Data Storage History

imageI’ve always been greatly interested in data storage and file systems. I started performing some research online about older data storage systems and found some pretty amazing stuff. It’s hard to believe how far we have come in 50  years. What will it be like in another 50 years? Is SSD (Solid-State Drives) the future? Crystal storage? What do you think?





Timeline (1956-1991)

1956: First Hard Disk – The 24-inch IBM 350-1 (proceeded by 650 model) had about 50 platters and priced about $10,000 per gigabyte.

Shown Below
An IBM 350-1 5MB Drive, Two full 350 units, An IBM 650 Drive
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1962: IBM Develops a storage system based on six-packs of 14-inch disks. Each pack of disks holds approximately 2MB data. This marks the commercial availability of hard disks.

Shown Below
An IBM 1311 Disk Storage Drive (center)

1970-1975: The Burroughs On-Line Disk File System – Burroughs releases a file system which stores over 48 million characters (approximately 48MByte) and uses large platters which have the rotational mass of approximately 38lbs. These enormous disks had to have electric brakes and spun at around 3600RPM. These disks were revolutionary at the time. (PDF)

Shown Below
Platters from a Burroughs On-Line Disk File System
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1979: IBM introduces the first thin film recording heads. These heads offered higher performance at reduced costs. This allowed IBM to store the most data in the least amount of space. Thin film recording heads allowed for out higher-capacity and higher-performance disk drives of today.

Shown Below
Thin film recording heads

1983: Rodine issues a 10MB 3.25 inch hard disk. This is still the form factor of today.

1988: PrarieTek releases the first 2.5 20MB hard disk. This is the form factor of today’s notebook hard disks.

1991: Integrated Peripherals shows its first 1.8 inch hard disk. Drives like these were meant for small devices like iPod’s … more than 11 years later.

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