Modern astronomical data is now either produced directly in digital form or converted from a high resolution analog medium to digital form. These data are therefore best conserved and handled with computer techniques.
This paper will first define ‘computer storage technology’ as the set of software and hardware tools needed to perform the management of an archive and the control of the archiving and redistribution operations. Various implementation choices that one faces when setting up an archive will be reviewed. The chasm between the life expectancy of the stored data and that of the equipment and procedures needed to handle it will be one of the most important points considered.
Currently available technological solutions will be reviewed. Future trends of the storage technology will be discussed in comparison with the expected data production rate of the next generation astronomical instruments.