Articles about Disk Drives

Banned

DCIG mid-market array guide: Why we left those companies out

Analysis Conversations with DCIG have revealed why seemingly obvious companies and their products were left out of a mid-range storage array buyers' report. DCIG analyst Ken Clipperton told us about the inclusion/exclusion criteria DCIG used when compiling its report. The initial criteria for selecting suppliers and products were: …
Chris Mellor, 23 Aug 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
Nimble_AF_series_bezel

Nimble shows that its all-flashers start small – and grow bigger

Nimble Storage has a new generation of hybrid Adaptive Flash arrays – the CS Thousand Series – plus a new all-flash array entry-point, the AF1000. The all-flash AF series was announced earlier this year, and Nimble has now added a cheaper AF1000 entry-level system. If you buy this, you can scale up and also out through the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Aug 2016
Pop art style illustration of man exclaiming "WHAT?" in shock/horror/bemusement. Illustration via Shutterstock

They kept that quiet: Toshiba unsheathes FlashBlade rival

+Comment Out of the blue Toshiba has launched an Atom-powered real-time, scale-out, compute-plus-flash analytics engine that is set to compete with Pure’s FlashBlade product. This announcement unveils the first real competition for Pure Storage's Big Data analytics box and comes from a most unlikely and surprising source, Toshiba not …
Chris Mellor, 10 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
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

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
NetBackup_5240

Veritas backup appliance sees red

Veritas has upgraded its 5200 deduplicating backup appliance line from the 5230 to the 5240, increasing both capacity and also speed through having faster processors. It has also lowered the energy consumption, increased the number of networking ports, and altered the wavy line scrolling across the bezel from yellow to red. …
Chris Mellor, 13 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
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
NBC suit worker image via Shutterstock

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Users are unwittingly selling sensitive and unencrypted data alongside their devices through the likes of eBay and Craigslist. Secure data erasure firm Blancco Technology Group (BTG) purchased 200 second-hand hard disk drives and solid state drives before conducting a forensic analysis to find out what data was recoverable. …
John Leyden, 28 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
Archive

New storage upstart Versity offers S3 object storage interface

Versity is an archiving software startup using multi-threaded SAM-QFS. It was founded in March 2011 by CEO Bruce Gilpin, with a VC background, and CTO Harriet Coverston. She is the tech brains of the outfit and worked at LSC (Large Storage Configurations) from 1986, which developed QFS (Quick File System). QFS grouped disk …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016

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
Illustration of a man with a beard reading a tablet

Infinidat 20TB disk drives

High-end array startup Infinidat told a Stifel Nicolaus technology conference that it sees 20TB disk drives coming. Infinidat has 100 customers with 252 InfiniBox systems and 422PB under management. Currently the largest non-shingled drives are 10TB in capacity. We think Infindat sees 12TB PMR drives coming, followed by HAMR …
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
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
Game_of_Thrones_950

Flying filers and Game of Thrones: Jon Snow? No, latency is dead

Cache me if you can Special effects for season 6 of Game of Thrones were created by Spanish video special effects (VFX) house El Ranchito, which explains how it solved its classic scaling problem below. El Ranchito, which was founded in 2010 in Barcelona, has an office in Madrid. It has done work on movies including The Homesman and it also did …
Chris Mellor, 20 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
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

X-IO adds archive storage tier: ISE and iglu get cold storage

Nexsan, the renamed Imation, has signed an OEM agreement with X-IO Technologies whereby X-IO will add Nexsan’s E60 storage array to its product portfolio as a capacity disk tier. The E60VT is a 480TB to 1.44PB array with 60 disk drives in a 4U unit. It can combine flash and disk drives, and features power-down operation, …
Chris Mellor, 27 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
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
stack of newspapers with a pair of ethernet cables next to them

WDC archive box cert

HGST's Active Archive array is certified as a NetBackup target by Veritas. The box uses disk drives in an array that can scale out from 672TB to 28PB, uses S3-compliant object storage and erasure coding. WDC says says TCO tivals traditional tape and [public] cloud infrastructures. ® stack of newspapers with a pair of …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
Dell_SD7000_S

Dell slips Scality's RING onto its OEM finger

Dell has upgraded its nine month old Scality reselling deal, offering the SD7000-S file and object storage server running OEM'd Scality RING software. This follows on from the HPE-Scality deal with HPE investing $10m in Scality and selling its RING software with its Apollo 4000 and ProLiant servers. The purpose-built and …
Chris Mellor, 18 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
Newsys_Kinetic_enclosure

Seagate's Kinetic drives: They're moving... but in what direction?

