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First, we learn the main concept of this topic: How Do Computers Store Data? According to  IC3 Certification (2016), Computer storage is like the backpack you bring to the school. Both store things until you are ready to use them. Your backpack stores books and school supplies, most computers store software and data.

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Home » Uncategorized » First, we learn the main concept of this topic: How Do Computers Store Data? According to  IC3 Certification (2016), Computer storage is like the backpack you bring to the school. Both store things until you are ready to use them. Your backpack stores books and school supplies, most computers store software and data.

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Module 3: Data Storage and Network

In this chapter, you will learn about Data Storage and Network Types

First, we learn the main concept of this topic: How Do Computers Store Data? According to
IC3 Certification (2016), Computer storage is like the backpack you bring to the school. Both store things until you are ready to use them. Your backpack stores books and school supplies, most computers store software and data.

Also, in this module, you will learn what data storage is and various types of storage. According to Fonke (2021), Learn what data storage is and which types of data storage architectures best suit different operational requirements.

What is data storage?

Data storage concepts

The digitization across sectors and greater reliance on digital mediums in recent years have accelerated Big Data production like never before. But where can businesses “park” this newly-minted raw intel?

With the advancement of new storage protocols and media, customers face many choices.

What is Data Storage?

Data is the term for all digital entries. This can be an input (a specific query provided to the computer) and an output (the result computed by the machine). Data storage, in turn, is the technology, architecture, and processes computers rely on to collect, process, and retain all this information.
Whether you copy a PDF document to a solid-state drive or codify network access permissions for hundreds of connected IPs, this information needs to be saved immediately and stored long-term.

For short-term needs, computer systems rely on random-access memory (RAM). RAM functions like humans’ short-term memory. It allows machines to “remember” all aspects of the command while in operation. But to retain and save bigger records, computers require long-term memory storage. That’s what different types of data storage solutions are meant to provide.

Data Storage Concepts

The ubiquity of data formats, record types, and volumes has served as the springboard for different approaches to storing it. You now have many options to organize and store your corporate data, from personal storage devices to limitless data centers and cloud-based data repositories.

Direct-attached storage (DAS)

Direct-attached storage stands for all types of physical data storage devices you can connect to a computer. Portable and affordable — yet only accessible by one computer at a time — DAS is a standard solution for keeping small-scale records data backups or transferring data between devices. Popular types of direct-attached storage include external hard drives or solid-state drives (SSD), flash drives (USB sticks), and, although now dwindling in popularity, CD/DVDs and other older methods.

Network-attached storage (NAS)  

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a special hardware unit featuring file-level architecture that can be accessed by more than one device as long as all users are connected to the internal network. A NAS unit features several storage disks or hard drives, processors, RAM, and lightweight operating systems (OS) for managing access requests.

NAS architecture is relatively simple to establish, and this is why many organizations rely on it to set up local storage systems for several users. While offering high accessibility, NAS units can be used for data storage and local file sharing. You can also configure it as a backup data site by adding support for replicated disks or a redundant array of independent disks. NAS storage is often used as a synonym for unstructured data protocols like network file system (NFS), server message block (SMB), and object storage.

Storage area networks (SAN)

Storage area networks (SANs) help assemble an even more complex on-premises data management architecture that features two components:
A dedicated network for data exchanges with network switches for load balancing

Data storage systems consist of on-premises hardware. The purpose of SAN is to act as a separate “highway” for transmitting data between servers and storage devices across the organization, in a bypass of local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs). Featuring a management layer, SANs can be configured to speed up and strengthen server-to-server, storage-to-server, and storage-to-storage connections.
For instance, you can set up a dedicated low-latency data exchange lane between a server running big data analytics workloads and a storage system (i.e., data warehouse) hosting the processed data. Doing so helps prevent bottlenecks and delays for other users on the LANs/WANs. The type of data storage that uses dedicated SANs is typically defined as “block storage.”

Software-defined storage (SDS)  

A software-defined storage (SDS) system is a hardware-independent, software-based storage architecture that can be used on any computing hardware platform. While NAS and SAN storage systems require you to use vendor-supplied OS and supporting software, SDS lets you bring your license to any x86 server.

The two major benefits of SDS include:

· Scalability: You can better reconfigure available hardware devices to accommodate the required data types and formats and configure access for different networks or applications using APIs.

