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ICT Storage Media Coursework

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Computing Report - Storage Media Magnetic Tapes Tape Drives Tape drives have been successfully used as a backing storage medium for many years now, with storage capacity increasing as technology is improved. It is often used as the preferred backup method for servers and small companies. Advantages are: > It is often useful for people who create a large amount of data to back up weekly or monthly. With tape drives, this can be done without the need for multiple hard drives. Infrequently used data can be archived to tapes, which can also be accessed off site. > Tape drives are used when high reliability and relatively high capacity is needed. For example, some have a MTBF (Mean time between failures) of one million hours when used for 20% of the day, or many hundred thousand hours used constantly. > Tape drives can be expensive initially, but become extremely inexpensive when you factor in the low cost of the media over time. Disadvantages are: > Tape backups store and retrieve data sequentially. The last file backed up can't be accessed until the rest of the tape is read; other types of backup storage (for example: Hard Disk Drives) use random access, which enables any file on the device to be located and used in mere seconds. ...read more.


Hard disk drives are also widely used to back up data. Advantages: > Extremely large storage capacity and often the cheapest in terms of cost per GB (Giga byte) of memory. > High performance disks with RPM (Revolutions per minute) speeds of 7,000 / 10,000 increase the performance of computers, as the internal data transfer rate increases as well. > Backups can be created easily using a variety of techniques such as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), a category of disk drives that employ two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance. RAID disk drives are used frequently on servers. RAID1 mirrors all the data on one disk onto the other, and in the case of one drive failing, all data is still accessible. Disadvantages: > All magnetic disks are vulnerable to magnetic fields. Therefore, if you expose a disk to a strong magnetic field, it is possible that some of the bits on your disk will be switched, obliterated or otherwise changed from what they should be. > If enough dust enters the hard drive casing, or the drive is jolted suddenly (for example, if you dropped a laptop.) The head of the hard drive may crash against the platter, destroying the thin magnetic coating on the disk. ...read more.


Disadvantages: > USB drives rarely have encryption as standard. As such, valuable data from large companies can be easily lost or stolen. Their small size means that they are easily misplaced. > There is lower recoverability with Flash drives. For example, after mechanical failure the data is completely lost as the cell is destroyed, while if normal HDD (Hard Disk Drive) suffers mechanical failure the data is often recoverable using expert help. Subsequent investigations in to this field, however, have found that data can be recovered from SSD memory. With the advance of technology in this area new Solid State Disks have been made that can be substituted for mechanical hard drives. The typical access time for a Flash based SSD is about 35 - 100 micro-seconds, whereas that of a rotating disk is around 5,000 - 10,000 micro-seconds. That makes a Flash-based SSD approximately 100 times faster than a rotating disk. These drives are only available in relatively small sizes (64GB), but there are many advantages for laptops. SSD's have no moving parts, so they use much less power than their mechanical equivalents, and are silent as well. Memory Capacity Data access (seek) Time Data transfer rate Price USB drive: 64MB - 20GB+ SSD Drive: Up to 64GB Almost none existent 67-megabytes per second (read) USB drive: �2 - �80 + SSD Drive: �300+ ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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