Articles about Disk Drive

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Seagate laying off 2,217 employees

Reuters reports Seagate is closing its Suzhou disk drive manufacturing plant in China, shedding a whopping 2,217 jobs. The 1.1 million ft2 plant was formerly owned by Maxtor; Seagate having bought Maxtor for $1.9bn in May, 2006. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers puts the closure in the context of Seagate wanting to lower its quarterly …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017
Android marshmallow has put on weight.... altered original

Vendors flash smartphone storage in Vegas

Toshiba and SanDisk are showing off Android phone backup and monster microSD/USB stick products at CES in Las Vegas, but they don’t want what happens in Vegas to stay in Vegas. Toshiba’s Canvio for Smartphone is a 500 GB 2.5-inch disk drive inside a flattish circular disk of a case with cable connection to an Android …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2017
Some of the Super Pressure Balloon. M. McCarthy, submitted to the ABC

2016 – the year 3D XPoint came down to earth from Planet Hype

Storage Review in 2016 Storage in 2016 saw its on-premises SAN/filer array heartland assaulted by the public cloud on the one hand, and hyper-converged and software-defined storage on the other. The now-classic dual-controller disk array went hybrid to keep storing primary data, but all-flash arrays are taking on that role and so the hybrids went …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2017
Oil refinery - engineer checks fuel mix. Photo by Shutterstock

Regular or premium? Intel pumps out Optane memory at CES

CES 2017 Intel has announced Optane memory products in M.2. format to ship in the second 2017 quarter. Optane is Intel’s brand for its 3D Xpoint memory, jointly developed with Micron, and a non-volatile memory that is faster than NAND but slower than DRAM. Intel says (PDF) “a hard disk drive coupled with Intel Optane memory affordably …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
LaCie_d2_and_Rugged_2017

Seagate performs upgrade transplant surgery on LaCie external drives

CES 2017 With two Seagate LaCie drive revisions, we see the storage industry doing what it does best at a device level; capacity and connectivity upgrades so as to store more data and get at it faster. The LaCie d2 and Rugged products are nattily designed by Neil Poulton and are external drives for creative video, image and music …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
trinity

Toshiba faces nuclear power goodwill cost meltdown

Toshiba is facing such horrific cost-overruns with its US nuclear power plant projects it may have to sell assets, such as its flash memory business, to cover them. Its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, is building four AP1000 power-generating reactors in the United States and costs are getting out of hand, with multi-year …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2017
Robot eye opens. Image via Shutterstock

Igneous ARM CPUs: What if they tossed the blindfold?

On Storage Igneous's Ethernet-accessed, ARM-driven disk drives provide a seriously large amount of collective CPU chops to its dataBox/dataRouter array but the poor little suckers work blindfolded. Why would I say that? Think about it like this: a data object, say a photo image, comes into the array to be stored and is split into 20 data …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2017

Name's BOND, JBOND: Igneous's ARM strap-on is for your drives only

Analysis You wait for a bus for ages, and then two come along at once. Two data-transfer buses. Something like that. Both OpenIO and Igneous have launched plug-on ARM server cards for storage drives: these single-board computers each snap onto a hard drive to form nano-servers that are organized into a grid of object storage nodes. …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2016

SK Hynix and Seagate exploring flash hookup

+Comment SK Hynix has revealed it is thinking about creating a joint venture with Seagate focused on flash memory. A filing with the Korean regulatory authorities that was reported in The Korea Herald said: We are looking into various options, including setting up a joint venture with Seagate Technology PLC, to strengthen the mid and …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2016
OpenIO_WD_HDD_with_ARM_board

Grab an ARMful: OpenIO's Scale-out storage with disk drive feel

OpenIO has launched its SLS-4U96 product, a box of 96 directly addressed drives offering an object-storage interface and per-drive scale-out granularity. The SLS-4U86 is a 4U box holding up to 96 vertically mounted 3.5-inch disk drives, providing up to 960TB of raw storage with 10TB drives and 1,152 TB with 12TB drives. The …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2016
WDC new products Dec 2016

