Computer data storage is an amalgam of computer components and recording media that work together to store data digitally. In the early era, the computer data storage size was minimal, usually in bytes and kilobytes. Also, the size of computer hardware storing this small amount of data was massive. With the passage of time and more technological advancements, we are now capable of store megabytes, gigabytes, and even terabytes of data easily. The size of computer hardware has also greatly reduced, which has revolutionized the computer world. But this is not an end to the advancements in computer memory world. In fact, the future is going to be more advanced, compact, and remote. In this blog, we are discussing in detail about computer data storage basics and its scope.
Types of Computer Data Storage
Computer data storage is the fundamental component and core function of computers. Computers are capable to store data due to storage mediums (storage devices). Some storage devices are capable to store the data permanently, while others are meant for temporary data storage. There are primarily two types of computer data storage, as follow:
In a computer, the primary storage medium is the Random Access Memory (RAM). While working on a computer, RAM is where the data is temporarily stored in your computer. It helps to carry out everyday tasks, such as running software, opening media files, playing games, etc. It helps you to shift from one software to another quickly without losing progress. In short, more RAM means a smoother and faster multitasking experience. But the stored computer data in RAM will be deleted when the computer is turned off.
Every computer has secondary storage along with the RAM, which is where the information is stored permanently. A computer usually has a hard disk drive or solid state drive or even both acting as secondary storage media. A hard disk drive (HDD) is a magnetic storage device that is considered the main secondary storage medium in computers since the 1950s. On the other hand, solid state drives (SSDs) do not depend on magnets or disks but uses NAND (a type of flash memory). SSDs do not require moving parts as in the case of HDDs, so they have a long-lasting life-span, more speed, and smoother operations.
External Mediums for Computer Data Storage
Other than the primary and secondary storage mediums, there are other external storage mediums attached to a computer to store data. They are commonly used to extend the storage capacity of the computer, access external data that is not stored in the computer, transfer data from the computer to the external drive. The external storage mediums have also evolved with the passage of time. Some of the outdated external mediums include floppy disks, tape drives, punch cards, magnetic tape, etc. The most commonly used external mediums are optical discs, USB flash drives, and external hard drives.
Scope of Computer Data Storage
Computer data storage is completely revolutionized in just the past few decades. Today, you can save terabytes of data in small compact storage devices. Besides that, the digitalization of the world has also significantly increased the demand for computers. The technology sector is continuously working on improving data storage systems and introducing new and effective technologies. One such development that has taken over the digital storage sector is cloud storage. Cloud storage is like a virtual storage place, where a person or a computer doesn’t have to hold a physical storage medium to store the data. The data is stored at the off-site location of a third-party cloud service provider via the internet. You can upload or access the data from anywhere by simply logging into your account online. Due to its uniqueness, cloud storage has taken over the digital world aggressively and is considered the future of data storage.
Why Cloud Storage is Rising?
There are many reasons that are encouraging computer users to opt for cloud storage instead of buying extra physical storage devices for computer data storage. Following are a few of the reasons in this perspective:
- Unlimited Storage Space: In a computer, you only get a limited storage space depending on the storage devices you installed on the computer. For extra storage, you have to install more storage devices to increase the space or even delete the previous data to make some space. On the other hand, cloud storage provides unlimited storage space. All you have to do is pay the cloud service provider corresponding to the space you need in the cloud. If your space size increases, you just have to pay extra and that’s it. No need to buy expensive storage devices and do the hassle of installing them.
- Anywhere, Anytime Access: Other than unlimited storage, continuous access of the data is the main highlight of cloud storage. All of your data is online, so you can access it from anywhere and anytime you want. All it takes is an internet connection on your computer.
- Instant Data Sharing: In the cloud, you get an instant data sharing option. It means that you can select a file, folder, or any data and share it will your colleagues online to their email, social media, or elsewhere within few clicks.
- Disaster Protection: Hardware-based storage such as flash memory or optical storage can malfunction suddenly, resulting in data loss. Natural disasters, sudden power loss, malware attacks, or similar other scenarios also increase the chance of data loss. In cloud storage, all these scenarios vanish because your data is stored in the cloud at an off-site location, so the data is always secure and protected. In fact, the cloud service providers keep multiple copies of your data so that if by any chance their one data center gets some malfunction, still your data remain safe.
The advancements in computer data storage is on a never-ending track. Just in the past few decades, we have seen so many innovations that have completely revolutionized the computer industry. But there’s a lot more to come and cloud storage is one of the futuristic innovations we are experiencing today.