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Storage (also called data storage, computer storage, or storage device)

is the place where data is held in an electromagnetic or optical form for access by a computer processor.[1]


There are two general usages:

  1. Storage is frequently used to mean the devices and data connected to the computer through input/output operations — that is, hard disk and tape systems and other forms of storage that do not include computer memory and other in-computer storage. This meaning is probably more common in the information technology industry than meaning 2.
  1. In a more formal usage, storage has been divided into (1) primary storage, which holds data in memory (sometimes called random access memory or RAM) and other "built-in" devices such as the processor's L1 cache, and (2) secondary storage, which holds data on hard disks, tapes, and other devices requiring input/output operations. Primary storage is much faster to access than secondary storage because of the proximity of the storage to the processor or because of the nature of the storage devices. On the other hand, secondary storage can hold much more data than primary storage.[2]

Storage devices include:


See also[]