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The Evolution of Backup

Posted by Cathie Briggette on Mon, Oct 06, 2014
Evolution of BackUp

The Evolution of Backup has been through many iterations and is centuries old.

3000 BC: Clay tablets, used by Sumerians, are used to record commercial transactions. Backup consisted of duplicating the tablets.

2500 BC: Papyrus starts being used in Egypt. Manually copying a papyrus is the only form of safeguarding it.

197 BC: Vellum, or parchment, made from animal skin eventually replaced the papyrus. Backup consisted of manually making copies and sealing them in a bronze box for archiving.

105 AD: Paper is invented. Bookkeeping, financial transactions, and other important business records are put on paper, and kept in safes for storage and protection.

1800s: Typewriters are invented, gaining momentum in the 1860s. Carbon paper was used to create copies of typed documents, to be stored in filing cabinets.

1890s: Herman Hollerith invented the punch card, so that data could be recorded in a medium that could also be read by a machine. Copies of punch cards had to be made for backup.

1900 to 1950s: Punch cards are the primary method for data entry, data storage, and data processing. Cards had to be handled with care and stored accordingly.

1960s: Magnetic tapes start replacing punch cards for data storage. The first backup strategies started to appear and backup tapes gain momentum.

1969: First floppy disk is introduced.

1970’s: Tape cartridges and cassette tapes start being widely used especially in home computers as a low cost data storage system.

1980’s: CD-R and CD-RW conquered the market for software distribution, slowly replacing floppy disks.

1982: Maynard Electronics is founded, and Archive, a backup software that later is renamed Backup Exec is created.

1987: DAT (digital audio storage) tapes hit the market, instead of being used by the music industry as first intended, gains interest from the corporate world for data storage and backup.

Early 90’s: CD drives and the declining costs of rewritable CD’s (CD-RW) help boost the media as a viable alternative for file backups. Later replaced by DVD’s.

1994: IOMEGA Zip Drive, a removable hard disk storage with 100MB and 250MB capacity is released, becoming very popular. A year later IOMEGA Jaz hits the market with 1GB capacity.

Late 90’s: SAN’s (Storage Area Networks) gain traction in the corporate world. VTL (virtual tape libraries) start being used to replace tape libraries.

2000’s: The USB flash drive enters the market. Decreasing prices and increasing storage capacity kills IOMEGA and their removable disks.

Mid 2000’s: Due to faster USB and Firewire ports, external hard drives start gaining market share and being used for backups especially for personal computers.

Late 2000’s: NAS (Network Attached Storage) climbs in reputation in the corporate world. Tapes continued to be replaced by disk-to-disk backup strategies.

2005: VTL gains wider adoption, replacing tape libraries in increasing number of companies. Symantec acquires VERITAS and with it, Backup Exec.

2006: Amazon launches EC2, the popular cloud computing platform, and S3 (simple storage service) for cloud storage.

2007: Dropbox founded, makes cheap cloud storage available for the masses. Axcient is founded as a new type of cloud platform for data protection and recovery, focusing on the corporate market.

2009: SSD (solid state storage) exceeds 11 million units shipped, showing the technology starts gaining traction and wider adoption.

2013: Symantec exists the cloud space shutting down Backup Exec.cloud. Gartner coins the term “Recovery-as-a-Service” based on the popularity of cloud-based disaster recovery solutions like Axcient and estimates a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 21% during the next three years.

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