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Digital data storage – A guide to modern systems

by Casey Schmidt  |  December 3, 2019

4 min. read
Man and woman working in a data center.

Modern digital data storage requires systems capable of backing up data and preventing all possible data overload. Learn more about data storage and how it works in order to fulfill your own companies needs. Here’s an in-depth breakdown.

What is digital data storage?

Digital data storage is mostly offline storage for backup and fail-safe data. In recent years, digital data has evolved to include cloud storage. It is a server that hosts all types of uploaded data, including media files. It generally exists to serve companies that have large amounts of data and need it protected and backed up.

How is digital data stored?

In a technical sense, data is stored as code or numbers for a computer to read and control. It’s then guided based on the computer input rules and stored in different locations. Data within files can be stored offline in different drive types, on a physical location like a hard drive and online in the cloud.

A young woman works on data on her computer.
Data is stored in a manner that computers understand.

Different ways to store data

There are different types of data storage and it’s important to understand how they contrast from one another. RAM, or memory, is temporary data storage so the computer can quickly access it. The data stored here isn’t permanent. It instead allows a computer to read data fast, opposed to the slower alternatives of storage.

The other type of storage is a device like a hard drive, which holds permanent data unlike the RAM storage. This storage is potentially mobile, as the drive can be external as well as internal. Personal data within different types of files including media generally are stored onto things like the hard drive or external drives for future use. It also helps the uploader retrieve data quickly in the future.

A man checks the servers of a data center with his laptop.
Data is stored both permanently and temporarily.

Alternatives to traditional storage

Digital data storage began as a computer storage technology for audio. It then transformed to include different digital files. In modern times, companies are moving away from traditional on-site locations in favor of cloud systems that optimize collaboration. When companies need to share data with outside parties, they implement a digital data center. These systems save space, money and time. They are also important because of the security they provide to backup data immediately.

Companies protect sensitive data through sufficient, around-the-clock service. Because of this, they’re trusting their data to systems to enterprises whose main goal is digital data storage. These systems prevent data overload, and they also store data within infrastructures that allow companies to quickly access their data.

A man and woman coworkers review a data server.
There are alternatives to traditional data storage.

Digital data storage systems

Data storage systems are servers that host company data in a location different than the company location. Digital asset management (DAM) software similarly stores data but there are a few nuanced differences. DAM is suited for media files and documents – it boosts retrieval, sharing and collaboration.

DAM technically stores data, though it’s more geared toward companies wishing to store and share digital files with third parties. It also organizes files efficiently. Consider a DAM system when your storage needs include a more broad range of file types, such as media and other documents.

The future of digital storage

As data continues to grow and evolve, companies in turn need more ways and space to store it. Certainly, nobody can predict the future. However, it’s certainly possible to give strong estimates based on what we know so far. If we follow the trajectory that we are currently in, data should continue to increase exponentially. Furthermore, companies will need to keep extensive records for legal reasons.

Will this data continue to be stored on local servers? Will it mostly take to the cloud? There’s a lot of uncertainty as to what will win out in the end. There’s even talk of things like magnetic tape data storage becoming a large presence. The most important thing you can do is pay attention to what you need specifically to successfully maintain your data.

Digital data storage should not only help free up storage space but also allow your company a chance to quickly retrieve files. Use the right storage system in order to get the most efficient data use.