WDC loads its belt-fed drive cannon, blasts out disks 'n' cards galore

Western Digital Corp wowed analysts with exec spiel and five – or was it six? – product announcements. We have helium gas-filled drives, a 3D TLC NAND microSD card, two SSDs and a promised furiously fast flash platform array overflowing with IOPS. We'll start with the rotating rust and an Ultrastar He12, 12TB helium-filled …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2016
shutterstock_gold

Datrium: $55m burning hole in its pocket and raring to go global

Datrium has gained $55m C-round funding to grow its business to global scale. The startup was founded in 2012 by Data Domain and VMware vets. Its DVX product is a 2-tier design, revealed in January this year, and involving controller and data services software running in from one to 32 accessing servers, each with at least …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2016
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Micron wheels out 'highest density' SATA SSD on the market

+Comment Micron has introduced a 5100 line of data centre flash drives and promises it will be the highest-density SATA SSD on the market. There are three models and they all use TLC (3bits/cell) 3D flash and have a 6Gbps SATA interface: 5100 ECO – 480GB, 960GB, 1.9TB, 3.84TB and (coming) 7.86TB 5100 PRO – 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 3. …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2016
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Wikibon invokes the old gods to make six tech predictions for 2017

Analysis Wikibon's chief technology guy, David Floyer, has put out his top six disruptive tech tips for 2017, seeing that ARM and Open CAPI will separately grow at Intel's Xeon expense, the cloud at on-premises' Server SAN expense, and flash at disk drive's expense, while XPoint will be a 2017 dud. Here's his list: AWS will …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2016
P_threesome

WDLabs goes Pi-eyed and sees triple

WDLabs has introduced a Raspberry Pi storage subsystem with three drive products and multiple OS project spaces. The Brit-designed, credit card-sized computer is hot stuff – some ten million have been sold since the first generation's release in 2012. WD's PiDrive Foundation Edition products combine microSD card and USB drive …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2016
disk head crash

Aw, snap: Independent disk drive failure rates from Backblaze

Backup and cloud storage provider Backblaze’s latest quarterly disk failure rate table shows WD 6TB drives had an 11.31 per cent annualised failure rate in the third 2016 quarter, with Seagate 4TB drives spinning into the ground almost as often, with a 10.2 per cent rate. Having one in 10 or worse drive failure rates is not …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2016

Lenovo intros monster disk box

Lenovo has announced the mother of all disk drive enclosures at SC16 – the D3284 JBOD, a 5U enclosure holding up to 84 3.5-inch disk and/or solid-state drives. The box has an upper and a lower section, each holding, we understand, 42 drives. You could combine 7,200rpm nearline SAS disk drives with SAS SSDs to provide a …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2016
Photo by Gilmanshin / Shutterstock

Qumulo bangs out new software, Apollo server support

Hybrid scale-out NAS startup Qumulo has banged out a software release twinned with support of HPE Apollo servers. Qumulo Core v2.5 features: Snapshots for data protection Erasure Coding improvements delivering 80 per cent efficiency Throughput Analytics showing how throughput load is distributed across the file system …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2016
Huawei_XH320_server_node

Huawei hots up its high-density server line

Huawei has a new X6000 model in its FusionServer line of server cartridges stacked inside a rack chassis. You may not see these much, if at all, in the US, but they will feature in the rest of the world. The Chinese company’s server range includes: KunLun and TaiShan mission-critical servers FusionCube hyper-converged …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2016
Seagate_ClusterStor_L300

Gotta speed up HPC arrays. Flash or disk, flash or disk. Let's do both – Seagate

Seagate’s ClusterStor 300N storage array for high-performance computing is a hybrid flash/disk array, lifting sequential bandwidth by 33 per cent and small, random I/O by up to 1,200 per cent. The idea is that the 300N systems run mixed workloads much better than previous ClusterStor arrays, by using flash to accelerate IOs …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2016
Infinidat_1U_tray

