Trends in storage technology

The two most common trends in all storage devices have been:

  • increasing storage capacity
  • increasing access speed


- The quantity of data that can be stored on each new version of a device tends to increase, while their physical size tends to decrease.
- Each new generation of devices are usually significantly faster.
- Storage technologies are becoming more sophisticated, more versatile and easier to use.
- Intelligent storage devices are now common. They are able to monitor their own performance and give fault warnings. This is helpful as it can allow systems to safely move data to other locations.
- Fault tolerant devices are becoming more common. These allow storage devices to continue working in some cases if there is a fault within the device or information system.


It is difficult to predict future trends, because in the past new developments are usually totally unexpected and therefore unpredictable.
New storage materials and methods for storing are being discovered and engineers are turning some of these discoveries into practical devices. This process is often slow. As many discoveries made today may not appear as working devices for many years, if at all.
One recent discovery is the use of light to store data. This holds enormous potential. A storage device based on this discovery would operate at the speed of light and be considerably more reliable than any current device,