RAID: Timeline of IBM Disk Storage

A highly selective history of Disk Storage referenced later, focussing on IBM's contributions with some of their competition mentioned. This provides context for previous articles, on Lessons from RAID and RAID++. A good general reference is the Computer History Museum. Minicomputers and the laster Super-minicomputers aren't dealt with, although they created the conditions for the collapse of IBM's mainframe business.

Gordon Bell, while at DEC in 1972, posited "Computer Classes" [PDF, Paper on Bells Law] and how exponential technology growth affects products, markets and eventually companies. Market Disruption from "lower" classes of computers is a feature of computing history. A recent powerpoint by him on the topic.

In the 1970's, IBM dominated the computer (mainframe) industry generating more revenue that all its competitors combined. They were named "The BUNCH": Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell.

In the 1960's it was "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs", until RCA and General Electric sold to Sperry and Honeywell respectively.

Some items are included on Software Engineering, an on-going challenge in the Industry.

1874:Thomas J Watson born
1884:Hollerith patent on 80-col punched card: Tabulating Machine Company.
1890:US Census, using Hollerith Cards
1896:Thomas J Watson joins NCR, rises to CEO.
1911: Computing Tabulating Recording C/o [CTR] formed, merger of 4 c/o, including TMC.
1914: Thomas J Watson, leaves NCR, CEO of CTR.
1924: CTRC renamed to IBM, International Business Machines
1942:Manhattan Project, "human computers" using calculators, then IBM tabulators. http://www.mphpa.org/classic/HISTORY/H-06c18.htm
John Von Newman instrumental.
1943:"There is only a global market for 5 computers". mis-attributed to Thomas J Watson
ENIAC construction contract signed. Decimal computer.
1944:EDVAC construction proposed, binary computer. Von Neumann as consultant, University of Pennsylvania.
1945:von Neumann summarized and discussed logical design developments in "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC".
Describes "von Neumann architecture".
1946:ENIAC commissioned 1946. Moved to Aberdeen, MA 1947. Decomissed 1955.
Contract signed to build EDVAC for $100,000. Final cost $500,000.
1947:Frederick Viehe, amateur inventor, files a core memory patent. IBM later acquired patent rights.
Transistor invented at Bell Labs (AT&T)
1949:EDVAC delivered to US Army Ballistics Research Laboratory. Delays due to a patent dispute, due to Von Neumanns' 'Report'.
Harvard physicist An Wang files Core Memory patent.
US DoJ starts anti-trust case/investigation against IBM. decree in 1956

