Articles about Disk Drives


Flash reaches the enterprise tipping point

Comment The use of disk drives to store performance data for enterprises is declining and, flash drives - SSDs - are taking their place. A wave of all-flash array (AFA) to disk array migration is starting to wash across data centres as generations of disk drive arrays give way to ones built with NAND flash drives. The tipping …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2016

Isilon Nitro all-flash dragster filer to hit the streets in 2017

Dell EMC is launching the Isilon All-Flash system which is designed to handle extreme high-performance NAS workloads. It is the culmination of the Isilon Nitro development revealed at EMC World earlier this year. You start with a 4-node, 4U chassis with from 96TB to 924TB of capacity, 250,000 IOPS, and up to 15GB/sec of …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

No shoes for little Timmy, Mama needs a new 10TB hard drive

Seagate has announced six new Guardian Series disk drives for internal use in portables, desktops and gaming rigs, with BarraCuda and FireCuda branding and a variety of form factors. Here is the product list: 2.5-inch BarraCuda 7mm thick with 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities BarraCuda 15mm thick with 3TB, 4TB and 5TB …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2016
Swarm servers

Flocking Dell! Caringo's Swarm storage software soars to version 9

Caringo has updated its Swarm object storage software and will flog the code on appliances based on Dell PowerEdge servers. Deployments of Caringo's object storage is used for applications such as bulk storage, analytics, archiving, backup, cloud storage and content distribution. The software provides NFS, SMB, S3, HDFS and …
Chris Mellor, 18 Oct 2016

VMware waves white flag: vSphere, vRealize, VSAN dock with Docker

VMworld Europe Containers are docking at this week's VMworld Europe Barcelona shindig – with VMware supporting containers in its compute, storage and management product set (vSphere, VSAN and vRealize) for production use. VMware is seemingly taking EMC's approach to disruptive technology by disrupting itself by its own hand: witness EMC …
Chris Mellor, 18 Oct 2016

Startup dusts off rent-a-box on-premises corpse, adds ARM muscle, cloud brains

Startup Igneous Systems has re-discovered and re-imagined the idea of customers renting an externally managed system on their premises, giving it an Internet of Things (IoT) and public cloud make-over. The new angles are that IoT devices can generate vast amounts of data which is difficult to send to a set of on-premises …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016

WD gives My Passport spinning rust drives a lick of paint

WD has refeshed the design style of its portable USB 3.0 My Passport, My Passport for Mac and desktop My Book external disk drives, using colours and texture. We guess it has ambitions of competing more strongly with Seagate's designer-influenced LaCie brand. The design was worked on by fuseproject and the descriptive …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016

WD flashes first SanDisk drives: Blue and Green

WD has produced Blue and Green branded SATA SSDs, based on SanDisk technology, with these brands having been used for WD disk drives previously. The Green brand is for secondary storage, being reliable, cool and eco-friendly whilst Blue products are built for PC primary storage use. Other WD brand colours include Black for …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2016
Micron 9100 NVMe HHHL SSD

Little top tech tip: Take care choosing your storage drives

Sysadmin Blog RAID is dead. Or maybe it's not. I think it might be off having a conversation with a cat in a box. Regardless of whether or not you use hardware RAID cards or HBAs and some kind of software, the idea of big boxes full of drives that store lots of things isn't going away any time soon. The drives you put in them, however, are …
Trevor Pott, 10 Oct 2016
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Private equity ownership produces an improved Arcserve, apparently

Private equity-owned backup and DR house Arcserve has got itself a second generation UDP 8000 appliance sitting above the existing UDP 7000 series with more performance and capacity. Arcserve claims it is the most cost-effective and easily deployable purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) in the data protection industry. CEO …
Chris Mellor, 06 Oct 2016

Infinidat's big iron array gets data scrunching, no-footprint iSCSI

Big iron array vendor Infinidat has made its third major software release, adding compression, baked-in iSCSI support and enhanced array analytics. The company’s architecture has 3 controller nodes, which each can see all the drives, and eschews an all-flash design, relying instead on up 1.2TB - 3.2TB of DRAM caching, 24TB to …
Chris Mellor, 05 Oct 2016

OpenIO wants to turn your spinning rust into object storage nodes

Frog object storage startup OpenIO is banging on with supporting Seagate’s Kinetic disk drives, and has certified its software on the drives in a Kinetic Plugfest. Ethernet-addressed Kinetic disk drives implement a Get, Put-based object storage facility at the drive level and, Seagate says, this allows accessing systems to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2016
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Avere builds on-premises object store all smothered in NAS

NAS accelerator and cloud storage gateway shop Avere has got itself its very own on-premises NAS system wrapped around an object storage core with a passage to the public cloud. Up until now, Avere has focussed on accelerating data access to on-premises filers and, latterly, cloud or object stores. Now it is providing its own …
Chris Mellor, 20 Sep 2016

Crashing PC sales don't stop HP Inc releasing two new ones

HP Inc has announced two new PC desktops: the miniscule and modular Elite Slice, as well as the new Toblerone of IT, Pavilion Wave, as a domestic entertainment machine. Elite Slice is HP’s smallest desktop. A 6.5" square, it stands only 1.38 inches tall, at least before you add the stackable modules, and is cooled by a 360- …

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'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 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

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
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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

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

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

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
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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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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