IBM is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the first hard drive. At the time, this was a breakthrough that would change the path of technology.
However, to put into perspective how far we’ve all come:
The hard drive IBM shipped in 1956:
- Stored five megabytes
- Cost $11,000 per megabyte
- Was 60 inches long x 68 inches high x 29 inches deep
- Weighed about one ton
In today’s dollars that would mean:
A $179 16GB iPod Nano:
- Stores 3,200 times more data
- Would cost $1,429,176,320
- Requires eight semi-truck shipping containers to hold the data
A petabyte of storage would:
- Cost $93,662,499,307,520
- Require a building the size of 10,814 football fields to hold the drives
- Require 472 of the world’s largest data centers to hold the drives
Compare that to being able to get a petabyte of storage for $117,000 and store it in a single rack. Of course, IBM researchers from the ’50s are clearly some of the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Note: $1 in 1956 is $7.93 in 2010 adjusted for inflation.