End of First Era

1950:First commercial computers built, using Vacuum Tubes (valves) for CPUs. RAM not yet invented.
LEO - UK, BINAC - USA, Zuse Z4 - Germany.
RCA’s Jan Rajchman files Core Memory patent.
1951:MIT’s Jay Forrester files Core Memory patent.
An Wang forms Wang Laboratories.
EDVAC commences operation on limited basis. Upgraded in 1953, 54 & 58. Decommissioned in 1961.
Univac/ERA 1101, vacuum tubes, announced.
1952:IBM 701, 36-bit. vacuum tubes, "williams tubes" memory. withdrawn 1971.
IBM Vacuum Column tape drive
IRS (US Tax) and Census Data on IBM 701.
1953:MIT Whirlwind, 1st computer to use Magnetic Core Memory for RAM.
IBM 650, Magnetic Drum Memory. 1,800 sold or leased at $200,000-$400,000. 1,000-4,000 words (8.5kB) on Drum + 60 words Core memory.
Univac/ERA 1103, vacuum tubes. Seymour Cray, b. 1992, involved.
1954:IBM 704, vacuum tubes, core memory. 36-bit words.
1955:Patent issued, An Wang sells rights for core memory patents to IBM for $500,000.
1956:Thomas J Watson Sr, dies. Replaced as Chairman of IBM by TJ Watson Jr.
IBM 305 computer and RAMAC 350 disk: First Disk Drive. 50 exchangeable platters, 5MB: US$50,000.
Burroughs B205, a rebranded Electrodata.
AT&T/Western Electric consent decree: only work in Telecommunications
IBM consent decree to limit monopoly in Data Processing (punched card). raised 1994 or 1997
2nd generation transistors developed.
1957:John Von Neumann dies.
FORTRAN developed.
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) founded. In the 1980's, companies in and near Boston on Route 128 formed a hi-tech area like Silicon Valley dubbed the Massachusetts Miracle.
1958:Sperry Rand's vacuum tube UNIVAC File Computer was one of the first to be used for airline reservations, later Univac 490.
1959:Fred Brooks takes over S/360 hardware project.
IBM 1401, transistor CPU, core memory.
COBOL developed.
1961:Burroughs B5000 released.
IBM 7030 Stretch. fastest computer till 1964. At 1.2MIPS, 30 times fastern than IBM 704
1962:SABRE airline reservation system created, on IBM gear.
IBM 1311 Model 1 disk released. First removable disk pack, 6 platters, 2MB, 1500RPM. Updated in 1963 & 1968. Most models withdrawn 1971, last 1975.
Univac 1107, 36-bit words. solid state + thin-film magnetic memory.
Univac Fastrand Drum bulk storage: ??MB, as 36-bit words. [vs Fastrand II]
Intergrated Circuits, IC's, as "small scale integration" first sold, displacing discreet transistors.
1964:IBM pays MIT $13 million for rights to Forrester’s patent following years of legal wrangling .
S/360 released. 2,000 S/360 on order. OS/360 finished: 5,000 man-years. MVS laster derived from OS/360.
Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600. 10Mhz (100ns). x3 faster than 'Stretch'. Fastest computer to 1969, by Seymour Cray.
1965:IBM 2314 disk released, replacing 2311. Withdrawn 1978. Updated model 1970. Removable disk pack, 11 platters, 29.3MB.
1968:US DoJ starts new anti-trust suit against IBM. dismissed in 1982.
1st NATO Conference on Software Engineering: 100,000 computers est. in Europe.
30%-50% Computing Projects 'challenged' or abandoned.
Univac Fastrand II Drum bulk storage: 100MB, as 36-bit words, or 132M 6-bit characters. 4,500lb, 6' long, 880 RPM, 92msec access, 100KB/sec, Controller: $41,680, Storage unit: $134,400 Max 8 storage units per controller
1969:Thompson and Ritchie, Unix and 'C' on PDP/11. Thompson U. Berkeley graduate, Masters Elec Eng.
kernel: 20,000 Lines. "Less is More" philosophy in reaction to bloated Multics.
AT&T barred from computing business. Unix source code licenses sold. mainly 'Educational' to Unis.
IBM "unbundles" Software and Hardware in reaction to anti-trust suit
2nd NATO Conference on Software Engineering in Rome.
DARPA funds "ARPANET" and development of IP Protocols
Control Data Corporation (CDC) 7600. 36.4Mhz (27.5nsec). Fastest computer to 1976 by Seymour Cray.
1970:IBM 3/370 introduced. fully semiconductor.
SQL developed, IBM's Codd & Date: relational databases.
Gene Amdah, IBM Fellow (1965), with Fujitsu creates Amdahl Corp. as 'plug-compatible' manufacturer.
DEC announces PDP-11. 16-bit computer, over 600,000 units sold.
1971:8" floppy disk introduced by IBM
1973:IBM 3340. "Winchester" disk released. Withdrawn from sale 1983 & 1984. 35MB & 70MB removable disk packs.
Experimental Ethernet at Xerox
1974:Communications of ACM devoted to Unix.
1975:Amdahl ships first S/370 plug-compatible, 470/V6.
