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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
In 1984 the IBM 3480 Magnentic Tape Subsystem which used a tape cartridge instead of the common reel-to-reel. It was smaller, faster and contained more storage capacity.