IBM Details Next Generation of Storage Innovation

IBM Outlines Intelligent Storage Devices and Storage-Class Memory

San Jose, CA - 06 Sep 2006:

IBM today at its Almaden Research Center is detailing the future of the data center led by projected advances in Intelligent Storage devices and Storage-Class Memory.  The event is timed to mark the 50th anniversary this month of IBM’s introduction of the world's first commercial hard-disk drive system -- the 350 Disk Storage Unit and the 305 RAMAC Computer -- regarded as one of the most significant products in the history of information technology.

Scientists and researchers today are outlining a number of key projects, including:

IBM will also be detailing technology advancements that have enabled tape to remain the most cost-effective method for storing massive amounts of business and personal data.  While pundits have forecast the impending death of tape for years, IBM and its partners are enabling it to thrive today and for the foreseeable future.

“IBM kicked off the storage revolution fifty years ago this month with the introduction of the 305 RAMAC Computer,” said Mark Dean, vice president Almaden Research Center and IBM Fellow. “Today, we’re creating the next generation of advances that will drive storage innovation forward for the next fifty years.”

The storage needs of businesses are growing dramatically.  When IBM introduced the IBM 350 Disk Storage Unit in September 1956, its five megabytes could store a medium-resolution image of DaVinci’s Mona Lisa painting.  By comparison, the IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo, introduced this August, can store up to 320 terabytes of information, which is the equivalent of all the images held in the Guggenheim, the Louvre, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more.  Another example, in 1956 the 350 Disk Storage Unit could hold the digital equivalent of the collected works of Shakespeare, while today’s DS8000 can hold more than 76 million copies of Shakespeare’s works.

The IBM 350 Disk Storage Unit was introduced on September 4, 1956 and the IBM 305 RAMAC Computer was introduced on September 13, 1956.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Against the backdrop of the first commercial magnetic hard-disk drive for storing computer data, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this month, IBM Fellow Jai Menon shows off IBM's latest data storage innovation: a prototype compact storage "blade" that can hold more than 500,000 times more information in a space not much larger than a briefcase. Invented by IBM researchers in San Jose, Calif., and unveiled to customers on September 13, 1956, the first commercial disk drive, called RAMAC, was the size of two large refrigerators, had 50 disks each two feet in diameter, weighed about a ton and held a then-staggering 5 million characters (about 5 megabytes) – which today is equivalent to just a single medium resolution digital photograph. IBM's new storage blade, now being developed in Tucson, Ariz., holds more than 2.5 trillion bytes in 18 modern disk drives arranged in six convenient plug-in trays. IBM's storage blade is expected to be available next year. Over the past half century, IBM has been the leader in data storage, having made numerous discoveries and technological advances in disk drives, magnetic tape storage, storage system software, materials science and nanotechnology. The company is the perennial leader in storage patents and was awarded the National Medal of Technology for its many pioneering contributions to the information storage industry.


It was fifty years ago that IBM introduced delivered what is regarded as one of the single most imporant products in the history of technology -- The IBM 305 RAMAC, which included the world's first disk drive.

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