1956
IBM introduces the 350 RAMAC, the first computer disk storage system. In less than a second, the 350 RAMAC's "random access" arm retrieves data stored on any of 50 spinning disks. Disk technology later becomes the industry's basic storage medium for online transaction processing.

1962
The IBM 1311 is the first storage unit with removable disks. Each "disk pack" holds more than two million characters of information. Users can easily switch files for different applications.

1965
Database and data communications applications requiring access to large amounts of information - such as airline reservations and online banking transactions - become economically feasible with the IBM 2314 Direct Access Storage Facility.

1970
With the IBM 3330, servo feedback technology makes it possible to record data on disks more densely than ever before. Error-correction coding increases the availability of data and the efficiency of the manufacturing process.

1971
IBM introduces the industry's first flexible magnetic disk, or diskette. The "floppy disk" greatly increases the convenience of data handling. It becomes widely used as a basic storage medium for small systems.

1974
The IBM 3340 disk drive introduces an advanced head and disk technology known as "Winchester." The 3340 features a small, lighter read/write head that rides closer to the disk surface - on an air film 18 millionths of an inch thick. The 3340 doubles the information density of IBM disks to nearly 1.7 million bits per square inch.

1980
IBM introduces "thin film" head technology, which enables the 3380 Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) to read and write data at three million characters per second. It is the first commercial unit to achieve such a rate. The thin-film read-write head of the IBM 3380 disk drive "flies" 12 millionths of an inch over the disk surface. This is comparable to a large plane flying 1/20th of an inch over a lake's surface without touching the water.

1981
High-performance "cache" memory is introduced with the 3880 Storage Control. The 3880 moves frequently used data from disk storage into semiconductor storage for high-speed access by the processor. Cache is an advanced, integrated system approach that uses both hardware and software.

1985
The IBM 3380 D/E DASD are introduced. The 3380E offers five gigabytes of storage capacity and is the largest capacity DASD of its time.

1987
Storage subsystem synergy acquires new meaning with the introduction of the triple-capacity 3380 DASD Models J and K and the 3990 Storage Control. The 3380 J/K DASD and the 3990 Models 2 and 3 deliver yet another DASD innovation: four-path data transfer. Extended control unit functions also include DASD fast-write and dual copy.

1989
The IBM 3390 Model 2 increases the capacity of a single DASD box to 22.7 gigabytes (22.7 billion bytes) and the throughput to 40 percent over the IBM 3380K.

1991
The 3390 DASD Model 3 increases the capacity of a single DASD unit to 34 gigabytes and offers up to 180 gigabytes in a 3990/3390 Storage Subsystem.

The new family of rack-mounted, CKD 9340 DASD Subsystems addresses the requirements of intermediate computing environments. The entry-level 9341/9345 connects to a 9221 processor and stores 2-24 gigabytes of information while the 9343/9345 stores 4-48 gigabytes and can take advantage of ESCON.

1992
IBM introduces one of the first 3.5-inch disk drives on the market to offer up to 1.2 billion bytes of storage - enough capacity to store more than a half million pages of typewritten information; the first 2-gigabyte 3.5-inch disk drive and the first 4-gigabyte 5.25-inch disk drive for the original equipment manufacturers market. IBM ships more than 250,000 1-gigabyte 3.5-inch hard drives in 1992.

1993
IBM announces and begins delivering a host of new products, ranging from lower cost storage options to new subsystems capable of storing three times the amount of data as previous models. These product introductions include: new disk storage systems for use with the AS/400; five additions to its line of disk drives and storage subsystems for the original equipment manufacturer marketplace; new 200 Series models of the 9337 Disk Array Subsystem; a selection of disk storage products for users of RISC System/6000 POWERservers and POWERstations; and introduction of the industry's first high-capacity drives for the portable computing market using new magneto-resistive head technology.

In addition, IBM announces that it has increased the throughput of the 3990/3390 Storage Subsystem up to 100 percent in selected environments and tripled the capacity of the 3390 Direct Access Devices by adding a new member to the storage hierarchy.

IBM announces scientific results that may allow a 30-fold increase in the amount of data stored in a given area of magnetic disk surface within the next decade.

1994
The IBM RAMAC Array Family, a major advance in information storage technology, is announced in June, and consists of the RAMAC Array Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) and the RAMAC Array Subsystem. Both products offer up to 90.8 gigabytes of information storage. Shipments of the RAMAC Array DASD begin in September. RAMAC represents one of IBM's most successful storage product launches ever, with almost 2,000 systems shipped to customers in its first three months of availability.

Other 1994 storage products introductions include: new models of disk, tape and optical storage products for AS/400 and RISC System/6000 platforms; IBM 7137 Disk Array Subsystem, which implements IBM's RAID 5 data redundancy technology; IBM 7204 External Disk Drive Models 112, 317 and 325; IBM 7203 2.2GB External Portable Disk Drive Module; IBM 7134 High Density SCSI Disk Subsystem; IBM 7204 External Disk Drive Model 315 that can be attached to RISC System/6000 workstations and servers; two new models of the IBM 3514 High Availability Disk Array for RISC System/6000; and three new models of the IBM 9337 Disk Array Subsystem. To date, more than 42,000 IBM 9337 systems with RAID 5 capability have been shipped to customers since it was introduced in 1992. In addition, IBM ships its 4-millionth disk drive incorporating advanced magneto-resistive (MR) head technology. (The company first shipped MR head components in 1991.)

1995
IBM achieves another new world record in magnetic data storage density -- 3 billion bits of data per square inch, the equivalent of a stack of paper taller than a five-story building.

IBM's storage products announcements during the year include: additions to the Travelstar and Deskstar families of disk drives; the RAMAC 2 Array DASD and the RAMAC 2 Array Subsystem, a new generation of RAID 5 disk storage for IBM System/390 users; the 7135 RAIDiant Array Model 210, the 7131 MultiStorage Tower Model 105 and the 7210 External CD-ROM Drive Model 010; and IBM 7133 Serial Storage Architecture Disk Subsystem, the industry's first storage subsystem to implement Serial Storage Architecture. More than 2,000 RAMAC Array Family information systems are delivered by mid-January, only three and a half months after the new RAID 5 products became available - the most successful product introduction for high-end disk storage. IBM in June makes the 4,500th shipment of its RAMAC Array Family of storage products for mainframe computers.


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