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Articles about Disk Drive

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
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

Cleversafe CEO: We would tell you about the 8TB drive, but...

Hot on the heels of the light-on-details announcement about Seagate's 8TB hard disk drive, The Register pressed Cleversafe CEO John Morris on whether his firm would be using the enormo capacity drives. Morris answered: "We are happy to help you whenever it’s possible, but we can’t comment on this subject.” Seagate spokesperson …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2014
Tosh_surveillance_5TB_900

Not a load of Tosh: 5TB 'surveillance drive' from Toshiba hits shelves

Toshiba has wrung another market slot-filling product out of its 5TB disk tech – a surveillance drive. The company has two existing 5TB disk drive products. There is the MC04ACAnnnE bulk storage drive spinning at 7,200rpm for servers and arrays with cloud-scale needs. It has a 6Gbit/s SATA interface and an 800,000 hours MTBF …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2014
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

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
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
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
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
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

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

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

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
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
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 Tardis seen against the curvature of the Earth

Toshiba brings out terabyte laptop drive (yes), miracle enterprise-grade TLC

The storage Tardis effect continues: Toshiba has crammed 1TB into a thin disk drive and signed a license to use DenseBits technology in its flash memory products. The Tardis is Doctor Who’s time-travelling telephone kiosk which is somehow larger inside than outside. So it is with storage disk and NAND products which are able to …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2013
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
chris_mellor_biopic

Watch out, PC disk drive floggers: Cloud will rust up those spinners

The cloud is going to impact disk drive manufacturers' bottom line, big time. Think about it: if Dropbox, iCloud and SkyDrive succeed, people won't need disk drives on their PCs. Are you listening Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital? The biggest ever threat to their consumer computer disk drive business is cloud-based file 'n …
Chris Mellor, 17 Aug 2012
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
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
Seagate Savvio 15K.2 drive

Secret's out: Small 15K disk drive market is 'growing'

The market for small and fast disk drives is actually growing – rather than shrinking, as flash array vendors are enthusiastically implying. At Western Digital's executive forum event in Vienna today, a person close to WD said: "In our business 15,000rpm drives are not all dead. In the 2.5-inch, 15K enterprise disk drive area …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2012
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 …
club

Do you think spinning rust eats flash's dust? Join the hard drive daddies club

Disk drive makers have joined forces in a desperate bid to keep disk sales up and fend off the flash threat. Western Digital, HGST, Seagate and Toshiba have formed the Storage Products Association to provide "a forum to educate and advocate about the role of hard disk drives (HDDs) and Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHDs) in …
Chris Mellor, 14 Aug 2013
Invitation to Apple's October 23rd 'iPad mini' event

Apple adds Fusion Drive IO to iMac

Apple's new and thinner iMac has a Fusion Drive combining flash speed and disk capacity. At a launch event today introducing a roster of new Apple products, there was an iMac refresh featuring the deletion of the optical drive and the addition of a Fusion Drive; a twin drive configuration with 128GB of flash storage and a 1TB or …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2012
SEagate Barracuda XT 3TB

Seagate fscks up: Disk drive sales fall short by $500m

Seagate will miss its fourth quarter's sales target as its competitors recover faster than expected from floods that knackered hard drive supplies. The storage biz also had a quality-control issue with an enterprise disk product, which reduced shipments by 1.5 million units to 66 million, and increased costs. It issued a …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2012
Windows 9x BSOD

How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

A few months ago, Brian Beach, a distinguished engineer at cloud backup joint Backblaze, published a set of study-like blog postings relating to his firm's experiences with hard drive lifespan in its 25,000+ spindle environment. The blogs garnered quite a bit of interest due to the subject matter, and provocative titles like: …
graph up

HDS joins string of disk floggers hiking drive prices

All mainstream disk array suppliers seem to be raising prices. Here's what Hitachi Data Systems, the latest one to do so, says: As with other companies in our industry, HDS has witnessed a global cost increase from hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturers due to the devastating floods in Thailand. To date, Hitachi has absorbed these …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jan 2012

