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Hard disk drives turn 60

by on March 28, 2013

In case your forgot to throw a party, this year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the hard disk drive. Originally created in an IBM San Jose lab, these devices have served as the backbone of organizational data management in the business world for decades. Even though these resources can now start considering renewing their AARP cards, hard disk solutions remain a resilient part of many data centers, though they have changed considerably since 1953.

When IBM unveiled the Note 0 for commercial business use in 1956, its 5 MB capacity was a revolution. Since then, the cost of a megabyte of storage space has dropped from $10,000 to $0.08 with current cutting-edge deployments. These tools have a long history of growing faster, lighter and more productive, with new and vastly improved resources rolling out almost continuously. At the same time, their flexible nature has allowed organizations to integrate and upgrade to advanced options without disturbing the integrity of their data centers.

Tracking the span of years
Thehard disk drives businesses use today are quite different than those first developed all those years ago. The current architecture didn't premier until the 1980s, Tech Featured wrote, when rotary actuators and servo memory devices made their first appearance in the hard disk world. Since then, they have become the principal resources behind home computers, business server arrays and a variety of electronic devices in every industry.

"The hard drive has advanced about 65 million times in areal density since the RAMAC, and we're still, in my estimation, three orders of magnitude from any truly fundamental limits," technology expert Mark Kryder told CNET.

As CNET wrote, the need for reliable solid-state storage has not slackened despite the rise in cloud computing and mobile device popularity. Being able to securely backup sensitive corporate files and mission-critical applications has been and will likely remain the backbone of the hard disk drive management and hardware industry. While the number of manufacturers may have shrunk considerably, the demand for these tools is still on the rise, especially as new options like hybrid drives and slimmer, deeper drives come into existence. Despite its age, hard disk drive solutions continue to evolve and grow in ways that make them just as cutting-edge as they were 60 years ago.

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