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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  • T

    two-spindle system (twin-spindle system)

    A two-spindle system, also called a twin-spindle system, is a computer design with two internal storage drives.

  • U

    U.2 SSD (formerly SFF-8639)

    A U.2 SSD is a high-performance data storage device designed to support the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) interface using a small form factor (SFF) connector that is also compatible with standard Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA)-based spinning disks and solid-state drives (SSDs).

  • UDO (ultra density optical)

    Ultra density optical (UDO) is an optical storage technology that increases capacities by using an extremely focused blue laser to write and read data.

  • Ultra DMA (UDMA or Ultra DMA/33)

    Ultra DMA (UDMA, or, more accurately, Ultra DMA/33) is a protocol for transferring data between a hard disk drive through the computer's data paths (or bus) to the computer's random access memory (RAM).

  • unified storage (multiprotocol storage)

    Unified storage -- sometimes called network unified storage or multiprotocol storage -- is a storage system that runs and manages files and applications from a single device.

  • Universal Disk Format (UDF)

    Universal Disk Format (UDF) is a CD-ROM and DVD file system standard developed as a means of ensuring consistency among data written to various optical media, by facilitating both data interchange and the implementation of the ISO/IEC 13346 standard.

  • USB flash drive

    A USB flash drive -- also known as a stick, thumb or pen drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and can attach to a keychain.

  • utility storage

    Utility storage is a service model in which a provider makes storage capacity available to an individual, an organization or a business unit on a pay-per-use basis. The utility model is sometimes called metered services or storage on demand.

  • V

    VCD (video CD or video compact disc)

    VCD (also called video CD, video compact disc or "disc") is a compact diskformat based on CD-ROM XAthat is specifically designed to hold MPEG-1video data and to include interactive capabilities.

  • Virtual File Allocation Table (VFAT)

    Virtual File Allocation Table (VFAT) is the part of the Windows 95 and later operating system that handles long file names, which otherwise could not be handled by the original file allocation table file allocation table (FAT) programming.

  • virtual LUN or thin LUN

    A virtual LUN (virtual logical unit number) is a representation of a storage area that is not tied to any physical storage allocation. Virtual LUNs are used in thin provisioning (also known as virtual provisioning) for storage area network (SAN) management. A virtual LUN is also sometimes called a thin LUN.

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by temporarily transferring data from random access memory (RAM) to disk storage.

  • virtual provisioning

    Virtual provisioning is a term used by vendors, such as EMC, to describe a process of efficiently provisioning space in storage area networks (SAN). (Continued...)

  • virtual SAN appliance (VSA)

    A virtual SAN appliance (VSA) is a software bundle that allows a storage manager to turn the unused storage capacity in his network's virtual servers into a storage area network (SAN).

  • virtual storage area network (VSAN)

    A virtual storage area network (VSAN) is a logical partition in a storage area network (SAN). VSANs allow traffic to be isolated within specific portions of a storage area network.

  • Virtual Storage Portal (VSP)

    Another meaning for VSP is vertical solutions provider.

  • virtual tape

    Virtual tape is an archival storage technology that makes it possible to save data as if it were being stored on tape although it may actually be stored on hard disk or on another storage medium.

  • VMware Storage Policy-Based Management

    Storage Policy-Based Management is a feature that allows for automatic provisioning of virtual machines in a VMware environment.

  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

  • W

    wear leveling

    Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

  • White Book

    The White Book, which was released in 1993 by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC, is the specification document for Video CD (VCD).

  • wide-area file services (WAFS)

    Wide-area file services (WAFS) is a storage technology that makes it possible to access a remote data center as though it were local. Among other benefits, WAFS enables businesses, academic institutions, and government agencies having numerous branch offices to centrally manage data backups in real time... (Continued)

  • Windows Storage Server 2012

    Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012 (WSS 2012) is a platform for network-attached storage (NAS ) appliances and iSCSI storage systems.

  • Windows Storage Spaces

    Windows Storage Spaces is a feature in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 that is used to virtualize and provision storage.

  • World Wide Name (WWN)

    A World Wide Name (WWN) is a unique identifier that is assigned to a manufacturer by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and hard-coded into a Fibre Channel (FC) device.

  • WORM (write once, read many)

    In computer storage media, WORM (write once, read many) is a data storage technology that allows information to be written to a disc a single time and prevents the drive from erasing the data.

  • WRAM (Window RAM)

    Window RAM (WRAM), unrelated to Microsoft Windows, is very high-performance video RAM that is dual-ported and has about 25% more bandwidth than VRAM but costs less.

  • write amplification

    Write amplification is an issue that occurs in solid state storage devices that can decrease the lifespan of the device and impact performance.

  • write amplification factor (WAF)

    Write amplification factor (WAF) is a numerical value that represents the amount of data a solid state storage controller has to write in relation to the amount of data that the host’s flash controller has to write.

  • write endurance

    Write endurance is the number of program/erase (P/E cycles) that can be applied to a block of flash memory before the storage media becomes unreliable.  

  • X

    XAM (eXtensible Access Method)

    XAM (eXtensible Access Method) is a standard that makes it easier to manage fixed content by freeing data from dependencies on location, applications and storage devices.

  • XFS file system

    XFS is a 64-bit, highly scalable file system that was developed by Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) and first deployed in the Unix-based IRIX operating system (OS) in 1994.

  • Y

    Yellow Book

    The Yellow Book is the informal name for Philips and Sony's ECMA-130 standard specification for compact disc, read-only-memory (CD-ROM).

  • yobibyte (YiB)

    A yobibyte (YiB) is a unit of measure used to describe data capacity as part of the binary system of measuring computing and storage capacity.

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 zettabytes, a trillion terabytes or a million trillion megabytes.

  • Z

    Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA platforms.

  • zebibyte (ZiB)

    A zebibyte (ZiB) is a unit used to measure computing and storage capacity.

  • zettabyte

    A zettabyte is a unit of measurement used by technology professionals and the general public to describe a computer or other device's storage capacity.

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval of data in enterprise computing systems.

  • zoned-bit recording (ZBR)

    Zoned-bit recording (ZBR) is a method of physically optimizing the utilization of a hard drive by placing more sectors in the outer tracks than in the inner tracks.

  • zoning

    In a storage area network (SAN), zoning is the allocation of resources for device load balancing and for selectively allowing access to data only to certain users.

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