WD HAMRs down shingles on disk drive road map

Twenty years ago a myriad of hard drive vendors pushing essentially the same technology fought themselves into oblivion. Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular …
Joe Fay, 25 Jun 2013
management management3

New head for disk drive array upstart: Coraid moves CEO to board

Ethernet storage biz Coraid has moved Kevin Brown from the CEO seat to its board and installed David Kresse as its new chief exec. Coraid builds EtherDrive arrays using commodity hardware, which are accessed via the lightweight ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol devised and patented by company founder Brantley Coile. Kevin Brown …
Chris Mellor, 13 Sep 2013
wd_thai_lake_3_small

Hard disk drive prices quick to rise, slow to fall

The cost of hard disk drives remained reassuringly expensive in the opening four months of this year despite product availability improving. Long gone are the tales of a declining HDD sector hit by product shortages - sales through distribution were up 36 per cent and 78 per cent in Western Europe and the UK respectively from …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2012
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
HGST 5K1500

Our new 1.5TB lappie drive isn't thick, it's just the densest - HGST

Western Digital subsidiary HGST is touting a 1.5TB notebook drive with three platters inside a standard 9.5mm-thick 2.5in form factor. HGST claims the drive has the highest storage density of any hard disk drive available, in terms of megabytes per cubic millimetre. Generally 9.5mm-tall, 2.5in drives have two platters, not three …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2013
WD UltraSlim drive

World's first 5mm-thin gyrating models paraded on disk catwalk

Western Digital has launched the world's first single-platter 5mm-thick disk drives - including one with a cache of flash memory. It's also announced an enterprise-class 2.5in drive in a 3.5in frame so as to ease migration from 3.5in performance to the XE, a 2.5in form factor. The single-platter 5mm-thick UltraSlims are …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2013
chart

Drive chip biz warns of flash-disk hybrid boom

Marvell, the main supplier of disk drive controller system chips, says most disk drive vendors will have hybrid flash-disk products in a few months. Marvell ships SoCs (system-on-chip) to the hard disk drive (HDD) vendors and reckons it has about 60 per cent of the market. It also ships SoCs for solid-state drives – such as its …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2011

You know flash is king when disk giant Seagate grows its SSD line

Seagate is going to expand its solid state drive (SSD) line this year using co-developed Samsung controller technology and introducing its first multi-level cell drive. Seagate and Samsung have a flash chip supply and controller partnership. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers has talked to Seagate execs and gleaned that: …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2013
cloud

PC sales forecast slashed on back of disk drive crisis

IHS has slashed PC sales forecasts for 2012 because of weakening demand and an ongoing disk drive crisis. HDD shortages triggered by the Thai floods will lead to a 3.8 million unit shortfall in PC shipments for Q1 compared to the beancounter's previous forecast, dragging down expectations for the whole year. “The PC supply …
Paul Kunert, 09 Dec 2011
arrow pointing up

Dell disk drive prices soar as rivals hold firm

Dell enterprise disk drive prices have soared by up to 35 per cent in the two weeks following the events in Thailand. Context data reveals average sales prices (ASPs) for Dell HDDs grew 6.9 per cent as of 31 October but hikes were more pronounced on larger capacity specs, with a 3 per cent rise on drives below 600GB and the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Nov 2011

WD's new disk-flogging brainwave will bring you close to tiers

Disk drive giant Western Digital has announced a new five-tier data centre storage strategy, with a new Se drive targeted at scale-out NAS filers and cloud storage. The industry leader's profits have been flagging of late, so it must be looking for ways to reassure shareholders and investors that it hasn't fallen behind trends …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2013
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

The word "cabinet" can mean a piece of furniture in which you store something and the digital version of this is a disk drive or flash drive. Having said that, the idea that by destroying the drive you destroy the data is so far from reality in today's data centres that anyone professing it is profoundly idiotic. Which brings us …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2013
Seagate logo

