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The Evolution Of Data Storage Devices

How data storage grew in its capacity since the early days of floppy disk to cloud data storage


What's going on?

Data storage has grown to become inexpensive and efficient over the years. Every second, people around the world store data. With such accessibility these days, data storage devices are often taken for granted. It has come a long way since IBM first developed the floppy disk in its San Jose lab in 1967.


Widely recognized today as the save icon, floppy disks were uncovered magnetic disks which later on had plastic envelopes to protect them from dirt and scratches. By the mid-70s, floppy disks were the most widely used as portable data storage. Sony and Phillips then developed the Compact Disc or CD-ROM in 1982. Despite its small size of only 12 cm, a CD was able to store more data than a personal computer’s hard drive. It revolutionized the music industry, replacing vinyl records and cassette tapes.


In 2000, an Israeli company, M-Systems, developed the USB Flash Drive, which is also known as a thumb drive, pen drive, or memory stick. These thumb drives used flash memory and became extremely popular due to its plug-and-play convenience. Cloud data storage then came around in 2007, removing the need for physical data storage devices. Storage capacity depends only on the plan one can pay for, and the options are endless. Remote databases are used to store information making it accessible anytime as long as there is internet access. Currently, experts estimated that more than 2.7 zettabytes worth of data exist in the digital space today with more expansion of data storage.


A Brief History of Data Storage