7.9   RAID

In the 30 years following the introduction of IBM’s RAMAC computer, only the largest computers were equipped with disk storage systems. Early disk drives were enormously costly and occupied a large amount of floor space in proportion to their storage capacity. They also required a strictly controlled environment: Too much heat would damage control circuitry, and low humidity caused static buildup that could scramble the magnetic flux polarizations on disk surfaces. Head crashes, or other irrecoverable failures, took an incalculable toll on business, scientific, and academic productivity. A head crash toward the end of the business day meant that all data input had to be redone to the point of the last backup, usually the night before. ...

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