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Return of the disk drive bigness? Not for poor old, busted WD

Western Digital has reported mixed numbers for its latest quarter, with a small revenue rise and a larger profits drop compared with the numbers it reported a year ago. Seagate reported sparkling numbers yesterday in comparison. For its first fiscal 2015 quarter, ended 3 October, revenues of $3.9bn were up modestly year-on-year …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014
Kinetic Terascale

WHOMP, there it is: Seagate demos Kinetic disk drive

Seagate is demonstrating its Kinetic disk drive at the OpenStack summit in Paris, claiming to have broad support for its proprietary, single-source technology. Kinetic is a disk drive directly addressed over Ethernet using Get and Put-style object storage commands using an open source API. The idea is that applications can …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2014

Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp

A NetApp pitch at the Flash Memory Summit said the cost-per-GB price trends for cheap TLC flash mean it will dip below SAS disks in 2017. TLC is triple layer cell flash which holds three bits per cell, half as much again as the standard 2-bit or MLC NAND that is used in SSDs and server flash cards. Because TLC is denser in …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2014
EXtreme_Pro

FLASH better than DISK for archiving, say academics. Are they stark, raving mad?

An academic paper claims flash could be better than disk for archiving. So just how did this unlikely result come about? The SSRC* paper, An Economic Perspective of Disk vs. Flash Media in Archival Storage, was published earlier this year, at the 22nd IEEE International Symposium on Modelling, Analysis, and Simulation of …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2014
seagate 1in 12gb hdd

Disk drive BIGNESS is back: Seagate revenues and shipments surge

Growth has returned to the disk drive business if Seagate's latest quarterly results are anything to go by. The raw numbers paint the picture perfectly. First quarter fiscal 2015 revenues were $3.8bn, nine per cent up on an annual compare and 15 per cent higher than the previous quarter. Seagate shipped 59.5 million drives, up …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014

Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD

Seagate is thinking of doubling up - or possibly even tripling - disk read heads to get a stronger signal from disk platters with more and narrower data tracks. TDK TDK disk read:write head Currently a disk read:write head has a single read head and a single write head. If the tracks on a disk platter are placed closer …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2014
CS400

Networked mutant flash-disk beast Nimble to smack flashy rivals with 'high-end' boxen

Nimble Storage is going to do a Tegile and have all-flash shelves in a new high-end product that will also undercut its main rival, fellow all-flash array startup Pure Storage, or so it claims. Tegile and Nimble both supply networked hybrid flash/disk arrays using operating software expressly designed to use flash optimally, as …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2014
LaCie Rugged

Compare Apple's and oranges: LaCie's hi-vis jacket-wearing disk is not for hipsters

Fancy a drive in a high-visibility jacket so it never gets lost and can withstand knocks, scrapes and drops of two metres? Then LaCie’s latest Rugged disk should be on your radar. This is the first update of the Rugged line since Seagate bought the French hardware biz. The new drive was designed by Neil Poulton; minimalist Apple …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2014
Hyper ISE with SSD and HDD

Seagate's bought a disk drive array firm. Déjà vu? You betcha

Seagate has tried making a go of the disk drive array business before, and failed. Now it has bought a disk array supplier for the second time. What's different, and could X-IO's technology have a role to play? In 2000 X-IO, then a five-year old startup known as Xiotech and offering virtualising SAN storage arrays, was bought by …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2014
Brueghel_Leapfrog

Hopeful hybrideer Reduxio grabs more cash for disk+flash

A late-coming hybrid flash/disk array startup, Reduxio, has acquired $15m in additional funding to build a better box. Three hybrid array companies are going gang-busters. Post-IPO Nimble Storage and pre-IPO Tegile and Tintri are all growing at triple-digit rates, as they tear into the mainstream array suppliers' customer bases …
Chris Mellor, 07 Oct 2014
Lego Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre

Micron cackles as it unveils its chameleonic FLYING DISK KILLER

Micron has a new M600 client SSD that changes flash type on the fly to accelerate writes. It's an update on the M500 series, we understand, and is made from 16nm NAND instead of the M500's 20nm. There are mSATA, M.2 and 2-5-inch SSD formats available with capacities being 128GB, 256GB and 512GB for the mSATA and M.2 formats, and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2014
Cloud disk drives

VMware counters containers with SaaSy VM disk swap

The rise and rise of Docker, plus news that Google does most everything using containers, has raised eyebrows for those who like to ponder virtualisation's future in large-scale deployments. At issue is that while server virtualisation is universally agreed to be very powerful, very useful and tremendously useful, you still end …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2014

