What is a storage tool (storage media)?

In computers, a storage medium is a physical an equipment that receives and retains electronic data because that applications and also users and also makes the data easily accessible for retrieval. The warehouse medium can be inside a computer system or other maker or attached come a mechanism externally, either directly or end a network. The plural kind of this term is warehouse media.

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Early forms of storage media contained computer record tape with holes punched into it. Every hole synchronized to a solitary bit of data. A record tape reader would translate the hole and convert it to a number. Punched cards were also widely provided in the beforehand days that data storage and also at one time stored most of the world"s digital information.

Paper tape and also punched cards to be supplanted through magnetic tape, which ultimately gave method to magnetic floppy disks. Hard disk cd driver (HDDs) and solid-state cd driver (SSDs) are now the primary forms of storage.

How warehouse media works

Media supplied in computer storage obtain messages in the form of data, via software commands from a host system. The type of media necessary to host the data depends on the data"s business value, applicable compliance regulations, power and availability requirements and also other factors.

A storage medium might be internal to a computing device, such as a computer"s SSD, or a removable device such as an exterior HDD or universal serial bus (USB) speed drive. There are also other varieties of warehouse media, including magnetic tape, compact discs (CDs) and also non-volatile storage (NVM) cards.

An organization"s warehouse is regularly classified together primary and also secondary. Originally, primary storage referred to data the is retained in storage for rapid retrieval by a computer"s processor, and secondary storage described data save on computer on non-volatile gadgets such together SSDs and also HDDs.

More recently, major storage has come to refer come any type of memory that supports an organization"s day-to-day workloads. Because that example, the HDDs, SSDs or storage-class storage (SCM) tools that store data for mission-critical applications are considered primary storage. In contrast, second storage can refer to just about anything else, including optical discs or tape equipment that support long-term data retention.

In tiered storage, automatically software policies are provided to relocate data in between different warehouse types, such as HDDs, SSDs and also cloud platforms.

The term storage medium have the right to refer to a storage maker in its totality or to an individual ingredient that"s offered in conjunction v or is component of another system. For instance, the interior HDDs and also SSDs in computer systems are generally referred to as storage media, as room CDs, yet the CD drive itself is assumed of together a storage device or system, fairly than warehouse medium.

Similarly, variety is a finish storage system comprised of individual storage media. Range is frequently decoupled from the application server and also attached to a separate server and also accessed end a network. An array might be comprised of HDDs or SSDs, or it could be set up in a hybrid configuration the blends HDDs and also SSDs into an integrated system, v HDDs giving a capacity tier that supports the faster SSDs.

Storage media have the right to be i ordered it in lot of ways, depending on workload requirements. Some popular configurations include:

These configurations are not support exclusive. Because that example, a SAN regularly arranges storage into RAID configurations.

Different types of warehouse media

Storage media come in plenty of different forms, amongst them:

difficult disk drives

An HDD provides a high-capacity alternate to magnetic storage media such as tape or floppy disks. It includes metal platters coated v a magnetic layer. The platters generally spin continuously as soon as a computer system is on, save data in different sectors ~ above the magnetic disk.

Hard disks proceed to it is in the leading media for back-up storage appliances, active archives and long-term retention. A disk-based backup appliance might likewise include interfaces to replicate data copies, such as clones and snapshots, to tertiary tools or a hybrid cloud.

hard drive contents

A downside to HDDs is the dependency on moving inner mechanisms such as actuators, motors and spindles that have the right to fail and corrupt the drive. However, HDDs remain famous in enterprise disk arrays because of their boosting capacities and also the capacity to rewrite data top top the disk. In 2017, western Digital Corp. Introduced a 14 TB HDD, making it the biggest on the sector at the time. Seagate technology followed in 2019 v a 16 TB HDD. West Digital has since countered through a 20 TB HDD.

Some HDDs use shingled magnetic recording (SMR) together an different to traditional magnetic recording. An SMR technique allows for better areal thickness by enabling data to be written in partly overlapping monitor on the disk. SMR drives work-related optimally with data that is repeatedly written, such as disk-based archiving and backup, but it deserve to negatively influence performance because that other types of workloads.

Seagate, west Digital and Toshiba are amongst the leading manufacturers the SMR-based disks. In 2020, however, conflict surrounded the three sellers for allegedly selling HDDs there is no disclosing they offered SMR technology.


RAID works by placing data on multiple disks and also balancing input/output (I/O) operations throughout those disks. RAID have the right to improve performance, fault tolerance or both, depending on the RAID configuration. If RAID is set up for fault tolerance, the data is safeguarded in the occasion a journey fails. The use of lot of disks likewise increases the average time in between failures (MTBF).

A five-tray RAID tough drive
Flash storage

Flash storage does not rely on moving mechanical parts. Instead, data is composed to microchips, making storage operations much faster than timeless disks. However, data must be erased and also rewritten in whole blocks, i m sorry can impact a device"s as whole endurance.

There space two main varieties of speed SSDs: NAND and NOR. The name are identified by their corresponding logic gates, which determine the fundamental architecture basic digital circuits.

