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.

  • R

    Robson

    Robson is a mass storage system similar to a hybrid hard drive (HHD)... (Continued)

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a specially formulated solid dielectric material.

  • S

    SAN file system

    A SAN file system (that is, a storage area network file system) is programming that enables the sharing of the same copies of files stored on common storage media among multiple servers that may have different operating systems.

  • SAN island

    A SAN island is a storage area network (SAN) that exists as a discrete, isolated entity within a larger SAN. The components of a SAN island are usually all located in the same building, or even within a single room.

  • SAN routing

    SAN (storage area network) routing is a technology used for interconnecting SAN islands (separately designated logical portions of a storage area network) within a larger network.

  • SAN switch (storage area network switch)

    A storage area network (SAN) switch is a device that connects servers and shared pools of storage devices and is dedicated to moving storage traffic.

  • SAN-in-a-box

    A SAN-in-a-box, also known as a SAN-in-a-can or a SAN kit, is a data storage device that includes all the basic SAN components are in a single package.

  • SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive)

    A SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive) is a NAND flash-based storage or caching device designed to fit in the same slot as a hard disk drive (HDD) and use the SAS interface to connect to the host computer.

  • SATA controller

    A SATA controller handles how hard drives are connected to a computer's motherboard.

  • SATA Express (SATAe)

    SATA Express (SATAe or Serial ATA Express) is a bus interface to connect storage devices to a computer motherboard, supporting SATA and PCI Express protocols simultaneously.

  • SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)

    Definition: The Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) is a set of parallel interface standards used to attach disk drives and other peripherals to a computer.

  • SCSI controller (Small Computer System Interface controller)

    A SCSI controller, also called a host bus adapter (HBA), is a card or chip that allows a SCSI storage device to communicate with the operating system across a SCSI bus.

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that will not be frequently accessed.

  • sector

    On a computer diskette or hard disk, a sector is one of the "pie slices" the diskette or disk is divided into.

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in more portable storage media.

  • self-service cloud computing

    Self-service cloud computing is a form of private cloud service where the customer provisions storage and launches applications without going through an external cloud service provider.

  • semiconductor fab

    A semiconductor fab is a manufacturing plant in which raw silicon wafers are turned into integrated circuits. 

  • SerDes (serializer/deserializer)

    A SerDes or serializer/deserializer is an integrated circuit (IC or chip) transceiver that converts parallel data to serial data and vice-versa.

  • Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA)

    The SATA storage protocol transmits data in serial fashion between hard drives and computer systems. The nonprofit SATA-IO industry consortium authors the design specification.

  • Serial Storage Architecture (SSA)

    Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) is an open standard for high-speed access to high-capacity disk storage.

  • serial-attached SCSI (SAS)

    Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) is a point-to-point protocol used to transfer digital data between servers and SAS storage devices.

  • server-based SSD

    A server-based SSD is a solid state drive that may be manufactured in a PCI Express form factor.

  • server-based storage

    Server-based storage is a re-emerging class of data storage that removes cost and complexity by housing storage media inside servers rather than in dedicated and custom-engineered storage arrays.

  • shadow RAM

    Shadow RAM is a copy of Basic Input/Output Operating System (BIOS) routines from read-only memory (ROM) into a special area of random access memory (RAM) so that they can be accessed more quickly.

  • Shared SAS

    Shared serial-attached SCSI (SAS) is a method for attaching more than one server to a storage array via individual point-to-point or SAS switched connections.

  • shingled magnetic recording (SMR)

    Shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is a technique for writing data to disk drives in partially overlapping tracks to boost areal density and overall capacity.

  • short stroking

    Short stroking is the practice of formatting a disk drive such that data is written only to the outer sectors of the disk's platters.

  • Single namespace

    A single namespace is one presentation of file system data.

  • single-electron memory (SEM)

    Single-electron memory (SEM) refers to experimental hardware technologies in which the position or presence of a single charge carrier, usually an electron, makes the difference between the logical low (0) and high (1) states in a digital system.

  • single-level cell (SLC) flash

    Single-level cell (SLC) flash is a type of solid-state storage that stores one bit of data per cell of flash media.

  • Skyera

    Skyera was an all-flash array vendor that Western Digital's HGST subsidiary purchased in an all-cash transaction in December 2014.

  • SmartMedia card

    A SmartMedia card (originally called a solid-state floppy disk card, or SSFDC) is a memory card developed by Toshiba that uses flash memory to store data and to make it portable among devices, such as digital cameras, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other handheld devices.

  • SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification)

    SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification) is a standard developed by the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) that is intended to facilitate the management of storage devices from multiple vendors in storage area networks (SANs).

  • SNIA Solid-State Storage Initiative (SSSI)

    The Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) is an initiative formed by the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) to help foster and grow the adoption of solid-state storage in enterprise and client environments.

  • soft zoning

    Soft zoning is used to allocate resources and control access in a storage-area network (SAN).

  • software RAID (software redundant array of independent disk)

    Software RAID is a form of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) performed on the internal server.

  • software-defined storage (SDS)

    Software-defined storage (SDS) is a computer program that manages data storage resources and functionality and has no dependencies on the underlying physical storage hardware.

  • solid state drive (SSD) capacity

    solid state drive (SSD) capacity

  • solid state module (SSM)

    A solid state module is solid state storage that resides in a Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM) or similar form factor. 

  • solid state storage (SSS) garbage collection

    Garbage collection, like TRIM, pro-actively eliminates the need for whole block erasures prior to every write operation.

  • solid state storage auto-tiering

    Solid state storage auto tiering is automatically moving data that needs to accessed frequently to more expensive single-level cell (SLC) solid state storage and moving data that does not require frequent access to less expensive multi-level cell (MLC) solid state media or other lower cost, higher capacity drives.

  • Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS)

    Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) is a set of procedures for evaluating the performance of NAND-based solid state storage (SSS). 

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically instead of magnetically, as spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) or magnetic oxide tape do.

  • solid-state storage UBER

    Solid-state storage UBER (unrecoverable bit error rate) is the percentage of bits that have errors relative to the total number of bits that have been read.

  • Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF)

    S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) is a standard audio transfer file format.

  • Sound Designer II (SD2)

    SDII (Sound Designer II, sometimes seen abbreviated as SD2) is a monophonic/stereophonic audio file format, originally developed by Digidesign for their Macintosh-based recording/editing products.

  • spindle

    A spindle is a shaft that holds rotating hard disk drive (HDD) platters in place. The term is also often used to refer to a single HDD.

  • SSD (solid-state drive)

    An SSD (solid-state drive) is a type of nonvolatile storage media that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so data requests can be met with improved speed.

  • SSD form factor

    An SSD form factor is the size, configuration or physical arrangement of solid state storage (SSS) media.

  • SSD purge (solid state drive purge)

    SSD purge is the process of returning a flash memory device to its original state at the time of manufacturing and effectively erasing any data that has been written to the device. A purge is sometimes called a hard reset or digital sanitization. 

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across multiple SSDs.

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state drive (SSD) which data blocks it can erase because they are no longer in use.

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • stand-alone solid state storage (SSS)

    Stand-alone SSS is solid state storage that is not integrated with spinning hard drive disks as in a hybrid flash array.

  • standalone dump

    A standalone dump is the copying of the contents of computer main storage (random access memory) to another storage device, usually for the purpose of debugging a programming problem.

  • Standard MIDI File (SMF)

    The SMF (Standard MIDI File) was developed to allow musicians and audio file developers to transfer their sequenced MIDI data from one software application to another.

  • steady state

    Steady state is a condition in which a solid state flash drive has experienced enough program/erase (P/E) cycles that performance times for write operations becomes stable and can be evaluated in a consistent manner.

  • storage area management (SAM)

    Storage area management (SAM) is a still-evolving set of procedures, services, and standards for comprehensively managing the infrastructure of a storage area network (SAN), including all components within all servers, the disk arrays, the tape libraries, the switches, the routers, and the programs.

  • storage as a service (STaaS)

    Storage as a service can be delivered on premises from infrastructure that is dedicated to a single customer, or it can be delivered from the public cloud as a shared service that's purchased by subscription and is billed according to one or more usage metrics.

  • storage at the edge

    Storage at the edge is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information at the periphery of the network, as close to the originating source as possible.

  • storage capacity planning

    The goal of storage capacity planning is to predict how much storage an organization will require so that just enough disk space can be purchased to meet the needs of users and applications.

  • storage class memory (SCM)

    Storage class memory (SCM) is a type of NAND flash that includes a power source to ensure that data won't be lost due to a system crash or power failure.

  • storage consolidation

    Storage consolidation, also called storage convergence is a method of centralizing data storage among multiple servers.

  • storage distance extension

    Storage distance extension refers to any of several different technologies that allow data communication in Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) over long spans of fiber optic cable.

