Chapter 1

Introduction to Information Storage

Key Concepts

Data and Information
Structured and Unstructured Data
Evolution of Storage Architecture
Core Elements of a Data Center
Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Information is increasingly important in our daily lives. We have become information-dependent in the 21st century, living in an on-command, on-demand world, which means, we need information when and where it is required. We access the Internet every day to perform searches, participate in social networking, send and receive e-mails, share pictures and videos, and use scores of other applications. Equipped with a growing number of content-generating devices, more information is created by individuals than by organizations (including business, governments, non-profits and so on). Information created by individuals gains value when shared with others. When created, information resides locally on devices, such as cell phones, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and laptops. To be shared, this information needs to be uploaded to central data repositories (data centers) via networks. Although the majority of information is created by individuals, it is stored and managed by a relatively small number of organizations.

The importance, dependency, and volume of information for the business world also continue to grow at astounding rates. Businesses depend on fast and reliable access to information critical to their success. Examples of business processes or systems that rely on digital ...

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