Storing Your Stuff

How much is enough?

The four tasks for any computing device are the ability to input data, process it, output information, and store the results. As we rely more and more on our devices, storage space often becomes problematic. How much storage do you need?

Western Digital, a leading storage device manufacturer, must think we need a lot. According to this Digital Trends article from Kevin Parrish, Western Digital has just introduced a new hard disk drive (HDD) capable of storing up to 12 terabytes (TB) of data. At this time, the drive is only available for enterprise data centers, but these things typically make their way to the consumer markets too. Western Digital has been able to increase the drive's storage capacity by using a special sealing technology that implements helium instead of regular air. Because helium is lighter than air, it produces less drag on the spinning disk platters. Many drives have multiple platters. By using helium, Western Digital is able to stack the platters closer together, which provides more storage capacity. It also makes the drive more power efficient too.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. There's a saying that can be found in many different industries - You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it good (or right) - pick two! The same thing applies to hard drives. Show the storage buying guide video from CNET to the class. Which of the three qualities - speed, cost, quality - are most important to them?
  2. Divide the class into small groups and ask each group to research and review one of the latest hard drives to appear in the market. Groups should list the capabilities of the hard drive, including it's speed and storage. How much does it cost? Is it an internal or external drive? What differentiates it from other hard drives on the market? Groups should answer these and any other appropriate questions and create a presentation to share their findings with the class.
  3. As an individual project, students should research alternative storage methods and write a brief paper about them.


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