Articles about Disk Drives

Kinetic_4TB_drive

SNIA examines standardised access to object-based disk drives

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has a tech workgroup looking at object-based disk drives, such as Seagate’s Kinetic product, and is aiming to standardise access. Seagate’s Kinetic disk drive has object-style Get and Put interfaces access over a direct Ethernet connection to the drive. HGST is developing its …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015
Kim Gordon with Kurt Cobain, photo courtesy of Charles Peterson

What a time to be alive ... hard and floppy disk drives play Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit

Vid Dead Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain must surely be turning in his grave at the latest cover of the band's huge hit song Smells Like Teen Spirit, which the Seattle grunge god had famously loathed. The pop song has now been set to the crunching, grinding, not-one-bit-annoying music that can be produced by the sound of hard and …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Apr 2015
disk head crash

Disk drive shipment numbers set to spin down

Disk drive shipments have a negative CAGR, and will fall by 3.7 per cent between 2013 and 2020, said spindle motor maker Nidec. Within that, traditional enterprise drive shipments will decrease by 17.6 per cent, PC drives will drop 8.1 per cent, consumer electronics drives by 6.9 per cent and external drives by 0.4 per cent, but …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
key

Toshiba flings covers from Key Value disk and device stores

OpenStack Summit Industry leader trailer Toshiba America is demoing direct-addressed Ethernet disk drives for scale-out object storage at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit, and it's developing hybrid flash/disk array tech using the drives. Direct-access Ethernet drives bypass the conventional server IO stack with applications writing directly to …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015

Watch out Seagate: Here comes WD with a hybrid flash/disk drive launch

WD is demonstrating a faster-than-Seagate 4TB hybrid flash/disk drive at Storage Visions 2015. It is built with 3.5-inch disk drive, an up to 128GB SSD, and the SATA Express PCIe interface with the flash and disk components presented as a single volume. The demos include commercially available ASRock and Gigabyte motherboards …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jan 2015
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

Forty-five disk drives, ten parity drives, and 33 spare disks: that's the optimum array size to protect data for four years with no service visits, according to a study published at Arxiv. The problem the study addresses is that the world's rush towards hyperscale data centres puts an awful lot of disks in one place, and the …
SAmsung_3D_NAND_process_950

Extensive 3D NAND drives very expensive to make

The flash industry is going to have to dig deep – really, really deep – to fund the fabs needed to build 3D NAND. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers bas been crunching numbers and comparing foundry capital costs for NAND over the next few years with those for disk drive fabs. The forthcoming flash fab costs are driven by the conversion to …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2015
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
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
chart

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
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

PCIe hard drives? You read that right, says WD

WD will demo PCIe-connected disk drives at the Computex tech conference in Taipei, using a SATA Express interface. SATA Express has been enabled with partners, and is offered on Intel series-9 chipset motherboards. WD says it provides a route to faster speeds and lower power consumption. SATA revision 3.2 delivers 16Gbit/s. PCIe …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2014
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'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

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-level 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
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
Kinetic Terascale

EVault hints it might snuggle up with daddy Seagate's Kinetic drives

Data backup biz EVault is implying it could start using parent Seagate’s Kinetic, Ethernet-addressed disk drives in its cloud archival service. The company is joining the Entertainment Storage Alliance and Amar Kapadia, its senior director of Open Cloud Strategy, will present on “recent advances in enterprise storage” at a 26 …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2014
Ultrastar He6

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

Blocks and Files 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
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
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
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
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
Rear_view_mirror

2014 AD: A year in storage. STILL not enough nails for the disk coffin lid

Beard Stroke Spending some of the festive season in San Francisco has given me a chance to look back at the wonderful world of storage and to ponder which may have been the biggest overall storage stories over the past twelve months or so. Here's what I think are the strongest contenders: Splintering of SAN/NAS Cloud storage in public and …
Chris Mellor, 24 Dec 2014
Floppy Drive

Floppy disk drives jam James Bond theme

Reg Hardware Retro Week Logo Most techies would struggle to find a use for old floppy drives, instead either throwing them out or leaving them to gather dust in the attack. If you had enough time on your hands, though, you could always piece several together and program them to play... music. Built for display at Purdue …
Caleb Cox, 24 Apr 2012
BigFoot 4U Object chassis and rack

Scality slips its Ring around Kinetic drives

Scality is developing its RING object storage system to use Seagate’s Kinetic drives. These drives implement an on-board key/value store and are directly accessed over Ethernet using Get and Put requests. Each drive has two 1Gbit/s Ethernet ports. Scality’s RING storage uses scale-out nodes that can grow to multi-petabyte …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2014
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

Shingle me timbers! Seagate brags of 1m SMR drives - where are they?

