Data corruption is the unintended modification of a file or the losing of information that usually occurs during reading or writing. The reason may be hardware or software malfunction, and because of this, a file may become partially or entirely corrupted, so it'll no longer function correctly because its bits will be scrambled or lost. An image file, for example, will no longer display a real image, but a random mix of colors, an archive will be impossible to unpack as its content will be unreadable, and so on. If such a problem appears and it is not identified by the system or by an administrator, the data will be corrupted silently and if this happens on a disk drive which is a part of a RAID array where the data is synchronized between various different drives, the corrupted file shall be replicated on all other drives and the damage will be long term. Numerous popular file systems either do not have real-time checks or do not have high quality ones which will detect a problem before the damage is done, so silent data corruption is a very common problem on web hosting servers where huge amounts of data are kept.
No Data Corruption & Data Integrity in Semi-dedicated Hosting
You won't experience any silent data corruption issues whatsoever if you obtain one of our semi-dedicated hosting plans due to the fact that the ZFS file system that we take advantage of on our cloud hosting platform uses checksums in order to guarantee that all the files are intact at all times. A checksum is a unique digital fingerprint that is assigned to each and every file saved on a server. Because we store all content on multiple drives at the same time, the same file uses the same checksum on all the drives and what ZFS does is that it compares the checksums between the different drives right away. In case it detects that a file is corrupted and its checksum is different from what it has to be, it replaces that file with a healthy copy without delay, avoiding any possibility of the bad copy to be synchronized on the remaining hard disks. ZFS is the only file system out there that uses checksums, which makes it much more reliable than other file systems which are not able to detect silent data corruption and copy bad files across hard drives.