Comment It was just 18 months ago that we were all writing about the release of new object-based hard disk drives from Seagate: Kinetic. The idea was that the drives didn’t use traditional storage protocols like SAS and SATA, but instead stored objects written and retrieved over Ethernet. Effectively, each drive is a large key-value …
Chris Evans, 11 Apr 2016
hdd_head_stack_648

Spinning rust fans reckon we'll have 18TB disk drives in two years

We could see nine platter helium-filled disk drives because the manufacturers can cram more thinner platters inside a helium-filled enclosure. According to a TrendsFocus report, current disk platter separator components could be eliminated and enable eight or nine platters to be used in the same 3.5-inch enclosures that …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2016
Are you being served?

Vendor: Do we need Quality of Service with shared storage arrays?

The Storage Architect I recently had a discussion with a vendor (who shall remain nameless) as to whether we really needed Quality of Service (QoS) in shared storage arrays. His thinking went as follows: if we have a storage array and network with sufficient bandwidth/IOPS, then why bother implementing QoS? At first this seems like a reasonable …
Chris Evans, 08 Apr 2016
Clear instruments

Infinidat adds predictive analytics to Infinibox OS. But what's it mean?

Comment Infinidat says that its upcoming OS release will provide advanced performance analytics with across-the-board instrumentation, and enhanced quality of service (QoS) facilities. Infinidat, founded by Moshe Yanai of Symmetrix and XIV fame, provides probably the most reliable and available monolithic primary data storage array in …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2016
Memory_storage_latency_spectrum_2

Memory and storage boundary changes

Analysis Latency is always the storage access bête noire. No one likes to wait, least of all VMs hungry for data access in multi-threaded, multi-core, multi-socket, virtualized servers. Processors aren't getting that much faster as Moore's Law runs out of steam, so attention is turning to fixing IO delays as a way of getting our …
Chris Mellor, 04 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
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
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

Seagate – or rather, its Kinetic Ethernet drives – have seen the light

Seagate appears to be working on possibly adding an optical interconnect to its Kinetic Ethernet disk drives, which organize data in key:value stores. These drives provide a straightforward object-based access protocol, which is said to simplify the storage software stack needed by servers. PETRA, the Photonics Electronics …
Chris Mellor, 17 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
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

Lenovo pulls back duvet – oh em gee, it's Maxta

China's Lenovo has picked Maxta software to build a hybrid flash/disk hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) for the Chinese market. Maxta and Lenovo have a strategic partnership and have developed the appliance over "many months of joint development and customization to meet the needs of [Chinese] customers." The …
Chris Mellor, 15 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

Le upstart de la storage: OpenIO, ARM CPUs and Kinetic drives

French open source object storage startup OpenIO is talking about having its software do work above and beyond basic storage and operating on, or rather, inside Kinetic drives. OpenIO received seed funding earlier this year and is hoping to have A-round venture funding in a few months. The additional functions are things like …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2016
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

No Kinetic energy at DataDirect Networks: Ethernet drives snubbed

DataDirect Networks has no plans to support Kinetic disk drives in its WOS object storage products. Kinetic drives are directly accessed over Ethernet, each having their own network address, and they receive Get and Put commands to read and write to a key:value store on the disks. They have been mostly associated with Seagate …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2016
Speed

Huawei boasts about array that has reached a new low

China-based Huawei has posted a record-setting price/performance value in the SPC-2 benchmark. This is a Storage Performance Council benchmark, which calculates overall array performance in throughput (MB/sec) and (discounted) price/performance terms. These two numbers are calculated from three component workloads: large file …
Chris Mellor, 09 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

HPE's CloudLine gains some weight – blows up from 72TB to 640TB

Nonupled? Yes, nonupled: HPE has nonupled* the capacity of its Foxconn-made CloudLine server products with a 640TB CL5200, which has nine times greater capacity** than the 72TB CL2200. HPE is also updating its Altoline switches for service providers and has a Helion private cloud reference architecture for OpenStack Swift. …
Chris Mellor, 09 Mar 2016