Feeds

Of hybrid hard drives and capacity boosts

Coughlin's cogitations

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The extra platters and shingled writing future revealed by Xyratex CEO Steve Barber seems to have been influenced by Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates and his "Hard Disk Drive Capital Equipment Market and Technology Report".

Coughlin's reports are used by many people in the hard disk drive (HDD) production and buying communities. I thought talking direct to the man himself might be a good idea and so we had an email Q&A. Here it is, with Tom's replies in bold type:

El Reg: How do think hybrid hard drives will develop (flash + spinning disk in one enclosure)? Do they need host software changes? Which markets are they best suited for?

I think there will be more than one path pursued which will combine HDDs and flash memory.

One approach is the one Seagate [Momentus XT] is taking where they put the flash in the PCB [printed circuit board] of the HDD and use it for a non-volatile storage cache. This version differs from what they and other companies offered in 2007 in that it does not depend upon the operating system to perform its intended function.

I have actually been using one of these drives in my laptop for about a week now and I do think that my system is a bit faster as a result although I have not quantified performance.  Other approaches will use separate HDDs on the SATA interface and solid state storage that may be separate SATA (or mSATA) devices or may use other interfaces such as PCIe.

My belief is that this will be a better path for wide-spread adoption of solid state storage in computers where they improve overall system performance with some flash but not enough flash memory to attempt to replace a HDD; the economics of that are just not there.

El Reg: Will single-platter 2.5-inch hard drives be successful? How much cheaper are they to make than standard dual-platter 2.5-inch drives? Could we see hybrid single platter drives, for example in tablets where they could provide near-flash performance at a lower price than flash.

No reason why not, we have had 1-platter 3.5-inch and I think 2.5 inch drives for a while.  By not having a second disk and two heads I think HDD companies will save $10 to $15 on their bill of materials costs and thus could either offer a lower price 2.5-inch straight HDD or perhaps as you suggest a low cost hybrid drive.  The trade-off is lower storage capacity with 2 disk surfaces instead of 4 (about a 2X factor).  An interesting aspect of a single platter 2.5 inch drive is that it could be thinner than a 2-platter disk drive and thus fit better into thin tablets and other products.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.