Leaner, meaner screamer from Infinidat dreamer

Infinidat is tweaking its Infinibox array design to increase its capacity. The present 3U drive trays and 2U controller enclosures will each become 1U trays, enabling an increase from 480 drives to 720 in a rack – a 67 per cent increase. These drive trays hold 60 vertically mounted disk drives. At Infinidat's Herzliya office …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2016
Thanks, I suppose. Woman contemplates unwanted gift. Photo by Shutterstock

Seagate has a flash early Xmas present for Xbox gamers

Seagate has produced an external 512GB flash drive for capacity-strapped Xbox One gamers. This Xbox-branded half TB is said to be enough for 15 titles and hooks up to the console with a USB 3.0 cable, meaning no separate power cord. It's claimed to load games and their contents faster than a similarly connected external disk …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2016
Vintage disk platters

Pluck-filled platter-stuff: Bold disk drive makers fatten up

Analysis Disk drives are getting more platters so they can be fattened up with more data. HDD electric motor maker Nidec thinks 3.5in nearline drives will increase their thickness from today's 1 to 2 inches so they can cram in more data. Seagate's 10TB, helium-filled, Enterprise Capacity drive is 1.028in (26.11mm) thick, the …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2016
Speed

Windows Server 2016 persistent memory support supercharges storage IO

Analysis The best IO is... no IO. Windows Server 2016 has code to supercharge data storage IO speed by not treating it as IO anymore. It uses storage-class memory (SCM) as a persistent store, one that is on the memory bus, close to the CPU, and doesn't lose its contents when power is lost, an NVDIMM-N type device. That can be …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2016
Intel_DC_P3100

Intel punches out data centre flash cardlet

Intel has released a tiny, single-sided and heavily read-optimised SDD for server use in data centres. The P3100 is an M.2 design (22 x 80mm) built from 3D TLC (3bits/cell) NAND. This format has begun appearing in tablets, thin notebooks and desktops as it doesn't take up much space and the use of TLC (3bits/cell) NAND means …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2016

WD gets flash boom bang from SanDisk swallow

+Comment WD's disk and SanDisk-boosted flash sales boomed as overall revenues in its first fiscal 2017 quarter rose to $4.7bn, up 40.6 per cent on the year-ago $3.4bn. But it reported a net $366m loss. Why a loss? A year ago it made a profit of $283m on lower revenues. This time around there were charges associated with WD’s recent …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2016
Bowler holds cricket ball. Photo by SHutterstock

Seagate bowls out fattened-up spinner

Seagate's sixth generation Enterprise Performance disk drive ups its capacity by 50 per cent to 900GB and increases data transfer speed past 300MB/sec. This is a small form factor or 2.5-inch drive spinning at 15,000rpm with 300GB, 600GB and 900GB capacity points.The prior fifth generation topped out at 600GB and its sustained …
Chris Mellor, 26 Oct 2016
danger

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday frolic through readers' memories of jobs gone bad. This week, meet “John” who once worked for a construction company that printed its payroll checks every Thursday afternoon. “If the cheques were not ready early on Friday morning, the superintendents were more than willing to give the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2016
Avalanche

Flash reaches the enterprise tipping point

Comment The use of disk drives to store performance data for enterprises is declining and, flash drives - SSDs - are taking their place. A wave of all-flash array (AFA) to disk array migration is starting to wash across data centres as generations of disk drive arrays give way to ones built with NAND flash drives. The tipping …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2016

Wow, everyone loves our drives, says Seagate sitting on a pile o' cash

Seagate's latest quarterly revenues benefited from an upsurge in disk drive demand – but still declined slightly year-on-year. The biz managed to bank a five-fold increase in profits, though. Revenues for Seagate's first fiscal 2017 quarter, ending September 30, were $2.8bn, a 4.3 per cent decline from the year-ago's $2.92bn. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016
Isilon_Nitro_950