  • storage encryption

    Storage encryption is the use of encryption/decryption of backed-up and archived data, both in transit and on storage media.

  • storage filer

    A storage filer is a file server designed and programmed for high-volume data storage, backup, and archiving.

  • storage hypervisor

    Storage hypervisors make more efficient use of storage resources in a virtual environment.

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is any technology -- including devices and materials -- used to place, keep and retrieve electronic data.

  • Storage Networking Industry Association

    The Storage Networking Industry Association, also known as SNIA, is a nonprofit trade group that promotes standards and technologies for the storage industry and offers education services, technical work groups and certifications for IT professionals.

  • storage node

    A storage node is typically a physical server with one or more hard-disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SDDs).

  • storage provisioning

    Storage provisioning is the process of assigning storage, usually in the form of server disk drive space, in order to optimize the performance of a storage area network (SAN)...(Continued)

  • storage replication service

    A storage replication service is a managed service in which stored or archived data is duplicated in real time over a storage area network (SAN).

  • storage resource management (SRM)

    An important goal of storage resource management is to make it easier for storage administrators to reclaim unused storage

  • storage security

    Storage security is the group of parameters and settings that make storage resources available to authorized users and trusted networks - and unavailable to other entities.

  • storage service provider (SSP)

    Also see two related terms, application service provider and management service provider.

  • storage stack

    A storage stack, also called an integrated stack, is a bundled storage product that include servers, networking components and server virtualization software. 

  • storage utilization

    Storage utilization is a measure of how well the available data storage space in an enterprise is used.

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage device -- or pool of available storage capacity -- that is managed from a central console.

  • storage volume

    A definition of volume must include a comparison of the unit of data storage to a partition, as well as insight into logical volume management, a form of storage virtualization.

  • SugarSync

    SugarSync is an online file sync-and-share service.

  • Super Audio CD (SACD)

    Super Audio Compact Disk (SACD) is a high-resolution audio CD format.

  • switching fabric

    Switching fabric is the combination of hardware and software that moves data coming in to a network node out by the correct port (door) to the next node in the network.

  • synchronous mirroring

    Synchronous mirroring is a type of data protection in which data is written to both a remote and local disk simultaneously.

  • What is a SAN? Ultimate storage area network guide

    A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of storage devices to multiple servers.

  • T

    Tahoe-LAFS (Tahoe Least-Authority File System)

    Tahoe-LAFS (Tahoe Least-Authority File System) is a distributed storage system that offers provider-independent security for local or cloud storage.

  • tape drive

    A tape drive is a device that stores computer data on magnetic tape, especially for backup and archiving purposes.

  • tebibyte (TiB)

    A tebibyte (TiB) is a unit of measure used to describe computing capacity.

  • Terabyte (TB)

    A Terabyte (TB) is a measure of computer storage capacity that is approximately 2 to the 40th power, or 10 to the 12th power, which equals approximately a trillion bytes.

  • thick provisioning

    Thick provisioning pre-allocates storage capacity on a disk rather than on an as-needed basis.

  • thin provisioning (TP)

    Thin provisioning (TP) is a method of optimizing the efficiency with which the available space is utilized in storage area networks... (Continued)

  • thin server

    In the computer industry, a thin server is a PC that contains just enough hardware and software to support a particular function that users can share in a network, such as access to files on a storage device, access to CD-ROM drives, printing, or Internet access.

  • thin-film disk

    A thin-film disk is a hard disk storage medium with a very thin coating of a metallic alloy or glass instead of the usual carbon-based material found on other types of hard disks.

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage hierarchy.

  • Tier 1 storage

    Tier 1 storage is a reference to the higher performing systems in a tiered storage environment.

  • tiered storage

    Tiered storage is a way to assign different categories of data to various types of storage media with the objective of reducing the total cost of storage.

  • TLC flash (triple-level cell flash)

    TLC flash (triple-level cell flash) is a type of NAND flash memory that stores three bits of data per cell.

  • Travan

    Travan is a linear magnetic tape product developed by the 3M Company... (Continued)

  • tunnel injection

    Tunnel injection, also called Fowler-Nordheim tunnel injection, is the process by which data is written to NAND flash memory.  

  • tunnel release

    Tunnel release, also called Fowler-Nordheim tunnel release, is the process by which data is erased from NAND flash memory.  

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchDataBackup

SearchConvergedInfrastructure

Close