'Catastrophic' server disk-destroying glitch menaced Google cloud

Google has squashed a bug in its public cloud that threatened to accidentally delete users' virtual disks – an error so serious that one security researcher termed it potentially "catastrophic". The web king today admitted that one of its server migration commands could have "erroneously and permanently" deleted persistent disks …
Jack Clark, 14 Mar 2014
LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 – dual SSD sizzler

It’s not exactly uncommon to find manufacturers making claims for product performance that few of us would actually be able replicate. Often the testing methods are not typical or are adorned with an asterisk or two – involving a bit of effort to find the relevant footnote. Battery life and data rates are among the worst …
Bob Dormon, 03 Nov 2014
Openstack log

HGST and Seagate go head-to-head with Ethernet disk drives

Seagate’s Kinetic disk drive has had its open source program expanded with APIs and libraries. The Kinetic drive is a disk drive with a direct Ethernet interface. It operates through key/value, object style GET and PUT IO operations instead of relying on the usual POSIX stack. (More here.) The first updated Kinetic drive will …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2014
TDK TMR hard disk drive read/write head

Spin that disk drive forecast, Gartner: Watch those desktop units dive

Gartner is forecasting that total hard disk drive shipments will grow at a leisurely 2.9 per cent CAGR from 2013 (552 million units) to 2018 (635.1 million units). But bear in mind that's an average: desktop drives unit shipments will be shrinking at a -7 per cent CAGR over the period while high-capacity business drives grow at …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2014
TiVo Mega

Rack-mount 24TB RAID 5 disk array for $5,000. Let's just check the label here. Uh, it's TiVo

TiVo has unveiled a massive new digital video recorder that costs $5,000 and can hold nearly three years of SD video, or 24 weeks of HD material. The TiVo Mega box is supposed to rid users of the pesky problem of ever actually running out of storage space by packing a 24TB RAID 5 system into a broadcast video recording box. …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2014
Ultrastar He6

Million-dollar new disk tech could be USELESS for array vendors

We've seen a lot of innovation in disk drive technology over the past year or so, tech into which millions of dollars of R&D as well as large amounts of time and effort have been poured. But from where we're standing at the beginning of 2014, it may ultimately be totally useless for storage array vendors. I'm thinking of …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2014

Sueballs lobbed at Tosh, Samsung and LG over 'optical disk cartel'

Now Acer is suing Toshiba, Samsung and others in a California court over optical disk product price fixing - just a day after HP sued Tosh, Samsung and LG over the same thing. As reported by Bloomberg, the HP lawsuit, filed in Houston, claims the three CD, DVD and Blu-Ray optical disk makers operated an effective cartel from …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2013
Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

Backup bods Acronis extend disk-imaging support to Macs at last

Data protection house Acronis is announcing True Image for Mac (TIM - our acronym), the Apple equivalent of its True Image for Windows backup and recovery software. True Image is a full disk image backup utility. Up until now, TIM has only supported Windows. It does not run on Macs, either under Mac OS X, or with Windows running …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2014
A picture of a glacier

Will Amazon spin up its OWN disk-based archive in 2014?

Amazon's Glacier archive is beginning to look too slow in its data retrieval compared to disk-based services from suppliers like EVault with its LTS2 service and pretty instant retrieval. What could the Bezos behemoth do about it if LTS2 captures customers who would otherwise have chosen Glacier? Glacier costs $0.01/GB/month, …
Chris Mellor, 23 Dec 2013
fire damaged hard disk drive

Server, server in the rack, when's my disk drive going to crack?

Cloud backup outfit Backblaze has cobbled together all the data it's gathered from the 25,000 or so disk drives it keeps spinning and drawn some conclusions about just how long you can expect disks to survive in an array. The study's not the best of guides to data centre performance, because Backblaze happily makes do with …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2013
WD Caviar Green 2TB

Disk daddy WD dishes out more drives, but profits dip anyway

For its final fiscal 2014 quarter WD revenues were flat at $3.7bn but profits declined despite the firm having sold a greater number of disk drives. SSD sales declined compared to the previous two quarters. The increased drive demand came from PCs, gaming devices and notebooks but, unfortunately gaming and notebook drives have …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014

Cash slump a Seagate problem, or a hard disk industry problem?

Seagate revenues and profits have slumped in its third fiscal 2014 quarter, reflecting ongoing difficulties in the disk drive market and product transitions. Revenues of $3.4bn were reported in the quarter ending 28 March, and these were 4 per cent down year-on-year. Net profits were $395m, 5 per cent lower than a year ago. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Apr 2014
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

And the winner of the most reliable disk drive award is ...

