Data storage: but what is it?

Data storage is the set of methods and technologies for storing and preserving digital information. Find out everything you need to know about it: definition, operation, different media…

By 2025, according to IDC, the volume of data generated by humanity will increase fivefold to 163 zettabytes. As a direct result, our need for storage space will increase drastically. Not only will it be necessary to increase the capacity of existing media, but also to invent new ones.

In the near future, perhaps we will store the data in powder form or in synthetic DNA. However, before such innovations come to fruition, it seems an opportune time to review the basics. So, data storage, what’s that?

Data Storage: Definition

data storage definition

Data storage refers to all the methods and technologies used to store digital data. It concerns all the different types of media. Examples of well-known media include hard disks, flash media, floppy disks and SSDs.

It can be used by individuals (photos, documents, music…). Companies, they collect and generate huge volumes of data. The rise of Big Data and IoT connected objects has caused a sharp increase in the volume of data worldwide. In fact, this leads to new capacity requirements.

Now, modern systems must allow the use of artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. for the collection, analysis and use of data. Similarly, real-time database analysis tools have contributed to the emergence of high-density scalable systems such as converged infrastructures, NAS, or object storage platforms.

Data storage: how does it work?

This technique is based on writing digital information to the target medium via the use of software commands. The the smallest unit of measure is the bitEight bits form a byte.

The other units of measurement, in ascending orderare kilobit, megabit, gigabit, terabit, petabit, exabit. We can also mention the kilobyte (1024 bytes), the megabyte (1024 KB), and so on with the gigabyte, the terabyte, the petabyte and the exabyte.

What are the different media and technologies?

media data storage

There is a many different storage mediawhich are distinguished in particular by their capacity and speed. Among the most widely used are the hard disk drive (HDD), solid-state storage (SDD), optical storage (CD, DVD, Blu-ray disks, etc.) and cassette.

We can also mention flash memory cardsThese include digital cameras and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. USB sticks are also based on flash memory technology.

From many companies use NAS systems integrated allowing them to collect and manage large volumes of data. These systems include servers equipped with hard disks, NAND SSDs or flash drives and an OS entirely dedicated to this practice. The majority install storage racks. They allow to add many hard disks.

In the same way, online storage relies on remote infrastructures. Typically, companies install SSDs and hard drives in data centers that host all files and applications. With online storage, vendors offer services that accelerate access to information and reduce the cost of IT infrastructure. This requires establishing strong connections and managing not only device security, but also network security.

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