by January 12, 1999 0 comments

The first hard disk ever was the RAMAC 305 from IBM. The 305 saw the light of day in 1956. RAMAC stands for Random Access Method of Accounting and Control, and used 50 two-feet diameter disks to store 5 MB.

Forty-four years later, the UltraStar 72ZX to be available next year from IBM, will be able to pack in a cool 73 GB. These 10,000 rpm drives will have very low seek times of 4.9 ms, an Ultra 160+ interface and a 2
Gbit/sec data transfer rate. In comparison to the RAMAC 305’s 50 platters, the Ultrastar will have 11 glass-substrate disks with 11 recording heads and 22 recording zones.

Now, what would you use a 73 GB hard disk for? The UltraStar homepage by IBM talks of needs “from collaborative workgroup applications to image processing, video editing, to data mining, on-line transaction processing
(OLTP), and on-line analytical processing (OLAP)”.

These were the same reasons given for 2 GB drives, 4 GB drives, 16 GB drives, and so on at their respective launches. Application sizes (and data) sure are ballooning!

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