· The total cost of ownership (TCO): Instead of purchasing another NAS unit compatible with your network infrastructure, you can re-deploy an existing one, saving on the TCO of your investment and avoiding vendor lock-in on the hardware.

Hyperconverged storage (HCS)  

Hyperconverged storage allows you to virtualize on-premises storage resources to create a shared storage pool. Each hardware unit (node) gets virtualized and then connected in a cluster, which you then manage as a unified system.

The big boon of HCS is hardware consolidation and associated capital expenses (CapEx). Typically, 80 percent of data storage spending is tied to hardware. Using hyper-converged storage architecture and virtualizing some of your legacy servers can significantly reduce maintenance costs.

Many HCS solutions come with advanced file-management systems for optimizing data formats and volumes. Your files can be packaged in more compact blocks to be dispatched over long distances. In that sense, HCS can also offer some cost benefits for WANs.

Cloud data storage  

Unlike other options, cloud data storage assumes you will (primarily) use offsite storage of data in public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud environments that are managed and maintained by cloud services providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, among others.

Unlike NAS or SAN, public cloud data storage doesn’t require a separate internal network — all data is accessible via the internet. Also, there are virtually no limits on scalability since you are renting storage resources from a third party that effectively offers an endless supply of servers.

But while cloud data storage assumes only operational expenses (OpEx), these too can add up without proper monitoring and optimization.

Data Storage Defined

There are two types of digital information: input and output data. Users provide the input data, while computers provide output data. But a computer’s CPU can’t compute anything or produce output data without the user’s input.

Users can enter the input data directly into a computer. However, early in the computer era, they found that continually entering data manually is time- and energy-prohibitive. One short-term solution is computer memory, also known as random access memory (RAM). But its storage capacity and memory retention are limited. As the name suggests, read-only memory (ROM) is that the data can only be read but not necessarily edited. They control a computer’s basic functionality.

Although advances have been made in computer memory with dynamic RAM (DRAM) and synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), they are still limited by cost, space, and memory retention. When a computer powers down, so does the RAM’s ability to retain data. The solution? Data storage.

With data storage space, users can save data onto a device. And should the computer power down, the data is retained. And instead of manually entering data into a computer, users can instruct the computer to pull data from storage devices. Computers can read input data from various sources as needed, and they can then create and save the output to the same sources or other storage locations. Users can also share data storage with others.

Today, organizations and users require data storage to meet today’s high-level computational needs like big data projects, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT). And the other side of requiring huge data storage amounts protects against data loss due to disaster, failure, or fraud. So, to avoid data loss, organizations can also employ data storage as backup solutions.

How data storage works

Modern computers, or terminals, connect to storage devices either directly or through a network. Users instruct computers to access and store data to these storage devices. However, there are two foundations to data storage at a fundamental level: the form in which data takes, and the device’s data is recorded and stored on.

 

Data storage devices

To store data, regardless of form, users need storage devices. Data storage devices come in two main categories: direct area storage and network-based storage.

Direct area storage, also known as direct-attached storage (DAS), is as the name implies. This storage is often in the immediate area and directly connected to the computing machine accessing it. Often, it’s the only machine connected to it. DAS can also provide decent local backup services, but sharing is limited. DAS devices include floppy disks, optical discs—compact discs (CDs) and digital video discs (DVDs)—hard disk drives (HDD), flash drives, and solid-state drives (SSD).

Network-based storage
 allows more than one computer to access it through a network, making data sharing and collaboration better. Its offsite storage capability makes it better suited for backups and data protection. Two common network-based storage setups are network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN).

NAS is often a single device made of redundant storage containers or a redundant array of independent disks (RAID). SAN storage can be a network of multiple devices, including SSD and flash storage, hybrid storage, hybrid cloud storage, backup software and appliances, and cloud storage.

Additionally, you have to learn the following concepts:

· Differences between Data and Information. Data illustrate figures and facts, and information illustrates values and context together.

· What is Data Storage?
 

Data storageLinks to an external site.
means the files and documents are recorded digitally and saved in a storage system for future use.

· Types of Data Storage. There are two broad types of data storage: direct-attached storage and network-attached storage.

· Storage Media. It is an object that physically holds data or program instructions.

· Primary Storage Devices. It is the RAM. The RAM is the primary storage of a computer.

