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E book-the evolution of storage technologies


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In the year 1984, a young Steve Jobs unveiled the first Apple Macintosh computer with a verse from Bob Dylan’s famous song - “The times they are a changing”.

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E book-the evolution of storage technologies

  1. 1. hostingHosting Simplified go T H E E V O L U T I O N O F Storage Technologies W W W . G O 4 H O S T I N G . C O M
  2. 2. Introduction Storage Technologies – Down the ages Conclusion a ) Early Years – 1920s to 1950s b) Middle Years – 1950 to 2000s i. Magnetic Tape ii. Magnetic Drum iii. William Tubes iv. Selectron Tube i. Delay Line Memory ii. Magnetic Core iii. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) iv. Virtual Memory v. IBM 1360 Photo-Digital Storage System vi. Bubble memory vii. Floppy Disk viii. Compact Disc ix. Magneto-Optical Disc x. CompactFlash xi. Digital Video Disc xii. Microdrive c) Present: 2000 onwards i. USB Flash Drive ii. Blu-Ray Optical Disc iii. Cloud Based Storage System Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. Contents 1 2 3 hostingHosting Simplified go
  3. 3. Page | 1 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. hostingHosting Simplified go Introduction In the year 1984, a young Steve Jobs unveiled the first Apple Macintosh computer with a verse from Bob Dylan’s famous song - “The times they are a changing”. Although composed and sang by Dylan for another time and context, this gesture by Jobs, invoking Dylan’s revered anthem of change was symbolic of the constant and rapid changes the technology world would be subjected to in future years. It also signaled the need to quickly get accustomed to new and rapid technology changes in the future. Those born in the 80’s and 90’s would be familiar with joy of using their personal computers (PCs) for the first time for their various personal and professional jobs. Similarly, they would also be familiar with the pain of storing their data for future use during those early years. Storage was not easy. Nor was it cheap. Expensive floppy disks that were worth an arm and a leg, Compact Discs failed to provide enough space to store even a single movie in one disc and DVDs that got corrupted with a single speck of dust. Storage was a cumbersome process compared to current times. Also, multiple-use of the same device was not an option unless one was a technology geek and knew the complex process of rewriting data into these devices. Cut to the present. External Hard Drive Disks (HDD) and Pen Drives rule the roost. Each of these with the ability to store more data than a PC. Added to it is the advantage of multiple usage. Users no longer need to purchase multiple External HDDs or Pen Drives to store their data. The same device can be used by multiple times by removing old data and filling them with new ones. This journey from floppy disks that stored data in Megabytes (MBs) to Pen Drives that store data in Terabytes (TB) has been challenging and remarkable. This e-book is meant for those who are interested in this slice this history.
  4. 4. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 2 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. Storage: Down the Ages The Magnetic Tape is considered as the first storage technology device invented by Fritz Pfleumer, a German-Austrian engineer in the year 1928. Its primary purpose was to record sound and soon after for recording videos as well. A magnetic tape consists of a long and narrow plastic ribbon which is coated with either iron oxide or similar magnetic material. It provides a compact platform to preserve varied forms of data, information, MAGNETIC TAPE or images. Magnetic tapes brought a much needed revolution in the broadcast and recording industry. During that age when radio was live, it allowed users to record the programming. It also allowed recordings to be made in multiple parts, without rendering much loss to sound the quality. The most beneficial aspect of using this as a storage medium was recordings on tape could easily be run on playback. Moreover, the recordings on tape could be erased, as and when needed, and the tape could be further used to record new set of information. Owing to this reusability factor, it was introduced as data storage medium when it was first used in the auxiliary memory of computer in 1950s. Despite being a preferred medium to record or store data, magnetic tape could not meet the rising needs of users. The problem associated with magnetic tape was that over the course of few years or months, it would suffer from deterioration disorder called sticky-shed syndrome. This happened predominantly because of the absorption of moisture into the binder of tape.Hence, it was almost impossible to preserve the data for long span. Early Years 1920s to 1950s
  5. 5. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 3 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. The magnetic tape made way for the magnetic drum. Invented by Gustav Tauschek in Australian in 1932, it was a random-access storage device, which was used as a primary computer memory. It later developed as an auxiliary storage device. A magnetic drum is a metallic cylinder which is coated with magnetic iron-oxide or ferromagnetic materials on which programs and data could be stored. It was based on the invention of magnetic tape. However, magnetic drum had a unique advantage over tape - it MAGNETIC DRUM could retrieve data faster. Magnetic drum offered the same advantages as magnetic tape did, such as various recordings can be done as and when needed. Besides, this the data or information stored on magnetic drum can also be replayed or erased. However, unlike magnetic tapes, magnetic drums were not moveable. The drum had to be permanently mounted in the device, and this led to gradual decline in the fame that this storage medium had garnered soon after its invention. Developed in the late 1940s in England, the Williams tube was a cathode ray tube named after its inventor Freddie Williams. It was the first random-access digital storage device which could store binary data electronically. It stored 1024 bits of information or data on a single tube. WILLIAMS TUBES
