I’ve been talking a lot lately on this blog about digital document management, which has naturally led to a number of questions about what are the best types of digital storage to use. In this post I’ll go over the types of storage used today, and you can use that information to decide which is the best for storing your business’s data.
It’s important to know digital storage is not without its flaws. The benefits are that it allows your business to store a large number of documents in a small space, which can be easily shared with other people. The drawbacks of digital data are that it is somewhat fragile. When a paper copy of a document is damaged it can likely be copied and still be usable to some extent. When digital storage is damaged, even the most minor flaw can render your data unusable.
Dynamic vs. Static
Storage devices are all made for different uses. The most common type of storage device used in business are those which utilize dynamic storage. Dynamic storage allows you to manipulate the data by working within files stored on the device, copying over them, or altering data how you wish. Dynamic storage is typically favored over static storage, which cannot be easily changed once it has been stored. An example of this would be a DVD or Blu-ray Disc.
Types of Digital Storage
There are three main types of storage, which are all used in different devices. The three types are: magnetic, solid state, and optical discs. These all have multiple uses, for example solid state drives are used in phones, laptops, PCs, memory sticks, and so on. Magnetic storage is still widely used in devices that require massive amounts of storage, such as desktop computers and video game consoles.
Here is more information about the three main types of storage used today:
- Magnetic Storage: Commonly used for long-term storage, under the hood of this storage type you’ll find magnetically coated discs with magnetic particles. Magnetic storage is used in devices such as computer hard drives, external hard drives, and computer servers. Though not as fast as solid state storage, magnetic storage can be more easily recovered if damaged.
- Solid State Storage: This type is commonly used in devices where you need to quickly check, manipulate, and share data. All of today’s mobile devices use solid state storage; as well as all memory sticks, SD cards, and high end laptops. This is the fastest and thinnest type of storage available.
- Optical Disks: These types of devices are going the way of the floppy disc. They include CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray Discs, which are primarily suited for audio/visual content. While still on the market, this is an inferior storage solution compared to both dynamic and magnetic storage.
If you need to archive a lot of data, invest in magnetic storage. If you need to store data that you will routinely be accessing over and over, invest in solid state. Unless you have a particular fondness for optical discs, I would not recommend relying on that medium for your business’s storage solution.
For more information about digital storage, we recommend reading some of our recently published articles: