Digital Data Storage Devices and Its Types

The recording of digital information in a storage medium, typically by electronic means is called Digital data storage. Normally, the storage device allows a user to hold large amounts of data in a relatively smaller physical space, which makes it easy to share the information with others. The computer/system can retain the data either temporarily or permanently.

There are many applications of digital data storage devices. Computers, for example, generally rely on the storing of information to function and even storage devices can be used to back up important data. Virtual data storage may include issues of durability and reliability; so making independent copies of the records is typically a wise safeguard. Many storage devices are portable, implying that information can be transferred from one computer to another.

There are typically five types of digital data storage devices: magnetic storage devices, optical storage devices, flash memory devices, online/cloud storage, and paper storage. I’ll give you one or more examples below from each category.

Digital Data Storage Devices:

  1. Hard Drive Disk
  2. Floppy Disk
  3. Tape
  4. Compact Disc (CD)
  5. DVD and Blu-ray Discs
  6. USB Flash Drive
  7. Secure Digital Card (SD Card)
  8. Solid State Drive (SSD)
  9. Cloud Storage
  10. Punch Card

1. Hard Disk Drive

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Nearly any desktop computer and laptop can have a hard disk drive installed. This stores operating system and software information, as well as user documents such as images, text files, and audio files. Magnetic storage is used by the hard drive to store and recover digital information from and to one or more fast-spinning disks.

What is stored on a hard drive?

A hard drive can be used to store any data, including pictures, music, videos, text documents, and any files created or downloaded. Also, hard drives store files for the operating system and software programs that run on the computer.

2.Floppy Disk

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A floppy disk is another type of storage medium that holds information utilizing magnetic storage technology. Alternatively referred to as a floppy or floppy disk, a floppy diskette is a type of storage media, capable of storing electronic data, as a computer file. The floppy diskette was first created in 1967 by IBM as an alternative to buying hard drives, which were extremely expensive at the time.

Floppy disks were once a common computer storage device, which existed from the mid-1970s to the start of the 21st century. The first floppies were 8-inch (203 mm) in size but they were replaced by 5 1⁄4-inch (133 mm) disk drives and finally a 90 mm (3 1⁄2) version.


Storage devices

A tape is a magnetically thin coated piece of plastic wrapped around wheels capable of storing data. The tape is less expensive than other storage mediums, but it is a much slower solution and is often used for backing up large amounts of data.

Given its low cost and ability to store large amounts of data, magnetic tape was often used for digital data storage. The technique consisted essentially of a magnetically thin coated piece of plastic wrapped around wheels. Compared to other data storage solutions, its relative slowness and unreliability have resulted in it being largely abandoned as a medium now.

4.Compact Disc (CD)

Storage devices

The compact disk, known as the CD for short, is a type of optical storage, a technology that uses lasers and lights for reading and writing records. Initially, compact disks were used purely for music, but they also began to be used in computer data storage in the late 1980s.

The compact disks introduced were initially CD-ROM’s (read-only), but this was followed by CD-R’s (writable compact disks) and CD-RW’s (rewritable compact disks).

Compact disks are used for data storage, so that data can be accessed later. CDs can store software programs so that they can be transferred to your computer. Data can be stored for backup or transfer to another device, and carry for replay in a CD player. The regular CD will carry 72 minutes or 650 MB of data. An 80 minute CD will contain up to 700 MB of data.

5.DVD and Blu-ray Discs

Storage devices

A DVD or DVD-ROM, short for digital versatile disc or digital video disc, is a medium capable of storing significantly more data than a standard compact disk. A Blu-ray disc, for example, can store 25 GB  of data on a single-layer disc and 50 GB on a dual-layer disc. In comparison, a standard CD is the same physical size, but only holds 700 MB of digital data.

The DVD (digital portable disk) and Blu-ray disk (BD) are digital optical disc data storage types that have displaced compact disks, mainly due to their significantly higher storage space.DVDs are commonly used to store and display videos, as well as other details. Matrix DVD video disc picture is an example of a DVD movie. CD / DVD players were first sold in 1997, using both of these disks.