The folks at backup-as-a-service outfit Backblaze have again done something astounding: they've not only looked at log files but analysed them, this time to figure out which vendor's disk drives offer the longest working life. There's a scary-looking histogram in BackBlaze's post detailing the results that shows Seagate drives …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2014
Toshiba 7mm hybrid disk drive slider

Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

A group of Swiss researchers has demonstrated using lasers to control magnetisation at extremely high speed, a line of research they hope will one day will help speed up hard drives. One of the limits of the modern hard drives' performance is how quickly a bit's magnetisation can be accurately changed using a magnetic write …

Flash cheaper than disk? 'Customers aren't buying that', says NetApp CEO

NetApp's CEO Tom Georgens philosophised about flash storage in the company's latest earnings call with analysts. The top boss said non-volatile NAND memory isn't the be-all and end-all in storage: what matters is where active and inactive, hot and cold, data is stored, and how dear each of those holding pens are. “Flash, on a …
Chris Mellor, 16 Aug 2013
Amusement park slide

WD results confirm it: Disk buyers ARE spending less

Is there a disk drive sales slump? Seagate's latest quarterly results suggested it and now WD's results confirm it. Enterprise disk drive buyers are spending less money. Despite all the marketing/analyst guffery about data bloat driving storage sales, both Seagate and Western Digital have seen lower sales in the last three …
Chris Mellor, 01 May 2014
The Register breaking news

Boffins use laser to move maglev disk

Readers may wish to skip to the video, below, if they’re too holidayed to want to read too many words. For the rest: a group of Aoyama Gakuin University researchers has demonstrated a magnetic-levitation disk that can be moved using lasers. The trick is in the materials: when the laser heats one part of the disk, the magnetic …
The Register breaking news

Has Europe finally passed Peak Disk?

Disk drive sales in the EMEA region have showed falls in both units and capacity according to research from Futuresource Consulting. HDD unit sales peaked in 2010 at 28.06 million units, falling to 25.91 million in 2011 and 21.48 million in 2012, a 17 per cent decrease between the latter two years. Mats Larsson, a senior market …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2013
Broken CD with wrench

Backups? Use disk. Archives? Disk. Particle accelerators? Fine, tape

What's EMC's attitude to tape? Who better to ask than William "BJ" Jenkins, the bigwig running the storage leviathan's backup and recovery systems business. So we did. Last year EMC said loud and proud that digital tape sucks, and featured the world's biggest ball of tape at marketing events. This year there is no such …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2012

Facebook adds Flash to up the tempo of its enormous disk-o-tech

Facebook has updated an open source tool that lets admins wring fast performance cheaply from disk-based arrays fed from PCI-e flash cards. The "Flashcache" tool was updated to version 3.0 by the company on Wednesday. The tool lets the company sit a high-performance cache on PCI-e flash cards to speed access to important data …
Jack Clark, 11 Oct 2013

Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

The UK's Ministry of Justice has been fined £180,000 following the latest in a series of failures involving how prisons handle private information. The penalty (PDF) follows the loss of a back-up hard drive at HMP Erlestoke prison in Wiltshire back in May 2013. The *unencrypted* hard drive contained sensitive and confidential …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2014
TDK TMR hard disk drive read/write head

The future of storage: disk-based or just discombobulated?

The disk drive industry went bananas in 2013, driven hard by cloud storage and flash, both sending the problems of bulk, nearline data storage disks' way. The three big HDD tech issues? SMR technology seems a near-term bust except for big cloud users Helium drive technology arrived with HGST's 6TB offering Seagate announced …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jan 2014
Seagate logo

Sneaky Seagate slips 'world's fastest' enterprise disk mutant into the wild

Seagate has quietly built an enterprise-class 600GB hybrid drive: it combines the capacity of spinning platters with a fast flash cache of hot data. Up until now Seagate has only delivered notebook-computer-class hybrid disks, namely the Momentus XT and the Laptop SSHD product lines. Oddly it hasn't actually formally announced …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jun 2013

Backers fatten up flash-disk mutant array, sic it on storage giants

Bulk up and get ready to take on the storage giants - that's what hybrid array startup Tegile's backers are telling it, and here's $32m to do just that. Tegile was founded in late 2009 to devise a hybrid flash/disk storage array, and its Zebi product was launched in February last year - background here. Together with fellow …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2013
QPR Codes

'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Boffins have devised a storage medium that could hold data for up to one billion years and claim recent accelerated ageing tests have shown "million-year" survivability. The study's authors are Jeroen de Vries of the University of Twente MESA and Institute for Nanotechnology, and colleagues Dimitri Schellenberg, Leon Abelmann1, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jan 2014
nTier Verde visual status

OK, we're flogging a disk array, but cut us open and we bleed TAPE – SpectraLogic

Tape library supplier SpectraLogic has quietly added a spinning rust product to its archive portfolio: the nTier Verde array. Hmm. Tape-based data protection vendors like Overland Storage and Quantum have gone into the disk array business to offset declining tape revenues. And results have varied: financial impact has been …
Chris Mellor, 19 Sep 2013
WD Purple surveillance HDD

