Articles about Disk Drive

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
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Seagate defrags 14% of workforce: 6,500 axed

Seagate is cutting 6,500 staff, or 14 per cent of its 46,000-strong workforce, across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Those losing their jobs will shown the door over the next 12 months; the redundancies will cost the hard drive maker US$164m. These layoffs are on top of the 1,600 heads put at risk at the end …
Chris Williams, 11 Jul 2016
Greenland iceberg

Backblaze hopes to melt Amazon Glacier customers' hearts

Backblaze has announced its B2 cloud object storage for $0.005/GB/month as an alternative to LTO tape drives. Unlike Amazon’s Glacier tape storage, its disk drive retrieval starts in seconds and takes minutes instead of hours and days, it claims. The first 10GB is free each month and there is no data upload charge. Download …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
Artist's impression of the podule in flight, under the balloon. Pic: World View

Capacity limits are utter tosh: Toshiba fattens SSD, disk with flash layers, helium

Analysis Toshiba is looking to boosted flash and disk capacities to grow storage revenues and help returned the troubled company to growth. In a July 6 in-house presentation investor relations briefing by Yasuo Naruke, President and CEO of Toshiba’s Storage and Electronic Devices Solutions Company, information was revealed …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2016
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Seagate to cut 1,600 jobs

Disk drive maker Seagate is spinning out 1,600 staff, three per cent of its head count, as it looks to save £100m a year. The company had 46,673 employees at the end of May, down from 53,062 a year ago. The layoffs should be finished by the end of 2016. Seagate is lowering its disk drive manufacturing capacity in the face of …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016

Datrium adds insane mode to boost speed

Datrium, the startup disaggregating a SAN by having host-based controller SW and flash caches, has added an Insane Mode to turbo-charge performance. The DVX system strips out virtually everything from an external array, leaving a single box with NVRAM and disk capacity (12 x 4TB 7.2K drives and 48TB raw/29TB usable capacity), …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

OpenIO pulls up ARM controller SOCs: Kinetic's Marvellous... can anybody do it?

Comment OpenIO, the French object-storage startup, is progressing its work with Kinetic drives. The idea is that object storage stores data on server nodes, and those nodes could be individual Kinetic disk drives. Such drives have a micro-server, so to speak, running on them, providing direct Ethernet access and an object-style Get: …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Data centre

What's DriveScale up to? Mix-'n'-match server and disk storage, for starters

Backgrounder DriveScale is a startup that emerged from a three-year stealth effort earlier this year with hardware and software to dynamically present externally connected JBODS to servers as if they were local. The idea is to provide composable server-storage combos for changing Hadoop-type distributed workloads. It is meant to share the …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Keep on trucking: Dropbox's Magic Pocket and the curse of the loading bay

It's not something the average sysadmin has to worry about, but when you're rolling out terabyte after terabyte into a data centre with a presto time signature, the loading bay becomes a bottleneck. That's the kind of thing Dropbox faced in its rapid-fire move to build its own cloud outside the warm embrace of Amazon Web …

DataCore dominating SPC-1 benchmark on price–performance

DataCore has answered criticism of its Parallel Server SPC-1 benchmark [PDF] – that it was not applicable to enterprises, as it lacked high availability (HA) – by running an HA version that is the fifth-best SPC-1 benchmark performer ever. It is also the third-best ever price–performance score on the benchmark, with the top …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jun 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

Here's what six storage suppliers will be doing for the next year or two

Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, has had some fireside chats with senior execs from Brocade and QLogic, Pure and Nimble, Seagate and WDC at a Stifel Nicolaus Technology, Internet & Media Conference in San Francisco. The execs gave their thoughts on HDD demand, HAMR HDD tech, NVME over fabrics, Gen 6 Fibre …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2016
Iguazu_falls

Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

Total disk drive shipments are going to plummet by 2020, with raw SSD cost getting cheaper than disk and SSDs taking over from disk in notebooks. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus's MD, Aaron Rakers, has taken a close look at Gartner’s HDD and SSD projections over the next few years. He writes: “Gartner is currently forecasting …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2016
Toshiba_X300_box

Helium... No. Do you think this is some kind of game? Toshiba intros 8TB desktop drive

Toshiba has upgraded its X300 gaming/workstation desktop drive from 6TB to 8TB capacity, continuing to sidestep any moves to helium-filling tech. This is a 3.5-inch drive spinning at 7,200rpm, with a 6Gbit/s SATA interface and 128MB cache. The prior generation came with 4, 5 and 6TB capacity points. The latest X300 only has an …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2016
NetApp Flash Array

NetApp shrinky-dinks ONTAP 9: Will support 4:1 data reduction

NetApp has re-engineered Data ONTAP, its main, FAS array operating system, to make better use of flash storage, and operate across software-only and cloud deployments to form what NetApp calls a data fabric. The upgrade from Data ONTAP v8 is called ONTAP 9, and NetApp says it is a simpler system to operate, claiming it can be …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2016