Believe it or not, the first data backups were made on paper. Dating back as early as the 18th century, the “technology” was used in the form of paper tapes constructed from punch cards to control the functions of automated machinery such as textile looms. The concept of these cards was then further developed by IBM in the early days of data processing, where data input, storage and commands were captured using a series of hole punches.
In 1956, IBM introduced the 350 disk storage unit – the first ever hard disk drive. It was 60 inches in length, stood nearly 70 inches tall and had a capacity of 5 million 6-bit characters – or 3.75 MB of data. And although less than 4 megabytes may not seem like much (a decent cell phone can today take a picture with a larger file size), the 350 unit represents a more modern concept of storage and data backup that over time has become a critical element of business planning and strategy.