain them.