Media are classified according to three characteristics:
\u2013 speed of access
\u2013 cost per unit of data
\u2022 physical failure of the storage device
\u2013 Can differentiate storage into:
\u2013volatile storage: loses contents when power is switched off
\ue000 General-purpose machine instructions operate on main memory.
\ue000 Contents of main memory are usually lost in a power failure or ``crash''.
\ue000 Usually too small (even with megabytes) and too expensive to store the entire database.
demand). Non-volatile, data is read optically from a spinning disk using a laser.
\u2022 CD-ROM (640 MB) and DVD (4.7 to 17 GB) most popular forms
\u2022 Write-one, read-many (WORM) optical disks used for archival storage (CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R)
\u2022 Multiple write versions also available (CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW)
\u2022 Reads and writes are slower than with magnetic disk
\u2022 Cheaper, but much slower access, since tape must be read sequentially from the beginning.
\u2022 Used as protection from disk failures!
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