Isilon Nitro all-flash dragster filer to hit the streets in 2017

Dell EMC is launching the Isilon All-Flash system which is designed to handle extreme high-performance NAS workloads. It is the culmination of the Isilon Nitro development revealed at EMC World earlier this year. You start with a 4-node, 4U chassis with from 96TB to 924TB of capacity, 250,000 IOPS, and up to 15GB/sec of …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016

Startup dusts off rent-a-box on-premises corpse, adds ARM muscle, cloud brains

Startup Igneous Systems has re-discovered and re-imagined the idea of customers renting an externally managed system on their premises, giving it an Internet of Things (IoT) and public cloud make-over. The new angles are that IoT devices can generate vast amounts of data which is difficult to send to a set of on-premises …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016
WD_Green_SSD

WD flashes first SanDisk drives: Blue and Green

WD has produced Blue and Green branded SATA SSDs, based on SanDisk technology, with these brands having been used for WD disk drives previously. The Green brand is for secondary storage, being reliable, cool and eco-friendly whilst Blue products are built for PC primary storage use. Other WD brand colours include Black for …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016
INfiniBox_on_side

Infinidat's big iron array gets data scrunching, no-footprint iSCSI

Big iron array vendor Infinidat has made its third major software release, adding compression, baked-in iSCSI support and enhanced array analytics. The company’s architecture has 3 controller nodes, which each can see all the drives, and eschews an all-flash design, relying instead on up 1.2TB - 3.2TB of DRAM caching, 24TB to …
Chris Mellor, 05 Oct 2016
Openio_CEO_Laurent_Denel

OpenIO wants to turn your spinning rust into object storage nodes

Frog object storage startup OpenIO is banging on with supporting Seagate’s Kinetic disk drives, and has certified its software on the drives in a Kinetic Plugfest. Ethernet-addressed Kinetic disk drives implement a Get, Put-based object storage facility at the drive level and, Seagate says, this allows accessing systems to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2016
Vintage PC with floppy drive, dot matrix printer and old school desk phone, steaming coffee: a still life. photo by Shutterstock

Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

Floppy disk sales have, well, flopped but there are still masses of PCs and old embedded PC-based systems out there with floppy disk slots and drives. Now this near-dead space can be made usable again, with a 32GB FLOPPYFlash drive from Solid State Disks Ltd. It's a drop-in replacement for a floppy disk drive and takes …
Chris Mellor, 01 Sep 2016
disk head crash

Air gap breached by disk drive noise

Video Researchers from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center have found a way to exfiltrate information from a PC using the noise created by hard disk drives. In work detailed here (PDF) at ArXiv, the researchers explain how they've created malware that “can generate acoustic emissions at …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2016
Seagate_Nytro_M2_XM1440_2TB

Seagate's flash advice: Don't buy the foundry when you can get the chips for cheap

Analysis As well as launching several new flash products, Seagate revealed the four pillars of its flash product strategy at the August 9-11 Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara. These were: Foundry independence Essential IP for system-wide use of flash Portfolio expansion Top-level cloud supplier Let's have a waltz around the …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2016

Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

+Comment The Flash Memory Summit saw Toshiba deliver a presentation about quad-level cell (QLC) technology – adding substantially to the prospect of a product being delivered in the "near future". We heard about QLC NAND last month: it uses four bits per cell to hold your data. After Seagate tantalized us with a 60TB SSD, along comes …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2016
Seagate_Nytro_XP7200

Seagate flashes 60TB (yes, sixty) SSD monster

Don't count us out of the flash drive business. That's Seagate's message at the Flash Memory Summit as it shows off another two new SSD products: an 8TB NVMe drive, and a massive 60TB SSD demo in a 3.5-inch form factor. The 60TB shows what's possible if you cram more than a 1,000 Micron 3D NAND dice into a full-size, 3.5-inch …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2016
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Break out the Elder Scrolls: Skyrmion characters seek storage possibilities

