From Punch Cards To Holograms: The Evolution of Data Storage

As technology has rapidly evolved and changed, so too has the data that powers our increasingly digital world. Behind modern computers, smartphones, ‘fat pipes’ of Internet and “big data” are a bunch of 1s and 0s stored somewhere. The lowered cost and ease of data storage has paved the way for a lot of the technology that we rely on every day.

You can walk into any electronics retailer and buy a 64GB flash drive that would have cost hundreds of thousands only 50 years ago. Even in 2000, the average cost of a gigabyte of storage was nearly $20. This infographic looks at the growth and evolution of data storage. We explore questions like “How large is an exabyte?” and “How expensive was a sever 20 years ago?” The numbers are startling!
Data powers so much of what we do. While new consumer products like smartphones, tablets and computers get all the press, the data that powers them has rapidly evolved and improved over the last 50 years.

This infographic explores the growth of big data and looks at how it impacts our world.

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Did you know that 1 gigabyte is equal to the same amount of data in a pickup truck filled with paper? Or that 2 terabytes is the equivalent of an average academic research library? This infographic explores the world of data and helps quantify how big different amounts of storage are.

It’s easy to forget how powerful a single gigabyte of storage can be when we regularly use phones and tablets with dozens of gigabytes of storage. As data storage has changed, we’ve moved from punch cards to cassette tapes to floppy disks to removable storage and now cloud storage and holograms. Will the next 50 years bring about as much change in the world of data?

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