One of the goals of database, file and block storage systems is to store data persistently. There are many different types of persistent storage devices technologies such as disks, tapes, DVDs, and Flash. The focus of this write-up is on the design trade-offs, from a usability standpoint, between these different types of persistent storage devices and not on the component details of these different technologies.
From a historical standpoint, tapes were the first type of persistent storage followed by disks, CDs, DVDs, and Flash. Newer types of memory technologies such as PRAM and MRAM are still in their infant stages. These newer non-volatile memory technologies promise DRAM access speeds and packaging densities, but these technologies are still too expensive with respect to cost/gigabyte.
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