· Secondary Storage Devices. It is sometimes used to describe devices that can permanently store data, such as a hard drive.

· External Magnetic Devices. USBs or firewire-connected external hard drives.

· Online Storage. Like Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive Storage, Apple Cloud, etc.

· Network Attached Storage (NAS)
 Network-attached storage (NAS) allows multiple machines to share storage over a network.

· Virtualization
This means a hyper-converged device can be cheaper to build if you do it yourself or can result in a less expensive monthly or annual cost if you use a vendor.

· Artificial Intelligence is also becoming more prevalent in newer types of data storage to handle repetitious tasks, such as managing backup schedules and setting custom recovery points for specific data sets.

· You can store, maintain, and access any data. It is information set up for easy access, management, and updating. The steps to creating a Database are: Determine the purpose of your database, divide the information into tables, turn information items into columns, specify primary keys, set up the table relationships before you type the data.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a method of running application software and storing related data in central computer systems, and providing customers or other users access to them through the internet.

Early Development

The origin of the expression cloud computing is obscure. Still, it appears to derive from the practice of using drawings of stylized clouds to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems. The term came into popular use in 2008, though the practice of providing remote access to computing functions through networks dates back to the mainframe time-sharing systems of the 1960s and 1970s. In his 1966 book The Challenge of the Computer Utility, the Canadian electrical engineer Douglas F. Parkhill predicted that the computer industry would come to resemble a public utility “in which many remotely located users are connected via communication links to a central computing facility.”

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For decades, efforts to create large-scale computer utilities were frustrated by constraints on the capacity of telecommunications networks such as the telephone system. It was cheaper and easier for companies and other organizations to store data and run applications on private computing systems maintained within their facilities.

The constraints on network capacity began to be removed in the 1990s when telecommunications companies invested in high-capacity fiber-optic networks in response to the rapidly growing internet use as a shared network for exchanging information. In the late 1990s, several companies, called application service providers (ASPs), were founded to supply computer applications to companies over the internet. Most of the early ASPs failed, but their model of providing applications remotely became popular a decade later, when it was renamed cloud computing.

Cloud Services and Major Providers

Cloud computing encompasses several different services. One set of services, sometimes called software as a service (SaaS), involves supplying a discrete application to outside users. The application can be geared either to business users (such as an accounting application) or to consumers (such as an application for storing and sharing personal photographs). Another set of services, variously called utility computing, grid computing, and hardware as a service (HaaS), involves providing computer processing and data storage to outside users, who can run their applications and store their data on the remote system. The third set of services, sometimes called platform as a service (PaaS), involves the supply of remote computing capacity and software development tools for outside software programmers.

Early pioneers of cloud computing include Salesforce.com, which supplies a popular business application for managing sales and marketing efforts. Google, Inc. also jumped in, with its search engine supplies an array of applications, known as Google Apps, to consumers and businesses. Amazon had its share with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a division of online retailer Amazon.com, offering access to its computing system to website developers and other companies and individuals. Cloud computing also underpins popular social networks and other online media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Traditional software companies, including Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc., Intuit Inc., and Oracle Corporation, have also introduced cloud applications.

Cloud-computing companies either charge users for their services through subscriptions and usage fees or provide free access to the services and charge companies for placing advertisements in the services. Because the profitability of cloud services tends to be much lower than the profitability of selling or licensing hardware components and software programs, it is viewed as a potential threat to the businesses of many traditional computing companies.

Data Centers and Privacy

Construction of the large data centres that run cloud-computing services often requires investments of hundreds of millions of dollars. The centres typically contain thousands of server computers networked into parallel-processing or grid-computing systems. The centres also often employ sophisticated virtualization technologies, which allow computer systems to be divided into many virtual machines that can be rented temporarily to customers. Because of their intensive electricity use, the centres are often located near hydroelectric dams or other cheap and plentiful electric power sources.

Because cloud computing involves the storage of often sensitive personal or commercial information in central database systems run by third parties, it raises concerns about data privacy and security and data transmission across national boundaries. It also stirs fears about the eventual creation of data monopolies or oligopolies. Some believe that cloud computing will, like other public utilities, come to be heavily regulated by governments.

References

Fonke, J. (2021). What Is Data Storage?. Data Storage Types Compared.
World Wide Technology.

to an external site.
IBM. (2021).
What is data storage?.

to an external site.

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