Droboman expects a 3TB drive from somewhere soon
Western Digital the likeliest suspect
Dr Geoff Barrall, founder and CEO of Drobo gave out his opinion in London last week that there should be a 3TB drive for Drobos by April next year. He didn't name the supplier, but Drobo does use Western Digital drives, so this 3TB drive could be a black one.
Currently Western Digital offers a 2TB Caviar Black 3.5-inch SATA drive. It was announced in early September, and has four platters with 500GB per platter. That means an areal density of roughly 330Gbit/sq in.
A 3TB, 4-platter drive would need 750GB per platter - a 50 per cent increase on the Caviar Black.
Seagate has 2.5-inch Momentus drives pushing 400Gbit/sq in. Toshiba's MK6465GSX 2.5-incher offers 640GB on two platters with 528.5Gbit/sq in. These make the Caviar Black 2TB drive's 330Gbit/sq in look pedestrian. WD has a Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch drive, spinning at 5400rpm, with 640GB on its 2 platters, meaning it's got to be at Tosh levels of areal density, unless it's using significantly more of the platters' total surface.
If WD can use its 2.5-inch areal density on its 3.5-inch drives, then a jump up to the 3TB level looks achievable, with 500Gbit/sq in giving us a 750GB/platter capacity. Caviar Blacks spin at 7200rpm, so maybe we shouldn't expect the drive to use 528.5Gbit/sq in areal density but, hopefully, 500Gbit/sq in will be possible. If that is the case, we can conclude that Droboman knows what he is talking about. ®
Too big drives
A modern drive has 30% of it's surface dedicated to error correction code, and still there will be errors that can not be repaired or even detected. If you read specs on a new drive, you will see something like "1 irrecoverable error in 10^14 bits". With yesterdays small drives, you didnt read to many bits to reach 10^14 of them, and hence hit an irrecoverable error. Todays large large raids, with much higher bandwidth, you will frequently hit irrecoverable errors. The error rate has been constant throughout the years, but the capacity has increased much more.
What to do? Use error correcting ZFS which is designed to handle these kind of problems. CERN did some research on hardware raid, and they showed errors that h/w could not detect. ZFS would have detected this.
Noooo, don't do it.
Drobo. n) Slow disk device prone to disappearing and/or losing data
Don't do it people. I truly wish I never had. Even for a USB2 device it's slow, when it chooses to show up at all. And when you realise how bad it is, how long will it take you to remove all that data and secure it?
a/c 'cos I'm putting mine on fleabay.
Paris, 'cos she loses stuff in her box all the time I'm sure.
cannot start Windows Vista when larger than 2 terabytes
You have a good point there sir.
I expect there to be quite a few headaches when drives larger than 2TB are introduced since there are various limitations that need to be worked around if you are using Windows.
XP cannot even boot from them unless you are on Itanium.
With Vista you need to have SP1 or later installed and need to be running the 64-bit version:
Personally, owning a 2TB drive I wouldn't be in a rush to get a 3TB since I've already had it fail on me and had to RMA. Looks like they need to work on improving the quality at these higher densities first.