Storage Technology Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing storage and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • P

    pebibyte (PiB)

    A pebibyte (PiB) is a unit of measure used to describe data capacity.

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes referred to as non-volatile storage.

  • personal cloud storage (PCS)

    Personal cloud storage (PCS) is a local network-attached storage (NAS) device that lets users store data, photos, music, videos and other files and is optimized for media streaming.

  • petabyte

    A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.

  • phase change

    Phase change is a type of compact disk (CD) recording technology that enables the disks to be written, erased, and rewritten through the use of a layer of a special material (called the phase change layer) that can be changed repeatedly from an amorphous (formless) to a crystalline state, or phase-through exposure to variably-powered laser beams.

  • pipeline burst cache

    A pipeline burst cache is a cache or storage area for a computer processor that is designed to be read from or written to in a pipelining succession of four data transfers (or bursts) in which later bursts can start to flow or transfer before the first burst has arrived at the processor.

  • pixie dust or antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media

    Pixie dust is the informal name that IBM is using for its antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media technology, which can increase the data capacity of hard drives to up to four times the density possible with current drives.

  • PLEDM (phase-state low electron drive memory)

    PLEDM (phase-state low electron drive memory) is a new memory microchip technology that offers vastly greater capacity than memory devices commonly used in the past.

  • pNFS (Parallel NFS)

    The Parallel Network File System (pNFS) is part of the NFS v4.1 protocol that allows compute clients to access storage devices directly and in parallel.

  • point-in-time snapshot (PIT snapshot)

    Point-in-time snapshots are a method of data protection that allows an administrator to make a full copy of a volume so that a restore can occur based on a specific time.

  • portability

    Portability is a characteristic attributed to a computer program if it can be used in an operating systems other than the one in which it was created without requiring major rework.

  • primary storage (main storage)

    Primary storage is the collective methods and technologies used to capture and retain digital information that is in active use and critical for an organization’s operations.

  • private cloud storage (internal cloud storage)

    Private cloud storage, also called internal cloud storage, is a service delivery model for storage within a large enterprise.

  • production data

    Production data is data that is persistently stored and essential to completing day-to-day business tasks and processes.

  • protected mode

    Protected mode is a mode of program operation in a computer with an Intel-based microprocessor in which the program is restricted to addressing a specific contiguous area of 640 kilobytes.

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