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There are a myriad of data storage options, from portable USB flash drives to large network attached storage drives. If you are planning to expand your organization’s data storage capabilities, you should know what options are available. NeweggBusiness will outline several popular internal and external data storage solutions.
Internal desktop hard drives come in a wide range of capacities, with some offering as much as 4 terabytes (TB). In terms of speed, they can range from 5,400 RPM on the lower end to as high as 15,000 RPM. Between those two speeds, 7,200 RPM is considered a good median.
In recent years, solid state drives (SSDs) have become popular alternatives to hard drives for users that want faster data transfer speeds. However, hard drives have the advantage of being available in larger capacities and offering more gigabytes of storage space per dollar.
Laptop hard drives are sometimes referred to as 2.5 inch hard drives. But their dimensions are actually 3.9 inches (length) × 2.7 inches (width), with thickness varying slightly. Laptop hard drives usually have speeds of 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM.
Some 2.5 inch hard drives have 10,000 RPM and higher rotational speeds, but they tend to be advertised as enterprise hard drives and not laptop hard drives.
External hard drives are excellent solutions for backing up and sharing large amounts of data. They can come in a wide range of capacities, dimensions, and connection types. The most common connection type for external hard drives is USB, followed by eSATATM and FireWire® (IEEE 1394). Many external hard drives can be powered solely by the main data connector, but some may require a separate power source.
A network attached storage drive is a type of external hard drive that connects directly to a network rather than to a computer. NAS drives have specialized hardware and software that allow them to act as file servers for an entire network so that users can store and share files amongst each other. Many NAS devices are expandable and allow you to use your own hard drives so you can scale capacity to your network’s needs.
The term optical storage describes any type of data storage that can be read and written with a laser. This includes, but is not limited to CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs™. In terms of capacity and speed, optical media can vary widely. NeweggBusiness lists the maximum capacities for three of the most common optical storage standards below.
Internal solid state drives are popular alternatives to hard drives, as they generally have higher data transfer rates, run nearly silent, do not vibrate, and produce little heat. However, they offer less storage space per dollar compared to hard drives. In addition, capacities for internal SSDs tend to be smaller than hard drives. There are some internal SSDs that offer several terabytes of storage space, but they generally fall under the category of enterprise SSDs.
Solid state drives for desktops and laptops are excellent for general office tasks, but they are not optimized for data centers and servers. For those purposes, enterprise-grade SSDs are better choices. Some of the key differences between enterprise and consumer SSDs include increased mean times between failures (MTBF), more endurance during sustained workloads, the ability to perform error checks without sacrificing performance, and availability in larger capacities.
Compared to hard drives and solid state drives, tape drives are a slightly older data storage technology. Tape drives utilize removable magnetic tape cartridges to store data. This method of storage has two advantages. The first is that tape cartridges have a low cost per GB and the second is that they have data transfer rates that can exceed those of optical media.
Though it is a more mature method of data storage, tape media storage is still actively developed and supported. The latest tape media standard is known as linear tape-open 6 (LTO-6) and features a maximum data transfer rate of up to 400 MBps.
There are many different memory card standards, each available in a range of storage capacities. Some memory card standards can be mere millimeters thick. Due to their size and portability, they are excellent data storage solutions for sharing files. Some devices, such as digital cameras and MP3 players, utilize memory cards for storing media to be played or transferred onto a computer later.
USB flash drives are removable data storage devices like memory cards, except that they connect to USB ports and do not need card readers. Convenient and portable, they are available in a range of storage capacities and sizes. Because they do not require card readers, they are a great data storage solution for sharing files.