Durham University quantum physicists have been funded to run a Skyrmion Project involving other British universities, which, among other aims, could mean less electricity was needed to power the world. Skyrmions, predicted by physicist Tony Skyrme in 1962, are nanoscale swirling, whirlpool-like patterns in a magnetic field. …
Chris Mellor, 05 Aug 2016

Seagate inflates 12TB helium drives, floats them to IT bods to test

Backgrounder Seagate is seeing the storage market shift from client server to mobile cloud applications and storage environments. Although responding to this, it is encouraged by the capacity needs of the remaining PC client as well as significant growth in non-PC-client devices and applications. It talks of a new customer base that …
Chris Mellor, 03 Aug 2016
Slipway

Seagate scoops a revenue boost off back of its 8TB drives

Seagate has beaten its own preliminary fiscal 2016 fourth quarter estimate of $2.65bn revenues with a $2.7bn quarter. Still, this was 6.9 per cent less than a year ago, although 3.8 per cent up on the third quarter. Profits were $70m, 49 per cent less than a year ago but a whole, thumping lot better than last quarter's $21m …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2016
Newsroom

WD's 10TB Gold nugget

WD has taken its 8TB helium-filled, Gold-branded data centre disk drive and upped its capacity from 8TB to 10TB. The spin speed of 7,200rpm and the 6Gbit/s SATA interface stay the same, as does the 2.5 million hour mean time between failures rating and the 550TB/year workload. Cache doubles from 128MB to 256MB and the maximum …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2016
CES 2015 crowds brace for bluster

Hasta la vista Lustre, so long Spectrum Scale: Everyday HPC is here

Comment Parallel file systems were developed to overcome delays servers experienced when accessing files on disk storage systems. Flash arrays get rid of disk access latencies and so weaken the need for parallel file systems. Spectrum Scale, the renamed GPFS (General Parallel File System) and Lustre are two such parallel file systems …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2016
Crowd watches fireworks at night in the field. Photo by Shutterstock

WD disk revenues spin slower as its flash fireworks go off

WDC beat its own better-than-expected preliminary results estimates with a $3.495bn quarter but swung to a $351m loss with fewer disk units sold. Layoffs are coming. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended July 1, were 9.2 per cent higher than a year ago and 24.8 per cent up on the previous quarter. This quarter …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016
ClusterStor_L300_bezel_detail

Seagate's south UK factory hasn't a future but HDDs do (it hopes)

Seagate is closing down its factory in Havant on the south coast of the UK and axing 327 jobs. The redundancies are part of a renewed focus by the Californian giant on its disk drive technology roadmap to boost revenues and profitability. The Havant closure is part of the restructuring announced earlier this month, along with …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2016
Seagate_Guardian_Brands

Seagate in 10TB drive brand brainstorm

Seagate has added three new 10TB helium drives, simultaneously re-branding its desktop/laptop disk and SSHDs, NAS and surveillance drive products in a complicated scheme involving disparate drive technologies. It introduced its first helium drive, the 7-platter 10TB Enterprise Capacity disk drive, in January. Now there are …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2016

Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer

Backgrounder Toshiba is pushing flash chip capacity higher on two fronts: through, er, Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) and by increasing a cell's bit count to four. We covered the TSV notion here and now take a look at quadruple level cell (QLC) flash technology. Toshiba will present on this and TSVs in a keynote session at the August 8-11 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2016
Stranded_ships

Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Comment Seagate has announced its latest quarterly results will be unexpectedly good but there will be employee bloodshed. Another 6,500 layoffs on top of the 1,600 announced in June will take place. WDC did say it was cutting 507 US staff in June but these are the tip of an expected iceberg, which will see thousands of positions …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2016