Articles about Disk Drive

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

Boffins unveil 500TB/in2 disk. Yeah, it's made of chlorine. -196˚C, why?

Nano-tech scientists have managed to create the world’s smallest hard disk. The 500TB/inch2 disk can store a kilobyte of memory in a few tiny chlorine atoms, according to new research published in Nature Nanotechnology. Atomic memory is an attractive idea as only a few nanometres of space are needed to store a bit. A team of …
Katyanna Quach, 18 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
google's custom Tensor Processing Unit

CONFIRMED: Google bakes custom data centre chips

Google's long-rumoured efforts to build its own silicon have come to fruition. The Alphabet subsidiary today revealed it has baked a custom ASIC it calls a “Tensor Processing Unit” (TPU) and has been using them for a year for the machine learning applications that fuel many of its services. “TPU is tailored to machine …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2016
Doomsday clock

Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?

Analysis RAID rebuilds are too slow with 4, 6 and 8 and 10TB drives. So erasure coding is coming in to shorten the failed disk data rebuild time and also use less capacity overhead. What happens when SSDs are used instead of disk drives? Will RAID be more or less acceptable than with disk drives? Intuitively we expect a flash array to …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2016
hdd_head_stack_648

Seagate ready for the HAMR blow: First drives out in 2017

Seagate is reducing its manufacturing capacity while still focusing on high-capacity disk drives for cloud and hyper-scale storage of unstructured data. This means it needs higher capacity drives, requiring new read-write head technology. It is a high-technology, nano-scale, clean room manufacturing process, and drive read- …
Chris Mellor, 12 May 2016
A partially-eaten langos

China says yes to SanDisk

China’s MOFCOM trade regulator has said it’s OK for Western Digital to buy SanDisk. WD wants to buy SanDisk and its flash foundry chips-to-SSDs business for around $16bn. The MOFCOM approval completes the worldwide regulatory body approvals process and the deal is expected to close on May 12. WD and SanDisk shareholders have …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2016
Job cuts jpeg

Lost little X-IO lays off ~75 staff in Colorado as it shutters factory

X-IO sent a formal letter on April 29 to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, saying it intended to close its Colorado Springs manufacturing operation, and warning that up to 107 people could lose their jobs. In the event 70-80 employees were laid off, with some 50 employees remaining. Potential job rescue, IP …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2016

Jobs in Ireland may be vulnerable at post merger Dell Technologies

When Dell completes its acquisition of EMC and its subsidiary VMware, the combined Dell Technologies will become one of the largest technology employers in Ireland. But with role duplication almost inevitably raising the spectre of job losses as the firms integrate, the elimination of product overlaps will also have a job …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2016
Seagate logo

If you work on Seagate's performance drives, time to find another job

+Comment As expected, Seagate's revenues totaled $2.6bn in the three months to April 1, the third quarter [PDF] in its fiscal 2016, down 21 per cent year-on-year. And as anticipated, it made a $21m loss – its first loss in many many quarters and way down from the year-ago's $291m profit. On Friday, as the results for Q3 were published …
Chris Mellor, 30 Apr 2016
Small truck skids towards side of road as wheel comes loose. Photo by shutterstock

WD’s revenue wheels have fallen off. Profits are sinking, too

WD is experiencing global disk drive cooling as the slowing PC jetstream and flash El Nino jointly disrupt the HDD environment. But that's enough in the meteorological metaphor line. WD revenues fell 21 per cent year-on-year to $2.8bn in WD’s third fiscal 2016 quarter, which closed April 1. The quarter-on-quarter compare …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

+Comment A sea change is looming in the disk drive industry as drive spindle motor maker Nidec reduces its total disk drive demand number. Nidec is a Japanese company and has the largest market share of any such manufacturer. It foresees demand for about 400 million units in 2016, down 13 per cent from its previous October 2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
Terry_Pratchett_disk_world

Amazon tips spinning rust into its Elastic Block Store offering

Cloud king Amazon has added two disk-drive-based storage options to its EBS (Elastic Block Store). There is a Throughput-Optimised HDD (st1) volume and a Cost HDD (sc1) volume. The sc1 volume is for low access workloads, coldish data, with a price of $0.025/GB/month while the st1 volume is for frequent data access to Big Data …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
man crying, image via Shutterstock

