The History of Data Backup Storage

The History of Data Backup Storage

Ever since computers first became mainstream back in 1951 with the UNIVAC, we have had a need to store important data.

In this article I will go over where the backup storage technology has come from and where state of the art stands today.

70% of business people have experienced loss of data due to accidental deletions, disk system failure, viruses, fire and natural disaster.

Here is the progress of storage media from the beginning:

* 1950's – Punch Cards and Magnetic Drums

Although punch cards were used to carry out programs, vacuum tubes were the main logic elements and rotating magnetic drums were used to store critical data and programs. Punch cards can be considered the first media for backup.

* 1960's – Magnetic Tape

The first major step in the evolution of storage media came with magnetic tape backup – similar to that used in voice recording.

* 1970's – Hard Drives

Although IBM roled out the first hard drive in 1956, they did not really make the news until the '70's.

Also, floppy drives made their debut at a whopping 80 kB for an 8 "drive! But, 4 years later, floppy disks of the same size would hold 256 kB.

Since then, the trend in hard media data storage has been the same – smaller media and more data density.

* 1980's – CDs

CDs with their reliably high capacitiy, became the media of choice starting in 1982, beginning to replace the 3.5 "floppy.

They were pioneered by Sony and Philips. In 1990, recordable CDs were introduced.

* 1990's – Flash Drives

Portable USB drives or flash media storage began in 1998. The larger drives can carry as much information as a CD.

* Late 1990's – Online Remote Backup

Online backup storage began, as network and internet technologies became stronger and better connected. Local and internationally located computers have enabled the use of remote computers for the purpose of backing up critical data.

This has allowed individuals and companies to backup their data offsite, thus reducing the risk of natural disaster and other causes of local data loss.

To round out the list of storage media, in 2006 – Blu-ray and HD-DVD were introduced (can carry up to 54 GB of data).

Now, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the backup industry is trending toward mass mass remote storage in this offsite cloud.


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