Surveillance, that's a hot topic right now. We'll make some disk drives for that – WD, Seagate

Not so long ago, Apple went through a list of big cats to name its OS X releases and it seems that WD is doing the same with a box of crayons. So far we’ve had WD Black (flash-disk hybrid), Green (eco-friendly), Blue (desktop-friendly) and Red (NAS-friendly). The spectrum is widening though, as WD announced its Purple range of 3 …
Bob Dormon, 26 Feb 2014
Seagate logo

Seagate reveals a NASty side, tears wraps off WD Red copycat disk

Seagate has introduced its own disk for filer-focussed network-attached storage (NAS) boxes, a year after rival Western Digital launched its own Red NAS drive. The new Seagate spinner comes with NASworks software; it's clearly a startling coincidence that the WD Red's bundled software is called NASware. The Red is a 1TB, 2TB or …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2013

Disk drive kingpin WD whips out wallet for upstart Skyera

Who'd have thought it? When flash array startup Skyera announced its $51m second round funding we knew Dell was leading it but what we didn't know was that disk drive bigwig Western Dig was in there too. WD appears to be lagging behind Seagate in adding a solid state drive dimension to its disk drive business. Seagate is …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 2013
Licensed under creative commons (Kafa4Prez) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Penguins, only YOU can turn desktop disk IO into legacy tech

With the advent of flash-based storage memory, the prospect of banishing disk IO waits forever from transaction-based or other IO-bound server applications is close to becoming a reality. But what about desktops? We have a pretty weak example with Apple's MacBook Air ultrathin laptops, but these are underpowered little lovelies …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2013
Flashman

Flashman and the Mountain of Disk

Flash, flash and more flash seems to be the order of the day from all vendors; whether that is flash today or flash tomorrow; whether it’s half-baked, yesterday’s left-overs rehashed or an amuse-bouche; 2013 is all about the flash. Flashman Large and small, the vendors all have a story to tell but flash still makes up a tiny …
StorageBod, 14 Mar 2013
Deskstar 7K1000 hard drive

HGST: Nano-tech will double hard disk capacity in 10 years

HGST, the Western Digital subsidiary formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, says it has developed a method of manufacturing hard-disk platters using nanotechnology that could double the density of today's hard drives. The new technique employs a combination of self-assembling molecules and nanoimprinting, …
Neil McAllister, 01 Mar 2013

Staggering disk biz Overland heads for Nasdaq exit …. again

Perennially almost-but-not-quite failing Overland Storage is once again under notice from Nasdaq that it might be booted out of the stock exchange after apparently falling short of the "minimum market value" required. It's no fun at all for the beleaguered company's management as it has had to file an 8K form with the US …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2013

Boffins say flash disk demands new RAID designs

Solid state disks (SSDs) are wonderfully fast, but every time you write to them, the semiconductors involved degrade just a little, a property that means you swap them into established storage rigs at your peril. That's the conclusion of a new paper, “Stochastic Analysis on RAID Reliability for Solid-State Drives” from a pair of …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2013

Dell pries open shrunken PowerVault, crams whole lotta disk inside

In between the deluge of flash-driven, cloud-driven, and virtualisation-driven storage news, humble drive arrays get new features too. Dell has announced that it has provided low-end PowerVault enclosures with more drives than before and boosted its DR4000 disk-to-disk backup array with better replication and Symantec backup …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2012

WD mixes flash-disk cocktail in Vegas, lets clients feel up models

WD is sending out samples of its 500GB and 1TB hybrid flash hard disk drives to OEM customers and showcasing them at CES in Las Vegas. According to an Engadget report WD is sampling two hybrid HDDS with its OEMs: A 500GB 2.5-inch model with a 5mm z-height and 24GB of NAND, called the WD5000M13K A 1TB 2.5-inch drive with a 7mm …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jan 2013
DVD it in many colours

Tosh flashifies disk in demo hybrid drive

Toshiba has demonstrated a 1TB hybrid disk drive at the Flash Memory summit; that's 250GB bigger than Seagate's Momentus XT. The 2.5-inch XT drive is Seagate's third generation hybrid drive and features a 2-platter, 7,200rpm disk drive fitted with either a 4GB fast SLC flash cache in the 500GB product or an 8GB SLC NAND cache in …
Chris Mellor, 30 Aug 2012
Picture of Mike Shapiro, Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal

Hm, disk drive maker, what's that smell lingering around you?

The disk drive vendors have been utterly screwed by mismanaging the disruptive force of solid state drives: that's the view of Mike Shapiro - lately a storage bigshot at Sun and Oracle. Mike Shapiro was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer, CTO, and VP of Storage for Sun and then Oracle. He is most recently a founder at a …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2013