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What Is Data Storage Technology?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 17, 2024
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Data storage technology (DST) is a magnetic tape medium made to externally save computer memory for archiving or for clearing the computer of unneeded information. Most magnetic tape memory comes in a reel, but data storage technology typically is made as a cassette. This memory is specially made for TV and other broadcasting entities, but anyone can save information on the tape. Each cassette is capable of holding hundreds of gigabytes (GB), depending on the size of the cassette.

Magnetic tape is a type of external memory that has been used with computers since the early days of modern computing. While data storage technology is typically not popular with consumers, many businesses and entities with large databases use magnetic tape for reliable memory archiving. The reason most consumers do not use magnetic tape is because it is very slow when compared to other memory types, but each cassette can hold so much that businesses are willing to tolerate the slower speed to get the higher storage capacity.

The majority of magnetic tape storage media comes packed in a reel, but not data storage technology. Instead, the tape is stored in a plastic cassette. This limits the amount of tape that can be fit into the cassette, but it also presents a big advantage. A reel can be susceptible to dust, especially if it is not placed in a sealed case. The data storage technology cassette has a plastic protective covering, so it commonly is more durable than a reel.

Most magnetic tape media are made for general purposes, but data storage technology is specialized for broadcasting entities, primarily TV. This is primarily because of the large memory capacity each DST cassette has relative to its size. At the same time, other entities can use the cassette to store any type of file, whether images, songs or text documents.

There are several cassette sizes in the data storage technology format, and each one can hold a different amount of memory; DST cassettes also are typically layered to improve memory capacity. The smallest DST cassette holds 50 GB, while the biggest one holds more than 600 GB. Compared to other magnetic cassettes, DST cassettes are substantially larger, but this size enables the higher memory capacity. Many businesses have a large cabinet full of many DST cassettes that enables quick storage; if businesses need more storage, they can just add new tapes to the cabinet.

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