That 8TB Seagate MONSTER? It's HERE... (You'll have to squint, 'cos there are no specs)

Seagate is shipping an 8TB disk drive to selected OEM customers including object data-storing CleverSafe, with general availability next quarter. Tech details are sparse, however. We know the data devouring beast fits in a standard 3.5-inch drive slot and has a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. Seagate says it has “enterprise reliability …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2014
fingers pointing at man

Tablets choke disk drive market growth

Disk drive market growth is slowing as consumers buy flash tablets instead of notebooks and netbooks with spinning drives inside. According to iSuppli global hard disk drive (HDD) revenues in 2011 will be $28.1bn, 4.1 per cent up on 2010's $27bn, and seven per cent up on 2009. The market watcher forecasts 3.9 per cent growth in …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2011
wd_thai_lake_1_small

Top disk drive dog WD shakes off flood water, doubles its earnings

WD produced record results for its 2012 fiscal year despite two natural disasters and buying Hitachi GST for $4.8bn, the largest-ever acquisition in the disk drive industry. It is overtaking Seagate in revenue and disk drive unit production terms and is the undisputed top disk drive industry dog. Where next? WD beat the Street …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2012
Seagate ST-412 disk drive

Seagate to splash MILLIONS on LAND, FACTORIES

Malaysian sources are reporting that Seagate will spend $327m to expand its operations in Penang, where it has a factory making disk drive read/write heads. The Malaysian Digest says Seagate will spend the money over five years. The company's plan reportely entails buying some 40 acres of land at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2014
cable

X-IO vows to end hot-swap disk pops with next-gen arrays

X-IO has halved the number of SSDs in its Hyper ISE hybrid flash-disk arrays, increased overall performance by 50 per cent and cut prices by 20 per cent. It has also vowed to spare users the horror of popping a failed disk. Hyper ISE is a sealed 3U enclosure that previously contained 30 x 2.5-inch 10,000rpm 900GB disk drives and …
Chris Mellor, 03 Sep 2012
Seagate GoFlex FireWire 800 external hard drive

Seagate: Oh no, is my enterprise disk sales slip showing?

Seagate saw a 9.3 per cent slip in enterprise disk drive sales in its first fiscal 2013 quarter and revenues fell to $3.732bn compared to the previous quarter's $4.482bn. However, revenues were higher than the year-ago quarter's $2.8bn, when a profit of $140m was made. In the latest quarter profits were substantially higher at $ …
Chris Mellor, 01 Nov 2012
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Disk drive prices swell 5% every DAY in floods aftermath

Price comparison site Idealo.co.uk has revealed that disk drive prices were rising by more than 5 per cent a day in the aftermath of the crisis in Thailand that sent supply chains into a tailspin. The worst flooding in the country for more than half a century led to panic buying in the channel and subsequent accusations that …
Paul Kunert, 25 Nov 2011
graph up

Disk fab floods rinse $1bn off Intel's Q4 revenue

Chip maker Intel has slashed its final quarter outlook, admitting it will fall short of the company's previous forecast due to a hard drive supply shortage - sparked by flooding in Thai disk factories. The vendor said it now expects to bank Q4 revenue of about $13.7bn (£8.7bn), compared to an earlier prediction of $14.7bn for …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2011

NetApp will jack up disk prices next month

NetApp is raising disk drive prices as a result of the Thai flooding. Here is NetApp's statement: NetApp empathizes with the people of Thailand as they work to recover from the tragic flooding. We work closely with our hard disk drive suppliers to stay abreast of their recovery efforts and to secure supply to meet our needs. …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jan 2012
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

WD to parade flash-disk mutant for Wall St moneybags this week

Western Digital will face investors on Thursday and tell them what the world's new number-one disk drive supplier is going to do to stay at the top. That means products, products and more products. Having acquired Hitachi GST and its enterprise drives, WD can't wait to put competitive pressure on Seagate and dive deeper into the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Sep 2012