What is Data Storage and How it is Changing

Each day, IDC estimates that 35 million terabytes of data are created. Data is generated everywhere around us and storing all this data is a monumental task that is critical to the functioning of today’s society.

Looking back at the early days of computers, data storage mediums were expensive, large and slow. With the continued innovation over the decades, data storage technology has made great strides to achieve what we have today - Hard disk drives as the dominant technology, cloud storage as the rising delivery method, and DNA / Silica storage as technologies in the horizon.

Here we examine computer data storage through the lens of a business. Taking you on a journey through time, from the past 50 years; and beyond, to the next 50 years.

The Past

1. Magnetic Drum

The magnetic drum marked the beginning of the magnetic data storage phase. Magnetic drums were designed to be utilised in the very first computer mainframes, hence this technology marked the beginning of computer memory development. In the 1950s and 60s, the magnetic drum was widely used as the main working memory of computers. As the manufacture of drums ceased in the 1970s, they were replaced by hard disk drives. While each magnetic drum only had a capacity of 48KB, equivalent to 5 word documents, the same principles led researchers to create the next innovation: the hard disk drive.

The Present

2. Magnetic Platter (Hard Disk Drive)