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In 1952 IBM solved the problem of using magnetic tape to back up computer-generated data. The IBM 726 used a “vacuum column” that created a buffer of loose tape. This way, the relatively brittle tape could withstand the system’s fast starts and stops without snapping.
The IBM 726 stored about 2.3MB of data and weighed 995 pounds.
IBM claims that magnetic tape remains the most cost-effective, flexible and scalable medium for high-capacity storage backup today.
Photo credit: IBM