Secondary storage does not directly interact with a computer application and operates outside of the direct control of a computer CPU. Secondary storage devices are typically backup versions of primary storage data and can include formats such as external hard drives or cloud backup applications. In a business setting, older storage technology such as tape libraries or storage area network are also used.
Other types of secondary storage devices sometimes found in a business setting include a storage area network array, network-attached storage and object storage devices. Extra storage and backup space is crucial to relieve the demand on any existing primary storage. So much data is typically stored at the corporate level that secondary storage is no longer optional. Older data can be easily stored in secondary storage and still be accessed easily whenever the need arises.
The storage devices for data in secondary storage are typically slightly outdated when compared to primary storage data. When backups are done manually rather than systematically, the discrepancy of data may be significant. Secondary storage devices are also typically of slightly lower specifications as they are not required to have the performance or the price tag required of a primary storage center.