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Articles about Disk Drives

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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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

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
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
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
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_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
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
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

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

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

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
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
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
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
Seagate_EVauilt

Seagate finally digests EVault – 8 years after swallowing

The EVault website has suddenly sprung a Seagate surprise on us, announcing “EVault is now part of Seagate” and it is “working under the Seagate brand.” What gives? The pop-up window says “Seagate will make a more formal announcement about this exciting development in September.” Seagate_EVault EVault website pop-up EVault’s …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Hybrid SSHD scenarios

Only way to stop the iPad: Flash-disk mutant SPEED FREAKS

With the rise of the iPad and the growing desire among consumers and enterprise for sexy and speedy gadgets, it seemed that flash gits were holding all the cards. The hard drive industry was holding its breath, wondering how to replicate the expensive experience. But what about hybrid disk drives, the ones that have a lump of …
Chris Mellor, 12 Feb 2013

Ultrabook price vice prised open by flash-disk half-breeds

Hybrid disk drives are on their way to becoming a fixture in computing: Seagate has had design wins at Dell and other OEMs. So says financial analyst Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus. Ultrabook pricing is the driver here. To get Intel's Macbook Air knock-off down into the $650 to $750 area from its current $999 price point will …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2012
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

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
The Register breaking news

Headbanger plays Star Trek theme on floppy drives

Storage is weird, wonderful and sometimes very odd. Did you know floppy disk drives can be used for something other than emergency boots of legacy kit or as cool antiques? It must have been a fairly uneventful day when floppy lovers discovered their drives can be used as "musical instruments" – to play the theme tune to StarTrek …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2012
SanDisks fifth generation 128Gbit TLC die

HP breaks ranks: Foresees data ARCHIVING on Flash

An unearthed HP presentation session shows HP is envisaging cold data storage, archiving, using flash. Here’s the TB4642 - Enabling the flash transformed data centre - session description extract; What will soon further ramp the adoption of flash are the superior storage densities offered by solid state drives as they expand to …
Chris Mellor, 30 May 2014
DataDirect SS8460 drive enclosure

We present to you: 840 fine, upstanding young disks stuffed into a rack cabinet – DDN

For maximum big data density, you basically need a rack full of disk drives and little else, and DataDirect has moved in that direction by stuffing up to 840 disks into a standard rack cabinet. The idea is that HPC and big data environments need as much capacity in a storage rack as they can get. DDN reckons it offers up to 40 …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jun 2014
channel

Thai floods halt WD hard disk fabs

Western Digital has temporarily suspended disk drive-related production in its Thailand sites close to Bangkok due to severe flooding. Flooding in Thailand is sparking transportation and utility infrastructure headaches with some supply facilities and peoples' homes inundated. WD has some 37,000 employees in its Thai facilities …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2011
Ultrastar_SSD1600MH

HGST polishes Ultrastar SSD whoppers, stuffs with denser Intel flash

HGST has refreshed its Ultrastar enterprise SSD line, using denser 20nm NAND to replace the previous 25nm flash, doubling capacity, upping read performance but lowering write performance a tad in the process. The starting point was a three-product Ultrastar SSD800 line-up, maxing out at 800GB and coming in MH (write-intensive), …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2014
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
wd_thai_lake_1_small

Disk fab output pumping up, prices 'to stay high and dry'

Demand for hard disk drives will outstrip supply until at least the middle of 2012, analysts at IHS reckon, as a result of the deadly Thai factory floods that dented drive production. Disk assembly rates will creep up during 2012 but prices will remain high. Shipments of hard drives are expected to rise in every quarter, year-on …
Anna Leach, 15 Feb 2012
OpenStack Summit

Disks with Ethernet ports? Throw in some flash and you've got yourself a HGST p-a-r-t-y

Western Digital Corp subsidiary HGST is developing Ethernet-connected drives for OpenStack users – and they won't require any application software changes, apparently. The architecture of such a product will be demonstrated by HGST at the OpenStack Summit, to take place between 12 and 16 May in Atlanta, GA. The presentation …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2014
DVD it in many colours

HP also jacks up disk prices in Thai flood wake

We thought EMC was the first major enterprise supplier to raise disk drive prices after the Thailand floods. Not so. HP sent out a letter - pictured here - last month saying it was being forced to increase prices as a result of the hard drive shortage caused by the deadly floods in Thailand. Many of the country's disk assembling …
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2011
channel

Marvell updates hybrid NAND/disk controller

Hot on the heels of its 9145 PCIe flash controller component, Marvell is launching a new controller to make building hybrid drives, spinning disk plus NAND flash, a lot easier. Hybrid drives pair NAND flash with spinning disks to combine NAND speed with disk capacity and low cost/GB. Seagate provides its Momentum XT drive with …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jan 2012