We currently live in a world full of data. We are using more devices than ever before—billions to be roughly exact. Artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles consume an incredible amount of data. But even our everyday entertainment streaming devices such as Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube consume large amounts of data as well. Where does all this data go? How does data storage work? And is it possible to run out of room to store all of this data?
Data centers have been the solution and will continue to be at the forefront of data management. But innovations could change the way the world stores data. This article will look into the various modernizations of data storage solutions.
DNA Data Storage
One data storage solution that is currently being developed is DNA data storage. Scientists from the University of Washington are working to find out the best ways to encode, store, and retrieve data from manufactured DNA molecules.
DNA is what holds all the details of every living creature. It is what keeps all the information that sets us apart from each other. A lot of data is stored within these strands of DNA.
Researchers are realizing the potential of the DNA molecules. Millions of digital images, videos and documents could theoretically be stored on one speck of DNA. It also works more like RAM or Random Access Memory that means it doesn’t matter exactly where it is stored onto the DNA molecule—one can retrieve it as long as it’s stored there.
DNA data storage could completely change the way data is stored and make current data storage entirely obsolete.
5-D Quartz Glass Data Storage
Scientists at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) have developed a new type of data storage. This revolutionary data storage management solution comes in a glass disc the size of a quarter. Using binary code—each one of these 5D glass discs can hold 360 terabytes of data and can survive sweltering temperatures and is waterproof.
These 5D data storage disks are made from glass quartz, and unlike CDs or Blu-ray discs, which write data in bumps on the disc’s surface, the data on a 5D disk is more protected. Data is not written on the surface but is written on the inside of the glass disc using a laser. The ORC team believes their data storage management system can keep data for over 13 billion years without replacing.
The research team has already been able to store books such as the Holy Bible, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Year of Light, and the Magna Carta.
Although these 5D discs can hold up to 360 terabytes of data—this may not work for those looking for a large data storage solution.
Underwater Data Centers
According to the Microsoft, 50% of the United States’ population lives near the coast.
This means a good portion of data is being produced and retrieved by people living on the coast. An innovation in data storage solutions brings data centers to the water. Microsoft has been experimenting with underwater data centers for about five years. Their current venture, Project Natick, completed “Phase 1” which operated a data vessel underwater off the Pacific coast of the United States from August to November 2015. Microsoft currently launched “Phase 2” which submerged an entire data center system underwater last month. This data center includes 12 racks, 864 servers, and 27.6 petabytes of storage.
These projects from Microsoft have a real potential to be the future of data storage. These underwater servers are monitored by Artificial Intelligence, which is quickly becoming a norm in the data center industry.
Iceland’s Data Skyscraper
If you are looking for a large data storage solution, this data center of the future could be what exactly what you need. There is a proposed concept data storage skyscraper that would be located in Iceland. There are a couple of good reasons why this would work. Iceland is located between Europe and the U.S., which means the companies located here and there would be able to store and retrieve their data quickly from one location. Iceland can also power this data storage skyscraper with 100% clean energy using hydropower and geothermal power. The cold climate in Iceland can also help cool down the data center, which will also save money. This skyscraper is aiming to decrease the environmental impacts of data centers.
It seems as though Magnetic storage solutions will have a place in the future of data storage management. Skyrmions were conceptually thought of in the 1960s but weren’t experimentally discovered until 2009. Researchers at MIT are currently working on how this discovery can be implemented within data storage, but there seems to be great potential in this technology.
Current disk drives work by reading and writing information little by little by changing the magnetic particle orientation on the surface. Skyrmions could change the way magnetic storage solutions work. The use of skyrmions would also downsize the size of disk drives as well. Skyrmions have the potential to unlock a better data storage solution, but scientists still have a long way to go to make it a viable option for storage.
In the future, there could be many more data storage and backup solutions available, and researchers are working hard on new solutions to add to this list. In the future, choosing a data storage solution that’s right for you might be a bit confusing.
Do you want to keep all of your comic book movies within quarter-sized quartz crystals? Do you want to store your entire library under the sea? Do you want to hide all of your cat and baby photos inside a molecule of DNA? Do you want to keep all of your Jaden Smith music in the latest and greatest magnetic storage technology? Or do you want your data easily accessible located in a data skyscraper somewhere in Iceland? The possibilities seem to be endless.
Until then, you can safely store all of your essential info within your trusted data center or colocation provider.