How Much Data Can Be Stored?

Getting to know the limit of available disk space is important when choosing a device. When you know you are buying a flash drive to store an important group of files, it is important to know how much it can hold since you don’t want to waste your money buying another one. Mostly on computers, it uses two types of storage. It consists of read-only memory (ROM) or random access memory (RAM) and backing stores, which can be either internal or external.

User-uploaded data is known as input data, whereas computer-generated data is known as output data. As required, computers can read input data from a variety of sources, create output, and save it to the same sources or other storage locations. Data storage is now necessary for organizations and users to meet the high-level computational demands of big data projects, AI, machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT). The need for massive data storage also has the drawback of making it necessary to protect against data loss as a result of fraud, failure, or disaster. Companies can therefore use data storage as backup solutions to prevent data loss.

Data can be stored in three main forms: file storage, block storage, and object storage. In file storage, data is stored in files, and files are organized into folders. The folders are then organized into a hierarchy of directories and subdirectories since this form uses the method of hierarchical storage. Block storage is a technology that uses data to be stored in blocks that are stored in different pieces, and each block has its own unique identifier. This method is usually favored by developers since it helps with fast, efficient, and reliable data transfer for computing situations. Object storage is built to handle a large amount of unstructured data. A conventional relational database with rows and columns cannot easily accommodate this data or it does not conform to its structure. Email, videos, photos, web pages, audio files, sensor data, and other media and web content (textual or non-textual) are some examples.

Storage capacities and file sizes are measured from bits, being the lowest, to terabytes, being the highest. Arranging them into ascending forms consists of bits, bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. A yottabyte may be the largest storage capacity measurement currently used for devices and cloud services, but terabytes are the biggest that are commercially used. Using this particular storage type is primarily for private use only. Some cloud providers and server farmers use an even larger dimension. But day by day, the global use of the ybyte increases. 8 bits add up to 1 byte, and 1024 bytes add up to 1 kilobyte. Compared to the previous unit, each one is 1,024 times larger. Images are typically stored in files that are 3MB in size, but experts predict that with the continuous improvement in quality, global data volumes will increase to 175 zettabytes by 2025.

Yottabytes can be converted to yottabits, but the unit bytes are used to indicate storage capacity. It denotes the volume of an external hard drive like a USB or cloud storage space. The term “bits,” however, is used in transmission rates. It indicates the transmission speed of internet data per second. But converting it to yottabits is still a theoretical figure because the fastest internet speed recorded for now is 178 terabits, and it is way far from the performance of the ybyte.

The future of data storage and its capacities are still increasing. Although yottabyte is the largest unit the International Bureau of Weights and Measures recognizes, if more of it were to exist, there is already another unit called for that. It is called the brontobyte and it corresponds to 1024 times the number of a ybyte. Following the pattern of each byte consisting of 1024 of the previous unit.

Sources:

Storage capacity and file size – Data storage – GCSE ICT Revision. (n.d.). BBC. Retrieved July 8, 2022, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z7rk7ty/revision/2

Zaman Lashari
Zaman Lashari
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