What a great invention computers are! They have revolutionized the way we work in so many ways and continue to do so day after day by making the lives of their users easier or better, streamlined. Changes that are sometimes frightening but to which it is inevitable and at the same time quite easy to adapt.
One of the aspects that has undergone this evolution is undoubtedly data storage and retrieval. Also in this case, we have tried to respond to increasingly “subtle” needs, arriving today at the total virtualization of these supports. This story begins with the birth of the computer as a memory of computer data both internally (central memory) and externally, that is, by means of electromechanical devices connected to the computer itself. Paper and magnetic tapes are undoubtedly the ancestors of the modern and more advanced mass storage devices, whether internal to the PC, such as hard disks, or removable media such as floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, flash memories of all kinds and more.
The history of removable media is linked to the need for memory devices capable of storing an ever-increasing volume of data in the shortest possible time. A major revolution was represented by the advent of flash memories and in particular USB pen drives, given their small size, storage speed and ease of use. A “godsend” for those who want to carry their data with them at all times. However, these devices have not yet met all the needs of “perfect storage” because, in addition to the possibility of forgetting or losing the device itself, it can also happen to find yourself with multiple copies of the same file and not knowing which is the most recent one to which you had made the latest changes.
We can cope with this uncertainty with the help of the Internet, which nowadays we can access from almost anywhere thanks to laptops, tablets and smartphones. Specifically, we have arrived at the total virtualization of data to be stored without space limits through the cloud, which is a personal storage space that can be accessed at any time and in any place just by taking advantage of the Internet connection. All our files can then be synchronized in one place: files can be modified, deleted, updated and, through constant synchronization, changes will not be lost.
An extra feature that distinguishes the cloud from the storage devices that preceded it is the ability to make important backup copies and share files with whoever you want, breaking down the limits dictated by distance and time. The cloud is therefore a mechanism very similar to email with the only difference that there is no send/receive operation. Even, for those who have an email account with Google or Microsoft, their personal cloud storage is already available – without forgetting that this service is also offered by other providers such as the well-known Dropbox, ICloud and many others.