Since the dawn of electronic data, engineers and concerned executives have sought out reliable and efficient means of storing it. At first, it was enough just to be able to record the data; then we wanted it to stand the test of time. Beyond that, we tried to fit more and more information in ever-smaller spaces. The early history of data storage is filled with enormous machines that took up whole rooms in laboratories, offices and universities. Though data storage technologies eventually found their way into homes as recording methods shrank in size and increased in capacity, these early formats squatted alongside the first computers and claimed their territory in what became our modern data centers. You don’t need us to show you what a rack of RAID arrays looks like, but maybe you’re like to get an eyeful of magnetic drums, punch tape and enormous platters.