The Computer History Museum's data and memory exhibits may take some IT professionals back in time -- to the earlier days in their careers.

The zip drives, floppy disks, large microchips, punch cards, laser discs and tape drives on display represent storage media through the ages. The history of data is also the history of storage.

Just because something’s old, however, doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. Data centers around the country still use tape drives to store massive amounts of information, even though reams of tape may seem “ancient” to younger IT professionals. Big data may have increased storage volumes, but it hasn’t outgrown good old-fashioned tape.

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer
Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.