  6. 6. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 4 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. The William tubes were based on a scientific phenomenon called secondary emission that occurs on cathode ray tubes. Professor Williams and his colleagues used a series of electrostatic cathode-ray tubes to store data of information digitally. Some Williams tube were also made from radar-type CRTs with a phosphor coating, which further made the data or information visible, whereas other tubes were purpose-built which had no such coating. Williams tube was earlier used as a storage device in early computers. A drawback of Williams tubes was it reliability with the passage of time. As it did not have the ability to preserve data in secure environment for long durations, it was slowly replaced with new storage devices. Apart from this, the working or configuring installations of Williams tubes had to be performed manually. The Selectron Tube was developed by Jan Rajchman and his group at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) under the direction of Vladimir Zworykin in 1948. It was an early form of digital computer memory that stored digital information as electrostatic charges in vacuum tube. SELECTRON TUBE Selectron tubes were complex and complicated structurally. A major difference between Selectron and other electron tubes of that era was that Selectron tubes were entirely digital whereas rest of the tubes were not. Other digital storage devices, such as Williams tubes, required precise analog selection and controlled voltage. They also required efficient support circuitry which can guide electron precisely. Whereas Selectron gated multiple fixed electron beams using bi-level voltages which did not need high precision. Although Selectron tubes used the technologies similar to Williams tubes, but Selectron tubes were much more reliable and faster than Williams tubes. The only problem associated with Selectron tubes was that they were much more costly. A 256-bit Selectron was projected to cost somewhere around $500. As a result, Williams tubes became much more prominent than Selectron tubes.
  7. 7. Middle Years 1950s to 2000s hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 5 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. DELAY LINE MEMORY Delay line memory was a sequential-access memory that was used in some early digital computers. Delay line memory was a refreshable memory, and therefore, it was prevalent before the advent of random access memory. An engineer, J. Presper Eckert, developed the technology of line delay systems, which was specifically focused on improving radar system and mechanism during the World War II. Using this technology, data was compressed to sound waves and then was transferred through a medium. Delay line memory involved three steps: turning electric pulses into sound waves; transmitting those through tubes; and re-electrifying those at the other end. Analog delay line technology was used to delay propagation of analog signals. Delay-line memory systems had the capacity of a few thousand bits earlier, and the recirculation time was measured in microseconds. To read or write a particular bit stored in delay-line memory system, it was necessary to wait for a particular bit to circulate through the line into the electronics. Owing to this delay in the sequential-access memory, it was never a preferred option.
  8. 8. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 6 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. MAGNETIC CORE Magnetic cores gained immense popularity in the years between 1955 and 1975. It was a predominant form of random-access memory that used small magnetic toroids or rings through which wires were connected to write and read information. Each core had the capacity to store one bit of information, and they were magnetized. With passage of time, the size of core and wires were reduced drastically, and the memory density of core increased gradually. However, extreme level of proficiency and expertise were required to manufacture such a device. During the late 1960s, the cost of production declined from about $1 per bit to about 1 cent per bit. Later in 1970s, the introduction of semiconductor memory chips led to rapid increase in storage capacity in conjunction with decline in price, and magnetic core memory became the most commonly used memory in computers at that time.
  9. 9. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 7 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. HARD DISK DRIVE (HDD) An HDD was a data storage device used for storing as well as fetching digital information using rotating hard disks or platters, coated with magnetic material. In HDD, data could be accessed randomly. Introduced by IBM in 1956, hard disks became a prominent secondary storage device for computers in the following years. At that time, the size of HDDs was not portable. However, several companies started manufacturing the device. They worked hard to minimize the size of hard disks and to enhance its capacity. As a result, HDDs became much more prevalent over the years, and even today, most of the modern era servers and computers make use of HDD to store or retrieve data in the most secure way. This happened primarily because of the storage capacity and performance offered by HDDS. Moreover, it was a non-volatile memory, which means that data could be stored and retained even during power curtailment.
