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Computer Storage

Computer Storage

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Computer Storage: A computer needs to be able to store memory permanently, but there are different types of drives we store them on, the cables we use to connect them, as well as different methods to improve safety of the data.

Permanent Storage

The main type of computer storage is a HDD (Hard Drive Disk) or SSD (Solid State Drive). They both have their advantages and disadvantages, the main advantages with a HDD is that it can store more (up to 4TB or 2TB, 4000GB/2000GB) but is usually slower reading and writing. SSD are faster, but more expensive (ideal for the OS or Games, but normally only reach under 1TB (apart from a few, for example).

Connections

There are four types of connections used for computer storage devices (BUS), IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics), SATA, Master and Slave. SATA is most commonly used on HDD (and at a transfer rate of 16 Gbit/s). IDE is a standard to transfer data from the motherboard to disk drives, master is normally the C: drive (where the OS is stored) whiles the slave is where data is stored (D:).

Other Drives

There are different types of drives used for computer storage, where you can insert a disc to back up your data. The three common types are, CD (Compact Disc), DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) and FD (Floppy Disc). CDs and DVDs can be used in the same drive but you need a FDD (Floppy Disc Drive) to read a FD. CDs can hold up to 700MBs, this is useful for small files such as music, DVDs are commonly used to store Videos but are also used to hold OSes (Distros). But FDs have been superseded, because they can only hold 12MBs.

Raid

If you are running a server for computer storage (or have multiple drives), you can use RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) as a backup option, this is achieved by a RAID (SCSI) controller (a piece of Hardware which occupies a PCI or PCIE). There are 3 common levels, 1, 5 and 6.

Level 1 (Mirroring) requires two drives, where a drive (C:) is mirrored without the OS recognising, if the original drive fails the RAID controller will switch it to the mirrored drive.

Level 5 requires a minimum of 3 drives where the drives are grouped, the data is spread across all (striped) but one drive (parity bit drive) where RAID uses a rule to generate the last drive. For example the data is 1 0 (bits) and the rule is there’s an even amount of 1’s, so the last drive would have a 1.

Level 6 is similar to level 5 but with two parity bit drives, it doesn’t require a minimum amount of drives but theoretically it’s 6, ensuring more security (lass chance of 2 drives failing).

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