What is ECC RAM?

Zettabyte.

No, it's not the name of the latest Fortnite skin!

It's a term used to measure the amount of global internet traffic and storage capacity for all that data. One zettabyte equals nearly a billion terabytes. It's a trillion gigabytes. And if you're still having trouble picturing that huge number, it's a 1 followed by 21 zeroes (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

The bottom line is that it's a lot of data. That much data has the potential to be vulnerable to corruption. The majority of this is in the form of memory errors.

Every company that deals with even a small piece of that zettabyte, needs to protect their high-quality data.

That's where ECC RAM memory comes in. Let's take a look at why it's something that has become a necessity in data storage.

What Causes Memory Errors

Before we discuss how ECC RAM works, let's look at the issues it helps alleviate.

There are multiple factors that cause interference within a computer system or network. These complications result in memory errors. A single-bit error is the most common, of which there are 2 types: hard and soft errors.

The causes of hard errors include:

  • dramatic temperature fluctuations

  • voltage stresses

  • the mishandling of hardware that leads to damage

  • shock due to impact

  • manufacturing defects

Soft errors involve data corruption of a bit's electrical charge. This happens during the reading or the writing process. Suggestions on why this occurs include:

  • electromagnetic charges emitted from the computer

  • fluctuating flow of electricity

  • magnetic variances

  • naturally occurring emissions of alpha particles

All of these potential corruptions are external. Which means the majority of them cannot be planned for. This is the main reason ECC memory systems are extremely popular.

What is ECC RAM?

ECC stands for "error correcting code." The name almost gives away what it does.

ECC RAM is a type of memory used in a computer that is different from traditional RAM memory.

RAM memory consists of a bank of 8 memory chips. The ECC type has a 9th chip. When a hard or soft error occurs a random bit of memory flips. The sole purpose of the extra chip is to detect those flips.

Why is ECC a necessity?

Just as the name says -- error correcting code -- this type of memory first detects, then corrects.

Anytime a data corruption occurs there are many unfortunate outcomes. It can lead to security issues because data becomes more vulnerable.

It results in lost transactions, which could mean lost revenue. It may lead to large amounts of lost data. And worst of all, a complete system failure -- network crash.

Losses, corruptions, exposure to security breaches, and other harmful errors are lessened, if not eliminated by ECC RAM Memory.

Protect Your Data

Any company that relies on digital data (that just about covers everyone!) deals with the threat of data corruption.

To make sure your server doesn't crash or your app runs flawlessly, having the correct type of RAM makes a huge difference.

When you are considering a service you want one that brags about uptime and rarely verbalizes the word downtime. You want to look for a hosting service that offers you the best worry-free experience possible. And that's one that relies on the preventative function of ECC.

To stay up-to-date on how to make the most of your server join our Insider Access Club.

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