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Issue of November 2006 

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From RAMAC to eternity

Research into direct processing solutions by an IBM lab in San Jose, California, had resulted in the creation of the world’s first hard drive, the Random Access Method of Accounting and Control (RAMAC) on September 13, 1956. In those days, the disks were coated with magnetic iron oxide paint and held all of 5 megabytes (MB) on 50 24-inch platters mounted on a rotating spindle. A mechanical arm equipped with a set of read / write heads moved up and down a vertical shaft, delivering the heads to the desired track in less than a second. From there to IBM’s latest initiatives, it’s been a long journey. The computing giant is working on a bunch of storage technologies for the future. They include;

Storage-Class Memory: A new approach to creating faster storage, IBM’s Storage Class Memory project aims to create low-cost, high-performance, reliable solid-state random-access storage that could compete with or replace disk drives and flash memory. Possible applications of this technology would include rapid-booting PCs, which could start up in a second or two after power on.

Intelligent Data Storage: Future storage systems will be more than repositories for data. They will also include a wide variety of modern data management and analytics features that will enable more efficient management and utilisation of data, which will allow storage systems to help companies with fraud detection and identity recognition.

Storage Systems That Compute: The smart movement of computing power is enabled by logical partition (LPAR) technology, which allows virtual servers to be created on a storage server. This can accelerate applications by harnessing storage server resources.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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