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The recording performance of data-storage devices, in which write/read elements move relative to a storage medium to reliably store and retrieve information, depends on the capability of servo mechanisms to provide the necessary positioning accuracy. The desired characteristics of servo mechanisms for data-storage systems include robustness against variations of environmental parameters, high resolution, accuracy, stability, and fast response. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of advanced servo-control methods for data storage. The applications are to well-established recording technologies, including magnetic tape and magnetic disk systems as well as CD/DVD/Blue-Ray optical data-storage systems. Moreover, newer holographic and near-field optical systems and the emerging probe-storage technology are also addressed. Emphasis is given to the potential exhibited by the technologies considered for achieving ultra-high storage capacity, as required by the exploding demand in data-storage capacity for archival systems and massive multimedia data storage.