Blu-ray disc Is an optical disk format developed by 13 consumer electronics firms and companies. There are Dell, Hitachi, Hewlett Packard, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sony, and TDK among these businesses. Apple, Dell, Philips, Founder, Sony, Sun, TDK and other companies described above initially supported Blu-ray. Blu-ray beat out HD DVD in the fights in high-definition disc format on 19 February 2008.

6. USB Flash Drive

Storage devices

USB flash drive, data stick, pen drive, memory card, thumb drive, and keychain mount, a jump drive is a portable storage device. Often it is the size of a human thumb and connects to a computer through a USB port. Flash drives are a convenient way to store and transfer data between computers and vary from 2 GB to 1 TB in size.

The flash drive has no movable parts; it only contains an integrated circuit memory chip used to store data. Flash drives usually have casings of plastic or aluminum covering the memory chip. flash memory is more efficient and reliable than optical media, being lighter, quicker and providing higher storage space, as well as being more stable due to lack of moving parts.

7.Secure Digital Card (SD Card)

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The SD card is one of the most popular forms of memory cards associated with electronics, short for Secure Digital Card. More than 400 types of electronic equipment and more than 8000 different models use the SD system, including digital cameras and cell phones. Because of its wide usage, it is deemed the industry standard.

SD cards are a common type of memory card used on various electronic devices like digital cameras and mobile phones. While different sizes, levels, and capacities are possible, they all use a rectangular template with “chipped off” on one side to prevent the card from being lost into the camera or other units.

8. Solid State Drive (SSD)

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SSD is a storage medium that uses non-volatile memory to store and access data. Like a hard drive, an SSD has no moving parts that give it advantages including quicker access time, noiseless operation, better durability, and lower power consumption. The picture gives an example of a Crucial made by SSD.

A solid-state drive uses flash memory to store data, which is sometimes used in devices like netbooks, laptops, and mobile computers rather than a traditional hard disk drive. The SSD’s advantages over the HDD include quicker read/write speed, noiseless operation, greater efficiency, and lower power usage. Cost is the biggest downside, with an SSD offering lower capacity than an equally cost HDD.

9.Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is a model for cloud computing that stores data over the Internet through a cloud computing provider that manages and operates data storage as a service. It is provided on demand with just-in-time resources and costs and eliminates your own data storage infrastructure from buying which managing them.

With users operating multiple devices progressively in multiple locations, many are shifting to online and cloud computing solutions. In theory, cloud computing means accessing information over network through set of remote servers.

Cloud storage is obtained from a third-party cloud provider that owns and operates data storage infrastructure and provides it in a pay-as-you-go format over the Internet. These cloud storage vendors manage the power, reliability, and longevity to render data available throughout the world for your applications.

10.Punch Card

Punched cards, also known as Hollerith cards or IBM cards, are paper cards whose holes may be punched by hand or machine to display details and instructions from computers. They have been a widely used means to input data into computers. The cards were fed into a computer-connected card reader which converts the holes sequence to digital information. Using such a punch card machine as shown in the above picture data can be entered into the card by punching holes on each column to display a single character.

The cards were entered into the computer to enable the storage and accessing of information. This form of data storage media pretty much disappeared as new and better technologies was developed.

Common Causes of Digital Data Loss

  • Deleting files by mistake. This is a very common problem and has happened to most people who deal with data, including myself. As well as deletion, reformatting a device can also result in the loss of stored information.
  • Power failure. Many electronic devices depend on electricity to function properly and maintain data. A loss of power can, therefore, be disruptive or destructive, especially in cases where the power loss is sudden. As well as power losses, power surges can also cause problems.
  • Spillages, drops, or other physical accidents. Anything that causes physical damage to the storage device can corrupt data or prevent access to it. Minor accidents, such as just knocking over a cup of coffee can be all it takes to cause the loss of large amounts of data.
  • Viruses and other forms of malware. Many modern forms of digital data storage are exposed to the internet. This means that the data risks being corrupted by malware, either directly, or via wider damage being caused to say, the operating system.
  • The storage device is stolen. Whether through burglary, pickpocketing, mugging, or other forms of theft, you can lose the entire device and all the information that’s on it.
  • Fires, floods, explosions and other catastrophic events. These can all destroy vast amounts of data. This is one of the main reasons why data should never be backed up in the same building, but rather in a separate place.

 See Also  –  Nimble Storage overview