SSD, MO: A Guide to Mass Storage Devices

Solid-State Drives (SSD), Magnetic Drives, Optical Drives, Magneto-Optical Drives (MO)—the world of computer storage devices can be a sea of confusing jargon and a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms, like SSD, and MO, for example.

Collecting and storing customer data is essential if you want to know who to reach and the best way to do so.  Because of this, mass storage devices are essential to modern business. But when it comes to deciding what type of portable storage and internal hard-drives to use, the decision may not be cut and dry.  

Here’s everything that you need to know about mass storage devices:

Magnetic Storage Devices

If you are using a personal computer at home, or if you have a larger set-up at your office acting as your network server, then chances are you have a magnetic storage device in the form of your computer’s hard-drive.  This is one of the two main types of mass storage, the other being SSD.  

Magnetic storage devices use magnets to record data onto metal platters inside the drive’s casing. These metal platters rotate, causing the whirring sound that you may hear coming from the computer’s hard-drive.  

These are the most cost-effective forms of data storage as it costs mere pennies for each gigabyte of storage. In fact, most magnetic drives in today’s computers have storage of at least 1 TB with 4 TB drives becoming more common.

These drives are also considered advantageous because they provide a quick means of opening files by being able to access the data. However, magnetic storage devices have a drawback in that they are subject to mechanical failures. Because of multiple moving parts from the magnets and rotating platters, the drives can wear down over time and malfunction.  

Additionally, the drives are also susceptible to dust and external magnets which can erase them. Finally, these types of hard-drives have a tendency to get very hot, requiring a cooling fan to keep them from overheating.

Solid State Storage Device (SSD)

Solid state drives are becoming more popular and you will probably be seeing the term SSD more than MO or HDD in the coming years.  SSDs use flash technology, the same basic set-up as the thumb drives or flash drives that people have been using for years to back up data or transfer it from one computer to another.

An SSD is preferential to a magnetic storage drive because, for one, they can start up faster since they don’t have to “spin into action.”  As a rule, they are also significantly faster in terms of data transfer as well.  Additionally, SSDs do not wear out as fast as magnetic drives because there are no moving parts getting worn down.  

This also keeps their heat transfer down.  However, at this time, they are significantly more expensive than magnetic drives. While magnetic drives are multi-TBs of storage, most SSDs that are realistically priced are in the 256-512 GB range.  However, as the technology improves, it is expected that the prices will go down and the storage size will increase.

Magneto-Optical Disc (MO Disc)

This final type has been around for a while but is on its way out.  These include Sony’s MiniDisc which was popular at one time.  MO discs have been largely replaced by the flash drive technology, but you may still hear of some older systems using them.

Hopefully, you now have a clear idea of the differences between SSD, MO, magnetic, and optical drives for your data storage needs.  In this day and age, data has become king.  From looking at marketing data to performance analytics on your website, a business thrives on having the data to make informed decisions.

In order to ensure that you have the data that you need safely set aside, it is essential that you get the mass storage drive that is right for you.

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