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Data Storage - statistics & facts

Data storage describes the technological means by which digital data is retained and archived for use by a computer or other related device. An integral element of the information technology (IT) sector, worldwide spending on data storage units is expected to exceed 78 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. Overall, the hosting, storage and computing market is forecast to amount to approximately 163 billion U.S. dollars in the same year, a figure which is the result, in part, of the growing demand from organizations to store greater volumes of data.

Primary storage allows for the short-term storage of data. Information is retained for immediate use and is directly accessible by the CPU, usually until the main device is reset or turned off. The primary memory of a computer is called random access memory or RAM, with the two most used forms of modern RAM being static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). The global DRAM market generates over 15 billion U.S. dollars each quarter, with Samsung being the largest manufacturer of DRAM in terms of revenues.

Secondary storage, either in the form of hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs), flash drives, or other longer-term storage devices, record and hold data indefinitely, even when the main device is unpowered. NAND flash memory is a type of non-volatile storage that does not require power to retain data. It is primarily used for general storage and transfer of data, with the main market for this technology being in devices where large files are frequently uploaded and replaced, such as MP3 players and digital cameras. Within this market, Toshiba and SanDisk, now owned by Western Digital, are Samsung's largest competitors.

Not all data needs to be immediately accessible. Some requires secure, long-term storage solutions, whether for regulatory reasons or due to the value that the data can provide through content analysis at a later date. This market for information archival is growing along with the rest of the data storage market. In 2023, the global market for information archiving is forecast to be worth nearly 7 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, rising closer to 9 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

In addition to local data storage, there is a growing demand for data storage that is portable and not reliant on local storage capacity. One technology fulfilling this need is cloud storage, hosted services delivered over the internet. These services enable users and enterprises to store data in third-party data centers which can then be accessed without the need for additional on-site storage. Close to 50 percent of all corporate data is stored in the cloud, with customer information and consumer data amongst the types being regularly stored via this method.

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Data storage

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