Flash memory module

NAND flash memory is written and also read in blocks, whereas no one flash memory reads and also writes bytes independently. Both varieties of flash are offered in a wide variety of devices. Nor flash tends to be used in installed systems the support devices such as clinical equipment and also scientific instruments, as well as consumer gadgets such together tablets and smartphones. In part cases, no one serves as a replacement because that random accessibility memory (RAM) or read-only storage (ROM) drives.

NAND flash is offered for all varieties of general storage due to the fact that it is much more efficient in ~ writes, erases and also sequential reads. NAND speed is also known for greater density and endurance 보다 NOR, do it suitable for companies storage. Some tools use both varieties of flash. Because that example, a smartphone can rely on no one to boot up the operating system (OS) and NAND flash for all various other storage.

SSDs based on NAND flash are regularly categorized through the variety of bits sustained by each flash cell. Single-level cabinet (SLC) NAND shop 1 little of data every flash cell, i m sorry is in one of two people a programmed (0) state or erased (1) state. Multi-level cabinet (MLC) NAND stores two bits of data per flash cell, triple-level cell (TLC) stores three data bits every cell, and quad-level cabinet (QLC) stores 4 bits. Manufacturers are at this time working on penta-level cabinet (PLC) flash, which squeezes five bits into each cell.

Flash storage memory gadgets are divided between consumer devices and also enterprise storage, through some overlap. Improvements are constructed into enterprise NAND flash gadgets to support more write cycles than consumer-grade storage. Smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices usage memory cards that vary in capacity and also price.


Organizations now use flash-based SSDs generally for both network-based storage -- such together NAS and SAN -- and also direct-attached warehouse (DAS), which have the right to be fastened externally to a computer system or embedded directly within the system. Direct-attached SSDs are occasionally used as an alternative or adjunct come networked warehouse arrays.

Internal SSDs come in a number of form factors, including:

disk-on-module (DOM) flash boots drives the mount come a computer"s motherboard;

SSDs at first were designed come take advantage of present Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) and also Serial-Advanced modern technology Attachment (SATA) protocols, however many SSDs now use the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol because it deserve to take much better advantage the SSD capabilities.

3D XPoint-based Optane SSD native Intel

NVMe offers a computer"s PCIe harbor to permit an applications to interact directly v a data warehouse device. PCIe-based NVMe SSDs target to reduce latency and rise throughput. The success that NVMe caused the breakthrough of non-volatile storage express over fabrics (NVMe-oF). NVMe-oF provides it feasible to use NVMe regulates to deliver data in between a host and flash storage machine across an Ethernet, Fibre Channel or InfiniBand connection.

USB flash cd driver

A USB flash drive is a kind of removable storage medium that attaches to a server or other machine through a USB port. A USB speed drive hardly ever connects repetitively to a device, which deserve to make it much less susceptible come Trojan horses, viruses or worms.

The term USB flash drive refers to the an equipment in that entirety, including the USB connector, conversely, the storage medium is the interior flash chip. USB flash drives can vary in size, but they"re generally about the dimension of a thumb, with a design similar to SSDs but on a smaller scale. USB speed drives connect to tools by sliding into compatible USB ports, making it possible to easily transfer or copy data. The drives space variously referred to as memory sticks, keychain drives, thumb drives and also jump drives.

USB flash drive

Although USB drives space widely provided by consumers due to their convenience, the ease of usage can present a defense risk for enterprises. For security reasons, many companies forbid employees from using personal USB cd driver at work, unless particularly authorized to execute so.

Other removable flash warehouse media encompass the for sure Digital map (SD card), microSD card, for sure Digital High capacity card (SDHC card), CompactFlash card, SmartMedia card, Sony memory Stick, MultiMediaCard (MMC) and the xD-Picture Card, every one of which are discovered mainly in customer electronics.

Optical bowl

Optical disc modern technology uses lasers to write and read data. Plenty of optical discs support write once, read countless (WORM) operations only. When very first introduced, optical discs might store an ext data 보다 magnetic HDDs, however that has because changed, and also optical discs are currently used mostly for prerecorded audio and video clip recordings or for backup and archival purposes. Species of optical storage media incorporate Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and also CD-ROMs (for read-only data).

Optical storage media

Tape was a dominant back-up storage tool until the 1990s but was slowly pushed next by magnetic disk. Even so, ice cream systems are still often used for high-capacity data archiving and have continued to enhance in density and endurance, greatly due to developments in the straight Tape-Open (LTO) format. LTO-9 pushes the per-tape capacity to 45 TB the compressed data and 18 TB of aboriginal (uncompressed) data.

Tape libraries space composed that hundreds and also hundreds of physics tapes. The system that support a ice library enables users to include or eliminate tapes, track a tape"s ar and set mount points for accessing the data on tape.

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Spectra logic LTO-8 ice cream media and drive

Some institutions are transforming to online tape library solution for backup. In this type of system, selection of physical disks is presented as tape to the back-up software. Data is created sequentially as it is with tape, however read and write operations are faster since the data is retrieved native magnetic disks.

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