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The world of data management has been a tricky one to navigate over the past few years owing to the multitude of data that is being transmitted through a variety of channels. This plethora of data instilled the need for organizations to manage their data in the hopes of applying a sense of coherence in the world of data management. So, this makes organizations look for the best types of data storage devices that can bring more productivity and generate greater benefits to the business.
There’s a wide array of data – all of which requires management. An integral part of which are the devices/mediums used to store data. An opinion that’s gaining popularity nowadays is the usage of cloud devices to manage and store data and ensure its safety. But time has shown us that you can never be too safe.
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This gives rise to the argument that data needs to be available on storage devices that are not only portable but offer users the autonomy to protect/use the data by their particular needs and requirements.
Types Of Data Storage Devices
So, what’s on offer when it comes to storage devices? Let’s find out.
There’s plenty to choose from!
In essence, there are three main categories of storage devices:
All of these came about at different times in the world owing to the changing needs of users across the globe – everyone wanted something different.
The earliest one is a magnetic device, and that is what we will be looking at first:
Back in the day when computers were being introduced as utilities for everyday life. There was also the advent of magnetic storage in the forms of tapes – remember the VHS tapes that we’d spend hours trying to untangle? This was the first form of storage introduction to the world.
Later, came the hard disk drive and then ultimately to the extinct floppy disk.
All magnetic storage devices have the same general process of a reading/writing head magnetizing material. On a hard drive, the materials are magnetized on a glass or aluminum disk. The earlier storage was only capable of storing smaller amounts of data, which gave rise to the need for multiple tapes to back up a mainframe system.
A mainframe system was quite large with few programs and many users. This didn’t do well with computer users. Since, they were still required to store a significant amount of data onto personal computers and floppy disks – all because of limited space.
Imagine all the data is storing on flippy disks that could hold about 360kbs. This was enough for even word-text files but users seem satisfied that they had a medium to store data on.
Soon, this goes with the idea of transitioning magnetic media towards larger capacity portable disks such as the ZIP drive. Now, users could use the option of storing 100-500 MBs worth of data – quite a big jump!
Now with the introduction of internally-mounted hard drives that can hold at least a terabyte of data, the shift is massive. This means that you have enough space to listen to different music for an entire year. Coupled with their portability, these drives have the ability to transport both software and data files everywhere and anywhere.
Optical Storage Devices
A sturdier and damage-resistant device was available into the market – optical devices were written and read using a laser. This made it resistant to most forms of damage and was easier to handle than the floppy disks and drives that were dominating the market back then.
The disks that this storage introduced us to were optical devices like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays; all compact forms of storage that could hold a relatively large amount of data. These were then soon used as mediums of storing videos/music for consumers across the globe – a medium that became quite popular over a period of time.
Semiconductor Storage Devices
Probably the most unheard of but also some of the most used devices. Semiconductor storage devices are around for a long period of time. This silicon chip receives a simple charge to hold the data. And this was the technology that we now see in flash drives, mp3 players, cell phones, and even digital cameras.
In other words, this is the most popular storage media device that has found its way into all facets of data storage.
There are several construction methods where semiconductor technology is in use. So, the output in terms of data storage is almost always different. For RAM chips there’s a huge pool of data that one can store but for flash-drives that might be a little different.
This is the same technology that works in unison with USB technology. Which helps to transfer data at a high-speed through connections that can be available for multiple types of devices. What this enables is portability. A feature that almost all users are looking for when deciding what storage device they intend to utilize.
Cloud Storage Devices
As the internet became more accessible to both businesses and consumers. There began a need to utilize the multiple opportunities at the offer to establish storage grounds and systems that could help contribute to the world of storage.
This form of storage doesn’t quite occupy any “physical” place. Instead, utilizes the internet to store data files. All of which are spread across but also extremely accessible.
In other words, you can’t see where the data is being stored but you know that it’s somewhere in the “cloud” and secure from any physical threats. With multiple servers and a variety of security measures and protocols. This is probably the most used data storage medium during today’s time.
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With the cloud not only do you have the option to store data. But also, work with the data through cloud computing software’s that enables users to interact in real-time with the data. Such a win-win situation.
There isn’t any limit when it comes to the facilities that are available for different types of data storage devices. There’s just so much out there to use. With the passing of time and the introduction of a wide array of methods and mediums, there is no stop for this fast-paced train.