Seagate has said it's shipped a million shingled disk drives to date. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) increases a device's capacity by squeezing more readable tracks of data onto a platter's surface, albeit by hammering rewrite speeds. When committing bytes to disk, the tiny electromagnet in the disk head that writes the …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2013
Disk Drives

Every SECOND there are EIGHT more Seagate drives in the world

Seagate boasts that it has shipped a billion drives in just four years after taking nearly three decades to build its previous billion. The company shipped its first billionth disk in 2008; its inaugural product, the 5MB ST-506, hit the market in 1980. Now Seagate's factories - busy spewing drives to a world enthusiastically …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 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
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 3TB Barracuda XT

Seagate takes 7.2k notebook drives out back - and shoots them

A momentous moment: Seagate will end production of its Momentus 7,200rpm 2.5in disk-only drives. The storage giant will stop making the gear by the end of this year to focus on drives mixed with flash memory, although it will continue to pump out 5,400rpm disks for cheap laptops. “We are going stop building our notebook 7, …
Chris Mellor, 04 Mar 2013

It's a CLUSTERPLUCK: Isilon array gobbles 4TB drives

Isilon, EMC's scale-out filer product, now stores 33 per cent more data after adding support for 4TB disk drives. It used to top out at just over 15PB in a single pool, with an NL-Series system using 3TB SATA disks. Now it can store up to 20PB in a single volume with 4TB SATA spinners, and, EMC says, use 30 per cent less power …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2013
globalisation

Flood-hit Thai disk fabs to pour out 140m drives

The production of hard disk drives is nearing full capacity after flooding last year in Thailand sent shockwaves through the supply chain, with output set to reach around 80 per cent of pre-flood levels. A Digitimes report, citing industry sources, claimed that production would increase to somewhere between 140 and 145 million …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Feb 2012

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

CES 2013 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
wd_thai_lake_1_small

World may be short 70 MILLION disk drives

Tied in a strangling knot by the Thai floods, the world could be shy of 70 million disk drives this quarter, sending retail prices rocketing, limiting PC supplies and creating an opening for flash drives. Taiwanese manufacturers in the PC supply chain reckon we will see 110 to 130 million hard disk drives (HDD) this quarter …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2011
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
channel_teaser_money_top

HGST's Active Archive System and the 'currency of the new economy'

What better thing for a disk drive company to do than announce a drive array to archive data and increase demand for its spinning disks? HGST has gone and done just that with its Active Archive System array, built using acquired Amplidata object storage tech. Object storage technology views files as objects, with the content …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2015
HGST Dock

HGST straps Intel Thunderbolt onto uber-pricey drives, docks

The first external hard drive with Intel's extremely pricey Thunderbolt fast cabling system has been announced by HGST, along with a Thunderbolt interface 2-drive dock supporting 2.5-inch disks. G-Technology is HGST's branded line of external drive products and HGST is a WD operating unit. Intel's Thunderbolt runs at 10Gbit/s …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 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
Grip_Pack_950

My Passport Grip Pack blooms with new colours … and more storage

WD has refreshed its My Passport line of portable disk drives with fetching Grip Packs — colourful edge protective bands providing a big jump from 2TB to 3TB max capacity. The seventh generation of My Passports offer 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities. The PC version, My Passport Ultra, comes in four colours — blue, dark red, …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
antique_cash_register_648

SanDisk opens for business with point-of-sale terminal SSD

SanDisk has built an SSD for point-of-sale terminals, digital signage and surveillance gear, saying it’s better than disk drive use. Tablet, notebook and PC OEMs could use it too, so long as they don’t need more than 256GB. The idea is to price the SSD “on a par” with disk drives, while pointing out that the Z400s outperforms …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2015

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
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

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
server room

Race to super-slim Ultrabooks: More ultra-thin hybrid drives on way

WD is developing thin and ultra-thin hybrid hard disk drives for the Ultrabooks market with a likely transition to energy-assisted recording in 2015 – enabling 1TB 2.5-inch disk drive platters. This was revealed through analyst briefings by WD CEO John Coyne and CFO Wolfgang Nickl, and we have Stifel Nicolaus' Aaron Rakers to …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2012
Illustration of an atom

CERN turns to Seagate’s Kinetic system and says ‘it’s storage time’

Comment CERN, with its extremely high-tech, bleeding-edge Big Data wizardry, is waved around like a trophy by IT suppliers these days. Now Seagate has stepped up onto the CERN stage, wanting to get its Kinetic disk drives used to store Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data. Seagate has gone and signed a three-year deal with CERN to scoop …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015

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
Seagate Kinetics - the old vs. the new

Seagate close to open-sourcing Kinetics object storage platform

Seagate will hand over some of its Kinetic Storage platform to the world at the coming OpenStack summit in Vancouver, Canada, The Register has learned. Kinetic is the object storage platform Seagate has built to make it possible to so useful work with its Ethernet-equipped disk drives. Seagate's ambition is to cut arrays out of …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
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 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