DEC ships first LSI-11, PDP-11 on Large Scale Integration (LSI) chips.
1976:Lions Commentary on Unix 6th Ed. Most photocopied book in history, instrumental in Unix.
Cray-1 by Seymour Cray (left CDC). 80MHz. vector pipelined. 80MFLOPS.
1977:UCB aka BSD 1 by CSRB of Berkeley.
PWB (Programmers Work Bench) from Bell Labs. SCCS version control, shell, troff -mm macros (reused in HTML), make, find/cpio/expr/xargs, yacc/lex
Rich Miller, Wollongong, 1st port of Unix to Interdata.
AGSM at Uni of NSW, first commercial Unix license sold.
DEC VAX-11/780, 32-bit mid-range system introduced.
1979:IBM 3370 disk released, withdrawn from sale 1986. Sealed Head Disk Assembly, HDA's. removable. 57MB/HDA $35k with controller and $23.4k without. "Fixed Block Architecture" (512-byte sectors). Series 2, 73MB per HDA.
1980:IBM 3380 Model 1 disk released, withdrawn from sale 1986. Non-removable HDA's. Updates released in 1985 and 1987. String of 4x3380 model 1 provided 10GB, at $97.5k-$142k per unit with controllers (1st in string), $81k-$111.5k without. From 1 to 4 drives per unit.
IBM RISC (Power) introduced
1981:IBM PC introduced.
1982:IBM share of mainframe sales 62%, down from 70% in 1974 (or 1969?)
DoJ anti-trust suit of 1968 dismissed
Judge Greene hands down AT&T consent decree, breaking up Bell System and removing 1956 constraints.
Cray-XP, multi-processor, released. not by Seymour Cray.
Ethernet II, 10Mbps over thick coax
SUN Microsystems, 32-bit Unix workstations, founded.
1983:ACM Turing Award for Unix to Thompson & Ritchie.
IBM PC-XT, 5MB disk, $4,995.
Ethernet 10BASE5, 10Mbps over thick coax, as IEEE 802.3 standard.
1985:Cray-2, 125 MHz (8nsec), 1900 MFLOPS. Not commercially successful - hard to attain max perf. Fastest computer till 1990 (ETA-10). ECL logic.
Ethernet 10BASE2, 10Mbps over thin coax.
1986:Sperry-Univac and Burroughs merge to form Unisys. #2 and #3 in Mainframes. revenue of $10.5 billion in 1st year, but went into decline, dropping out of S&P 500 in 2008.
1987:RAID Paper, Patterson, Katz & Gibson, U. Berkeley.
IBM PS/2 closed technologies: OS/2, MCA (microchannel architecture). OS/2 Warp v. late, failed.
PS/2 keyboard and mouse connector becomes standard until replaced by USB
1988:IBM 3380/3390: $200,000 for 11GB-22GB. Avg purchase: $750,000 for 3 devices
IBM has 80% of $11.4 billion Mainframe Storage market.
1989:IBM 3390 Model 1 released. 3.78GB to 11.35GB per unit at $90k-$275k/unit.
1990:EMC Symmetrix 4200, 24GB, RAID-0, $200-$300,000.
Intel RAMBUS memory. failed, DDR won.
Ethernet 10Base-T standardised, 10Mbps over "cat 3" twisted pair.
Last DEC PDP-11 models /93 and /94 introduced. discontinued 1996.
An Wang dies, his son, Fred Wang, succeeds him as President Wang Laboratories.
1991:Thompson et al: Plan 9, Enterprise, portable, extensible, secure O/S
Linus Torvalis, Linux 0.01. Terminal emulator.
Microsoft release Windows 3.1.1 with LAN support
Intel releases 486, first single-chip 32-bit full computer (ALU, FPU, Virtual Memory, cache)
1992:IBM posts $8B loss, largest in US Corporate History
IBM releases 1st 'Thinkpad' laptop
DEC releases "Alpha" 64-bit RISC processor.
Wang Laboratories files for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) protection
1993:From 1991 to 1993, IBM posts $16 billion is Corporate Losses. Louis V. Gerstner appt. CEO.
IBM 3390 Model 3 released.
1994:14 March 1994, Linux 1.0.0 released, 176,250 lines of code.
1995:BSD 4.4, final release from CSRG @ UCB.
Cray Research files for bankruptcy.
"Fast" Ethernet 100Base-T standardised, 100Mbps over "cat 5" twisted pair.
1996:PDP-11 series discontinued.
1997:Amdahl becomes fully owned subsiduary of Fujitsu.
1998:DEC acquired by Compaq.
1999:Ethernet 1000Base-T standardised, 1Gbps over "cat 5a" & "cat 6" twisted pair.
Wang Laboratories acquired by Getronics, of Netherlands.
2000:Compaq discontinue DEC's VAX-line. 2005 manufacture discontinued.
2002:Compaq merges with Hewlett-Packard (HP)
2004:Microsoft "Longhorn Reset". 2.5 years work by 10,000 ppl discarded. 50M Lines of Code?
2005:IBM sells Personal Computing Division to Lenovo.
2006:Ethernet 10GBase-T standardised, 10Gbps over "cat 7" twisted pair. Not widely taken up
2010:40GBase-x & 100Gbase-x standardised. 40Gbps and 100Gbps over Optical Fibre.
SUN Microsystems, acquired by Oracle Corp.

Later summary of Market and Technological forces and the causes of the collapse.

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