Computer Science: Storage and Non-Volatile Memory Issues and Trends

            Computers does nothing without information and it needs to be processed and stored, what makes necessary the use of high technology to write data and keep it for further access. Technology nowadays offers so many ways to store and handle data (Magnetic Disks and Flash Drives, for instance), but as systems generates large amounts of data, it data must be retrieved fast, must be stored with a reliable technology, must be cost-effective and it must be centralized, decentralized or even both, depending on the architecture strategy.

            In computing, when data is stored and it is available to be retrieved at any time it is defined as “Non-Volatile Memory”. Non-Volatile Memory is a term when it refers to memory chips that hold their content without power being applied (PcMagazine, 2014).

            The Data Storage topic is and will continue to be a critical topic in computing, especially considering decentralized systems with huge amount of data, using the concepts of Cloud and Big Data. According to Zdnet, 2014, as data usage continues to grow exponentially, IT managers will need to orchestrate multiple kinds of storage — including flash, hard disk and tape — in a way that optimizes capacity, performance, cost and power consumption.

            One of the most notable technologies nowadays in storage is Flash Memory. When you store data in your smartphone, digital camera or GPS you are using this technology. Solid-state drives (SSD) using flash memory are replacing hard drives in netbooks and PCs and even some server installations, needing no batteries or other power to retain data, flash is convenient and relatively foolproof (ComputerWorld, 2014). Technically speaking, Flash Memory is a specific type of EEPROM (an acronym to Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-only Memory), which is programmed and erased in large blocks.

            I personally use SSD storage on my MacBook, which I feel my OS running fast and not much noisy, as it was when I used to use HDD storage with Personal Computers. I personally believe the HDD technology will continue to be commercialized in the next years especially because of the price, nevertheless as the SSD technology become cheaper it can overtake the HDD technology in terms of popularity.

PcMagazine. 2014. Definition of: non-volatile memory. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/48059/non-volatile-memory. [Accessed 20 July 14].

ZDNet. 2014. Storage in 2014: An overview. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.zdnet.com/storage-in-2014-an-overview-7000024712/. [Accessed 20 July 14].

ComputerWorld. 2014. Flash memory. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/349425/Flash_Memory. [Accessed 20 July 14].

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