Over the years, data storage has come a long way. You may remember floppy disks or even the laserdisc. Did you know that in 1953 hard disk drives could store 5MB of data, the equivalent of 5,242,880 characters – or this website?
Data storage has been a never-ending quest since 1946 when the 1024-bit Selectron was created. Suffice to say, we’ve done a pretty good job at finding ways to store more and more data as technology continues to expand. Read on to learn more about the evolution of data storage, and what you need to know before making any major data storage decisions.
What is Data Storage?
According to Red Hat, “Data storage is the process by which information technology archives, organizes, and shares the bits and bytes that make up the things you depend on every day—from applications to network protocols, documents to media, and address books to user preferences.”
In a nutshell, we are continuously surrounded by stored data every time we utilize a device or connect to a network. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), many of our household appliances, like our stove, washing machine, or heating and cooling systems, make use of data storage.
When considering a typical computer, there are two types of data storage: short term and long term. Short term memory is called Random Access Memory, or RAM. Eventually, RAM is processed into long term memory called storage volume. However, there are many types of storage volumes and which type you choose depends on two characteristics. The first aspect is how much data you plan to store and the second is how often you plan to access your stored data.
Types of Data Storage
How data is stored is as varied as the appliances and software used to store it. For example, if you wanted to create a single volume of your DVD collection, you could easily purchase a hard drive to keep in your closet. However, there are many other methods for storing the same data in a more secure, reliable, and accessible location.
While data storage methods are expanding and evolving each year, there are a few more popular methods of data storage that we can work to understand.
Cloud storage is any type of physical storage that is virtualized and orchestrated by software. There are many perks to cloud storage, such as self-service, automatic scaling, resource allocation, and additional security. Most organizations enjoy cloud storage because payment is typically based on the amount of storage you use. Learn more about cloud storage here.
Object storage can take many forms. For example, a bare metal server is considered object storage that is readily accessible and secure. However, it can also include massive amounts of archival data in the thousands of petabytes stored in flat, unencrypted, unconnected solid-state storage that is rarely accessed.
Block storage is a popular method for backing up data that changes frequently. For example, at 100TB we use block storage for backup protection. Our clients can quickly store their data without excessive upload requirements. Instead, the block storage has patented software that only records data changes since the last upload. To learn more about backup protection, please visit 100TB.com or chat with our expert sales team.
Storage Area Networks (SAN)
Storage area networks are a method for quickly reading and writing block storage. The interconnected networks allow users to create expandable storage that is flexible enough for any industry. SANs make it easier to allocate and manage data storage due to the switches, hosts, and storage devices involved. SAN is very closely related to NAS, or Network Accessed Storage, as they both effectively manage data storage. However, SAN is typically fiber connected and works on a block level, while NAS is ethernet connected and stores on a file basis.
While we haven’t even begun to cover the complexities that form data storage, our brief coverage does give some insight into the options that exist for those looking to successfully and secure data. Learn more about data storage options at 100TB.com today.