What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Analysis Flash goes the PC and notebook disk drive. Dramatic and persistent disk drive sales declines heralds changes at WD and Seagate as their disk drive job engine slows down. With PC sales falling and notebook/tablet flash use climbing the outlook for disk drive manufacturers on the desktop, sofa and kitchen table is looking bleak …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
K2

Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

+Comment EMC saw many pockets of growth in its first fiscal 2016 quarter’s results but overall revenues declined because core legacy product revenues fell, as did RSA and the enterprise content business. These declines more than offset the impressive growth rates of newer products. In the EMC earnings call, CEO and chairman Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
3d_XPOint_structure

Storage with the speed of memory? XPoint, XPoint, that's our plan

Analysis Since the virtual dawn of computing, storage – where data puts its feet up when it's at home – has been massively slower than memory, where data puts on its trainers and goes for a quick run. That massive access speed gap has been getting narrower and narrower with each storage technology advance: paper tape, magnetic tape, …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
L200_Slim

Toshiba notebook disk drive slims down. You like that, gamers?

Toshiba has thinned is L200 500GB internal drive, shaving off 26 per cent of its thickness, so it takes up less space in notebooks and gaming consoles. The L200 Slim, with its 7mm z-height, has the same 500GB capacity as the thicker L200 with its 9.5mm z-height. It also sports the same 92g weight, but it only has an 8MB buffer …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016
WDC_Golds

WD rust-proofs spinners with Gold offering

WD has set up a new data centre nearline disk drive brand, Gold, with three drive capacities matching and topping the Re brand’s capacities. The spinning rust folk have released 4, 6 and 8TB, 3.5-inch Gold drives with a mix of technologies. The 8TB Gold drive is a helium-filled drive for example, while other two are air- …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016

Seagate revenue numbers rain on cloud after market misses

+Comment Seagate has issued an early warning that its third fy2016 quarter revenue will be off by $100m from its forecast of $2.7bn. The company expects to report revenue of approximately $2.6bn and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 23 per cent, for the quarter which ended April 1 – no, this is not a late April Fool joke. The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2016
An eraser

Filer upstart Qumulo rubs out mirroring, slots in erasure coding

Scale-out filer startup Qumulo has replaced mirroring with erasure coding in v2.0 of its Core OS to deliver a 33 per cent gain in usable capacity. It's also added real-time analytics, adopted HGST helium-filled disk drive technology and has three new appliances using HGST drives. Qumulo delivers its technology as software- …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2016
Analyse_this

Speedier Splunk-ing: NetApp SANtricity eases your analytics flow

NetApp says the latest version of its E-Series all-flash and disk arrays, along with its SANTricity operating software, makes data analytics apps such as Splunk run faster. Hadoop and NoSQL database apps are accelerated, quite dramatically under certain circumstances, in the new release as well. The E-Series disk drive and EF …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016

Build or buy: A tale of two all-flash strategies

Guest column Ever since flash was first added to traditional storage arrays back in 2008, there has been vigorous debate on the best approach to storage architectures for all-flash systems. There are a number of opposing camps, each with their own perception of the right way forward. Some vendors chose to use existing hardware and amend it …
Chris Evans, 28 Mar 2016
LTO-2 tape cartridge

Riddle me this: What grows as it shrinks? Answer: LTO tape

The LTO (linear tape-open) organization has released a tape shipment report showing capacity shipped grew almost 18 per cent from 2014 to 2015, while unit shipments have been declining since 2008. The LTO organization basically looks after the LTO format and represents the interests of the LTO Program Technology Provider …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Google's call for cloudier, taller disks is a tall order says analyst

Storage analyst firm Trend Focus says Google's call for the storage industry to make more cloud-friendly disks is a tall order. Google recently threw down the gauntlet to disk-makers, asking for taller, denser and smarter disks that would help it to lower costs and scale its storage rigs to even greater heights. Trend Focus' …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2016
Toshiba_flash_fabs

