Where is all the information data on the Internet stored?

There is no centralized storage of data at any one place but it is stored in the hard disks of numerous web servers all over the world. Web server is also a computer, but it’s a jumbo-sized mainframe computer having different functions. It consists of a number of cupboard size racks known as data centers which are connected with one another as well as with the Internet.

The volume of database stored in these data centers is simply mind-boggling and can exceed the data that can be contained in 1,000 volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica. To which web server the demand of Internet user will be directed will depend upon the web service selected by him. Various web services (or websites) such as Google, Yahoo and Ask.com etc are available. Assuming that the Internet user types www.google.com, he would get connected with Google’s web server situated in California State of the USA.

In view of practically limitless information data stored on the Internet, one question crops up in the mind: How is the information called for furnished within moments? Why the task which is like searching a needle in a haystack, does not take more than three or four seconds? No doubt the task is difficult but systematic classification of information makes it easy. Indexing system in the web server can be compared with a large tree having numerous branches. Commencing search from all individual branches, web server checks each branch by subject name to locate the data on specific subject at lightening speed and withdraws from database the data file held under the required name. Since the transmission of data also takes place at lightening speed, it does not take long to appear on the user’s computer monitor.

One interesting bit of information: Web servers all over the world also contain information running into thousands of terabytes for which no demand has ever been received! On one hand, there are no takers for substantial volumes of information whereas on the other hand, information keeps on accumulating on Internet at the rate of 700,000 web pages per minute!

Such a massive accumulation of Internet database at mind-boggling speed makes one think that inflow of fresh information must dry up sooner or later. Such doubts entertained by some experts in the past also have been proven groundless. There’s not likely to be any shortage of storage space for ever growing information database either, because those who launch websites have to pay a fixed sum to the web services selected for storage of web sites per megabyte; and with that money in the kitty the web services can go on setting up more servers.

Additional reading:
Internet (Wikipedia)
Web server (Wikipedia)

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