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Types of Data Storage and Key Features of It

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Volatility is that feature of data storage devices, which makes them different to one another. The two basic types of data storage include volatile data storage and non-volatile data storage. Those storage devices, which cannot store the data permanently, are volatile in nature. Such devices need continuous power in order to store the data. Once the power is off, the data is lost from the memory. Random access memory is an example of volatile data storage in which the data is not stored permanently and the users are required to save their work before the power turns off.

However, in case of non-volatile memory, data is not erased from the memory even if the power turns off. Garden (2010) asserts, “ Non-volatile memory is important for long-term storage of essential system information and data” . CDs, DVDs, secondary memory, tertiary memory, and off-line memory are the types of non-volatile memories. Dynamic random access memory is that type of memory, which can store a large amount of data in a small space. DRAM cannot be used for permanent storage purposes because it needs continuous power for the storage of data.

Once the power is off, data is also lost from the computer. Data stored in DRAM needs to be refreshed periodically in order to remain in the memory. DRAM holds the data as long as the power is on but when the power goes down, data from the memory wipe out. The only major difference between DRAM and SRAM is that of data refreshing requirement. SRAM does not require the data to be refreshed in order to retain the data. SRAM is an expensive memory as it requires more space to store data as compared to DRAM.

SRAM is not only faster than DRAM but also it does not require any external refresh circuitry. Computer data storage also possesses the addressability characteristic. The three common types of information addressability include file addressable information, content addressable information, and location addressable information. The information is accessed based on some conditions. In file addressable information, a specific file is first divided into variable length files and the selection of a particular file is done based on names of the files.    

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