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Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Data Storage

March 15, 2022
Read Time 5 mins

Transform and enhance your business with a comprehensive storage solution that integrates and refreshes your existing IT infrastructure, while reducing costs with Tarsus Distributions’ data storage solutions. In this article, we answer all the questions you might have about this topic. 

Covered In This Article

What Is Computer Data Storage?
What Is The Difference Between Memory And Storage?
What Are Data Storage Systems?
How Do I Organise Data Storage?
How Do I Back Up My Data?
Which Enterprise Data Storage Solutions Does Tarsus Distribution Offer?

What Is Computer Data Storage?

Storage is a process through which digital data is saved within a data storage device by means of computing technology. Storage is a mechanism that enables a computer to retain data, either temporarily or permanently. Storage devices such as flash drives and hard disks are a fundamental component of most digital devices since they allow users to preserve all kinds of information such as videos, documents, pictures, and raw data. Storage may also be referred to as computer data storage or electronic data storage.

Common storage devices that are in use or have been used in the past include:

  • Hard disks.
  • Flash drives.
  • Floppy diskettes.
  • Tape drives.
  • CD-ROM disks.
  • Blu-ray disks.
  • Memory cards.
  • Cloud drives.

What Is The Difference Between Memory And Storage?

Storage is often confused for memory, although in computing the two terms have different meanings. Memory refers to the short-term location of temporary data (see volatile storage above), while storage devices, in fact, store data on a long-term basis for later uses and access. While memory is cleared every time a computer is turned off, stored data is saved and stays intact until it’s manually deleted. Primary or volatile storage tends to me much faster than secondary storage due to its proximity to the processor, but it’s also comparably smaller. Secondary storage can hold and handle significantly larger sizes of data and keeps it inactive until it’s needed again.

What Are Data Storage Systems?

To store data, regardless of form, users need storage devices. Data storage devices come in two main categories: direct area storage and network-based storage. 

Direct area storage, also known as direct-attached storage (DAS), is as the name implies. This storage is often in the immediate area and directly connected to the computing machine accessing it. Often, it's the only machine connected to it. DAS can provide decent local backup services, too, but sharing is limited. DAS devices include floppy disks, optical discs—compact discs (CDs) and digital video discs (DVDs)—hard disk drives (HDD), flash drives and solid-state drives (SSD). 

Network-based storage allows more than one computer to access it through a network, making it better for data sharing and collaboration. Its off-site storage capability also makes it better suited for backups and data protection. Two common network-based storage setups are network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN). 


NAS is often a single device made up of redundant storage containers or a redundant array of independent disks (RAID).

  • Single storage device or RAI
  • File storage system
  • TCP/IP Ethernet network
  • Limited users
  • Limited speed
  • Limited expansion options
  • Lower cost and easy setup


SAN storage can be a network of multiple devices of various types, including SSD and flash storage, hybrid storage, hybrid cloud storage, backup software and appliances, and cloud storage.

  • Network of multiple devices
  • Block storage system
  • Fibre Channel network
  • Optimised for multiple users
  • Faster performance
  • Highly expandable
  • Higher cost and complex setup

How Do I Organise Data Storage?

Choosing a logical and consistent way to name and organise your files allows you and others to easily locate and use them. Ideally, the best time to think about how to name and structure the documents and directories you create is at the start of a project.

Agreeing on a naming convention will help to provide consistency, which will make it easier to find and correctly identify your files, and prevent version control problems when working on files collaboratively. Organising your files carefully will save you time and frustration by helping you and your colleagues find what you need when you need it.

The following tips should help you develop such a system:

  • Use folders - group files within folders so information on a particular topic is located in one place
  • Adhere to existing procedures - check for established approaches in your team or department which you can adopt
  • Name folders appropriately - name folders after the areas of work to which they relate and not after individual researchers or students. This avoids confusion in shared workspaces if a member of staff leaves, and makes the file system easier to navigate for new people joining the workspace
  • Be consistent – when developing a naming scheme for your folders it is important that once you have decided on a method, you stick to it. If you can, try to agree on a naming scheme from the outset of your research project
  • Structure folders hierarchically - start with a limited number of folders for the broader topics, and then create more specific folders within these
  • Separate ongoing and completed work - as you start to create lots of folders and files, it is a good idea to start thinking about separating your older documents from those you are currently working on
  • Try to keep your ‘My Documents’ folder for files you are actively working on, and every month or so, move the files you are no longer working on to a different folder or location, such as a folder on your desktop, a special archive folder or an external hard drive
  • Backup – ensure that your files, whether they are on your local drive, or on a network drive, are backed up
  • Review records - assess materials regularly or at the end of a project to ensure files are not kept needlessly. Put a reminder in your calendar so you do not forget!

storage data backup

How Do I Back Up My Data?

Plainly put, a data backup is a copy or archive of the important information stored on your devices such as a computer, phone, or tablet, and it’s used to restore that original information in the event of a data loss.

Not only does it make sense in case your laptop is stolen, or your hard disk fails, but it also means that you have more options for recovery should your computer become infected with ransomware, a particularly nasty strain of malware. Ransomware encrypts your files and threatens to delete them if you don’t pay a ransom within a certain time period. ESET doesn’t recommend giving in to ransomware demands for many reasons both ethical and practical (not least because you mark yourself as a possible target for future attacks), but if your files are all safely backed up, you won’t even feel tempted to negotiate with them in the first place.

The standard recommendation is to have multiple copies of your data. For example, a typical backup strategy would have:

  • Snapshots running on your storage
  • A local backup of both file-level and image level on a separate storage device
  • An offsite backup of both files and images. To support offsite backups, you need to have an Internet or WAN connection that will support your backup traffic. Typically you want to have enough bandwidth to complete a full backup of your data in 24 hours.
  • Also, having multiple copies of your data is essential if or when you need to recover your data to a specific point in time. 

Which Enterprise Data Storage Solutions Does Tarsus Distribution Offer?

Tarsus Distribution has been supplying high-quality data storage for many years, keeping up with the fast pace of technological development to continuously provide the best devices and solutions across a variety of scales.

For individual users or for businesses operating on a small scale, the storage that is supplied standard with laptop or desktop computers, together with USB hard drives or similar devices, is perfectly fine to store data safely. At some point, however, when the scale increases, these storage solutions are no longer fit to purpose.

Many enterprises than need to expand their hardware to make sure they can store all their data and/or migrate some resources into a colocation facility to increase capacity or implement redundancy to manage any potential disasters. This combination of large-scale, onsite, and offsite storage solutions is essential for all enterprises.

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