  10. 10. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 8 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. VIRTUAL MEMORY In the late 1950s, the concept of virtual memory was introduced to extend primary memory and to ensure that such an extension could be used practically by programmers without facing any complications. Virtual memory enabled a computer to use its storage capability and to switch rapidly among multiple programs. It permitted computers to do multi-tasking and multi-programming. However, before the concept of virtual memory could be implemented in mainstream computer systems, various issues had to be addressed. Virtual memory was based on dynamic address translation and the hardware which could support that were expensive. Moreover, it was difficult to build the hardware with such specifications and precisions. Later, in 1969, an IBM research team built a virtual memory overlay system which worked better than other controlled systems of that time. As a result, virtual memory was introduced in mini-computers. VIRTUAL MEMORY
  11. 11. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 9 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. IBM 1360 PHOTO-DIGITAL STORAGE SYSTEM IBM 1360 Photo-Digital Storage System (PDDS) was an online archival of storage system for large data centers. It was the first storage system device which was specifically designed to store a terabit of data. It used thin strips of film and it contained data written by electronic beam and wet photographic development process. IBM 1360 PDDS stored data on index card sized pieces of thin and stiff photographic film which could be read or retrieved individually. The architectural system of PDDS was based on sophisticated error correction and a pneumatic robot mechanism to move the strips of the photographic film, and this was a complex process. Consequently, the manufacturer decided to put a halt on the production of PDDS.
  12. 12. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 10 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. BUBBLE MEMORY Bubble Memory was a kind of non-volatile computer memory invented by Andrew Bobeck. It used a thin film of magnetic material used specifically to store or hold data and information in small magnetized areas, which are usually like bubbles.The operation of bubble memory was similar to that of delay line memory. The magnetized areas of bubble memory were read by applying external magnetic field. The technology related to Bubble memory gained immense acceptance and was considered the most promising storage technology then. The memory density and performance of Bubble memory were higher than any other storage device invented till then. It was widely used during the 1970s and 1980s. Although the efficiency, capability and speed of bubble memory were comparable to rest of the storage devices of that era, yet bubble memory’s popularity declined in late 1980s. This happened primarily because of the introduction of semi-conductor storage devices and chips, which offered much higher memory density and reliability.
  13. 13. Page | 11 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. FLOPPY DISK A floppy disk is a type of disk storage device which has a disk of thin magnetic storage medium surrounded by plastic carrier. Initially, floppy disks were primarily meant to store or load microcode into computer systems. At that time, the size of a floppy disk was as large as 8 inches, and later on, it reduced to as small as 3.5 inches. In early 1970s, IBM released a read/write floppy disk. Floppy disks offered higher efficiency and convenience to store and transfer data. As a result, it became the most widely used data storage device.The floppy disks were the primary or main external writable storage device used in computers for more than two decades. Before 1990s, most computing environments were non-networked, and floppy disks were the most widely used storage device to transfer data between computers.
  14. 14. Page | 12 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. Compact Disc or CD is a digital optical storage device which was primarily developed to store and play audio tracks or sound recordings. Later on, CDs were used as video storage devices as well. Several forms of CDs were later invented, such as rewritable media, Video Compact Disc (VCD), or Super Video Compact Disc (SVCD). It was developed by Sony and Phillips for distributing music. Audio CDs and CD players have been commercially available since 1982. A CD can store up to 700 MB of data or almost 80 minutes of sound recordings. This high capability to store data and convenience to transfer data from one source to another made CDs a widely accepted storage device worldwide. Even today, CD is a preferred storage device used across the globe. However, with the advent of smart chips and USB, the sales of audio CDs and VCDs have been dropped in recent years. COMPACT DISC
  15. 15. Page | 13 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. MAGNETO-OPTICAL DISCS Magneto-Optical Disc usually referred to as “MOD” emerged in the 1990s. It was a combination of magnetic and optical technologies to store and/or retrieve digital information and data. The most advantageous aspect associated with Magneto-Optical Discs was that they could be rewritten several times. Not only were MODs faster than CDs, but they could also be formatted with any file system. MODs have the intelligence to verify the information or data for integrity after writing it to a disc, and let the operating system know about the problems that could occur while writing. This makes MOD a highly reliable storage device. However, owing to the slow writing time and the higher cost of production, MODs did not garner high acceptance amongst users.
  16. 16. hostingHosting Simplified go Page | 14 Copyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. COMPACT FLASH (CF) It was introduced by SanDisk in early 1990s, and was also known as “flash memory,” as it used flash memory in an enclosed disc. Although the dimensions of CFs were larger than other storage mediums or memory cards, the high capacity of CFs made them the most widely accepted storage device. It became the most preferred memory storage option among professional electronic device and camera manufacturers. CF remains the most popular storage device even today, and is supported by many professionals or high end consumer devices. As of 2014, most of the digital camera manufacturers, including Canon and Nikon, use CF for their still cameras.
