History of data storage

The History of Computer and Cloud Storage

Kyle Claypool Live Queue

The huge improvements in hard drive cost efficiencies have helped the tech world grow exponentially. A movie like Avatar, that contained a petabyte of data, would have been impossible to complete in the recent past. Steam, Netflix, and Google are just a few examples of the services that would not be possible without the explosion in cheap storage. We can’t wait to see what other amazing services pop up as storage capabilities continue to grow!

We ran into inspiring resources while researching big data, like Marcia Conner’s Data on Big Data. It’s incredible just how far we’ve come in the past 70 or so years in terms of computer storage space. Think about it. From half a KB in housing the size of a refrigerator to a TB drive a baby can hold. An increase of 210 billion percent, and that’s nowhere near the top of our capabilities. Just imagine if the going rate for 2.5GB of space was $140,000 like it was just 30 years ago. That would make Dropbox awfully pricey, and the cost of the average new iMac would approach $145,000,000!

Let’s imagine for a second that each MB of data storage is represented by one foot in height. The first hard drives would only measure a few hair-widths tall, compared to the storage of today that literally would expand into outer space! Check out the infographic below as we show just how explosive the growth in storage sizes have been:

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History of Data and Cloud Storage on Computers and the Internet Infographic

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