Toshiba storage keeps eye on flash as Group sheds jobs, sells divisions

Toshiba is doubling down on flash memory as a revenue growth engine to help climb out of the financial poo, while also aiming to get dollars spinning out of its disk drive business. In a reconstruction plan revealed on Friday, the troubled Japanese tech giant said it would develop its 3D memory products faster and develop …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2016
management management3

SanDisk stockholders book a table, prepare for Western Digital gobble

SanDisk shareholders have voted in favour of Western Digital buying their company. At SanDisk's special stockholders' meeting today, 98 per cent of the votes were in favour of the sale to WDC. WDC shareholders, via more than 90 per cent of the votes cast, have separately approved WDC issuing more shares (common stock) to help …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
StoreOnce_5500

HPE targets flashy and flash-adjacent types with trio of arrays

HPE, involved in frenetic storage activities, has launched three new arrays: a hybrid StoreServ, and single and multi-node StoreOnce deduplicating backup to disk systems. There’s also a Get Thinner Guarantee program for wannabe storage capacity dieters. The 3PAR 20840 converged flash array is basically the all-flash 20850 …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2016

Flash storage: Has the hype become reality?

Comment Is the flash storage business a hype-filled wonderland or is flash-based technology making real inroads into IT? Flash arrays provide much faster access to data, because of SSD’s lower latency compared to disk drives but they are more expensive to buy. This can be justified by looking at potentially lower total cost of …
Chris Mellor, 09 Mar 2016
Terminator

Samsung is now shipping a 15TB whopper of an SSD. Farewell, spinning rust

Samsung's 2-5-inch 15.36TB SSD is now shipping, with half as much capacity again as the 10TB 3.5-inch disk drive capacity alternative, and taking up less physical space. This relative monster of an SSD first appeared at the Flash Memory Summit in August 2015. The PM1633a drive houses 512 x 256Gb 48-layer V-NAND chips stacked …
Chris Mellor, 03 Mar 2016
Hulk_Hogan

Cisco flexes its HyperFlex hyper-converged muscles

Cisco Partner Summit Let battle be joined; Cisco has re-entered the storage market via the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance door, with its HyperFlex* system able to separately scale performance and capacity. It uses Springpath HALO software, as many thought it would, and places Cisco in direct competition with other HCIA vendors, …
Chris Mellor, 01 Mar 2016
Brocade_G620

Brocade intros FC switch for flash fans with the need for speed

Comment Brocade has announced a 32Gbit/s (Gen 6) Fibre Channel switch that doubles connection speed from the current 16Gbit/s level. Its G620 switch is a 1U chassis with from 24 to 64 ports, the highest port density in the industry according to Brocade. The device delivers 100 million IOPS. It has four Q-Flex ports supporting 128Gbit …
Chris Mellor, 01 Mar 2016
Hard disk repair by William Warby https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Google wants new class of taller 'cloud disk' with more platters and I/O

Google has shared a White Paper (PDF) in which it calls for major revisions to disk drive design. Titled “Disks for Data Centers”, the paper is unashamedly Google-centric inasmuch as it calls for disk-makers to rethink their products to suit the ad giant's needs. As the paper explains, those needs are very substantial: just …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2016
Sun

Netlist NVDIMMS shine bright in SuperMicro's flashy boxen

Applications will run faster when SuperMicro servers are fitted with Netlist NV4 non-volatile DIMMs, the firm says. The two suppliers showed a speed increase with NoSQL Key-Value store application data stored in these NVDIMMs, thus avoiding disk, SSD or PCIe flashcard data accesses. In fact the NVDIM system was 200 percent …
Chris Mellor, 25 Feb 2016
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Bill Gates denies iPhone crack demand would set precedent

Bill Gates has weighed into the row between Apple and the FBI as to whether the fruity firm should unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino murderer, denying that such a move would create a dangerous precedent for “back doors.” Apple has publicly refused to allow the US government access to the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook who …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2016
Nexsan_BEAST

Back-to-the-future Nexsan resurrects its SATABeast

Nexsan, the sole remaining real storage business inside the shell remnants of Imation, has resurrected its SATABeast array with a 4U shelf containing sixty 8TB 7,200rpm disk drives – 480TB in total. The Imation website has had a full Nexsan make-over, with virtually all mentions of Imation excised. From now on Imation's future …
Chris Mellor, 18 Feb 2016