  17. 17. Page | 15 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. DIGITAL VIDEO DISC It is a digital optical storage device invented and developed by Sony, Toshiba, Phillips, and Panasonic in 1995. It is a bigger and faster alternative for CDs, and it can store any multimedia data as well. DVDs are widely used for software and other computer files including gaming videos. While the dimensions of DVDs are same as that of CDs, yet DVDs offer much higher data storage capacity. DVDs came in read-only and read-write formats, and even in rewritable formats. A digital video disc or DVD can store any kind of digital data. DVD format has gained immense popularity among movie distributors. This has happened primarily because of the superior quality of moving pictures and sound provided by the DVDs. Apart from this, DVDs also offer longer lifespan of the stored data.
  18. 18. Page | 16 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. In 1999, IBM released Microdrive in 170 MB and 340 MB capacities. At that time, Microdrive was the smallest hard drive. It contained small, spinning disk platters to store digital data. Till 2006, many devices contained Microdrive for data storage because of the advantages it offered, such as higher capacity and enhanced efficiency. Moreover, it also had better mechanism to handle power loss. However, after 2006, with the advent of CompactFlash cards with higher capacity and USB flash drives, the usage of Microdrive witnessed a sudden decline. Moreover, because Microdrive was a mechanical device, it was more sensitive to external physical shocks or variation in temperature. A Microdrive would not survive a 4-foot fall! MICRODRIVE
  19. 19. Present 2000 ONWARDS Page | 17 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. USB Flash drives are data storage devices that include flash memory enclosed in a small container with a USB interface. USB Flash drives can be used to store data or information, including videos and images, as well as to transfer those among various devices. This storage device was faster and had a great capacity to store multimedia data as well. IBM’s USB Flash Drive became available in December 2000, and it had a storage capacity of 8 MB, which was almost five times than that of a floppy disk. One of the prime reasons that helped USB Flash drives gain instant popularity was that they could not be scratched like optical discs. More importantly, USB Flash drives were more resilient to magnetic erasure or physical shock. An USB Flash drive uses NAND-type flash memory to store digital information. With steady improvement in terms of capacity as well as constant decrease in size, USB Flash drives became the most widely used external storage device. USB FLASH DRIVE
  20. 20. Page | 18 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. It is an upgraded version of optical disc storage device and was specifically designed to supersede the DVD format. It can be used to store high-definition (HD) video at 1080p, whereas older DVDs had the capability of 480p resolution only. Blu-ray received its name for the relatively shorter wavelength blue laser that reads the data on disc. It had a capability of reading data stored at a higher density as compared to the red laser which was earlier used in DVDs. The main application of Blu-ray optical disc is as a medium for video material and physical distribution of video games for the Xbox One, PlayStation3, and PlayStation 4. Several movie distributors prefer this storage medium over DVDs to distribute movies among consumers. BLU-RAY OPTICAL DISC
  21. 21. Page | 17 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. It is a model of data storage in which digital data is stored in logical pools and the physical storage spans across various servers located in varied locations. The entire storage environment is managed, monitored, and owned by a hosting company. Hosting companies not only ensure that data is available and accessible round-the-clock for users, but also protect the data from the threats of loss or damage. This storage approach is the most admired way to store data or to retrieve them as and when needed. Cloud storage architecture comprises of several resources and is highly tolerant and durable. Several organizations across the globe have been leveraging the benefits of this storage system, and this is claimed to be the most future-ready storage system.Right from the capabilities of storage device till security of highly critical data, cloud storage system offers a sea of advantages for users. CLOUD STORAGE
  22. 22. Page | 18 hostingHosting Simplified goCopyright © Cyfuture India Private Limited. Storage technologies are witnessing rapid strides with each passing day. This has been fuelled by increased adoption of computers in all realms which has increased the demand for higher storage capacity as well as efficient and secure storage environment. As a result, data storage technologies have witnessed and experienced consistent evolution. Gone are the days when businesses had to shell out huge amount of money to store data. For example, the storage capacity of the first disk drive storage introduced by IBM was 3.75 MB, and it was 60 inches long, 68 inches high and 29 inches wide. If that’s not enough to raise your eyebrows, then here comes another surprise - it was available on lease for $3,200 per month! With technological advancements in the world of data storage system, current data storage solutions have successfully been able to meet market demands, expectations, and requirements. But, innovation has no end, and the day is not far when we might be able to store 100 TB of data in a single USB drive. 1. 2. 3. Conclusion Bibliography