Articles about Hard Disk Drives

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
EXtreme_Pro

Commodity flash just as good as enterprise drives, Google finds

If you're loading up a heap of flash drives for your data centre, don't bother with “enterprise-class” SLC (single level cell) technology, because cheaper MLC (multi-level cell) drives will do the job just as well. However, the data centre biz needs new techniques to predict drive failures, because the unrecoverable bit error …
Nexsan_BEAST

Back-to-the-future Nexsan resurrects its SATABeast

Nexsan, the sole remaining real storage business inside the shell remnants of Imation, has resurrected its SATABeast array with a 4U shelf containing sixty 8TB 7,200rpm disk drives – 480TB in total. The Imation website has had a full Nexsan make-over, with virtually all mentions of Imation excised. From now on Imation's future …
Chris Mellor, 18 Feb 2016
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

Marvell, Carnegie Mellon agree to slash disk drive chip patent check in half – to a mere $750m

Chipmaker Marvell has agreed to pay $750m to settle its long-running patent feud with Carnegie Mellon University. The two sides agreed to a settlement package to end a case that was due to be reheard by the Western Pennsylvania District Court on appeal after a US Appellate Court struck down an earlier ruling that would have …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2016
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

WD notebook drive shipments plummet

WD revenues and profits are declining as it finds disks and SSDs a hard sell in what its CEO calls “an increasingly challenging global economic environment”. Revenues for the second fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 1, were $3.3bn, which is 2.94 per cent lower than the $3.4bn recorded for its first quarter and a decline of 15 per …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016
hdd_head_stack_648

Sound waves could power the future's magnetic HDDs

Our need to store data is growing at an astonishing rate. An estimated 2.7 zettabytes (2.721) of data are currently held worldwide, equivalent to several trillion bytes for every one of the seven billion people on Earth. Accessing this data quickly and reliably is essential for us to do useful things with it – the problem is, …
Tom Hayward, 13 Nov 2015
Nexgen_N5_1500

Nexgen’s QoS AFA has flash players in tiers

Nexgen has stripped out the 7.2K disks from its hybrid flash/disk N5 hardware box and replaced them with dual-port SSDs to create a 3-tier, all flash array with quality of service features driving data movement across the tiers. The Quality of Service features were introduced in July. The dual-active-active controller N5 …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2015
Life_DEath_TIme

Diskicide – the death of disk

How might disk death in the data center come about? These are the notes used at a Tech Unplugged event in Amsterdam on September 24, and they present a scenario in which data center disks could stop spinning. Is it a sensible scenario? Read on. I try and connect the dots in the industry, the dots being the myriad individual …
Chris Mellor, 28 Sep 2015
Toshiba_PX04S_detail

Toshiba invites Seagate to the gun show after raising its SSD game

Toshiba's latest gen 3 enterprise SSDs show an uncanny resemblance to Seagate's 1200.2 products in model type, capacity range and endurance terms, with both suppliers topping out at 3.84TB. Odd that. The race is on for SSD suppliers to replace fast hard disk drives in the data centre, with Seagate, Micron and Toshiba all …
Chris Mellor, 05 Aug 2015
typewriter_wtf_648

Undetectable NSA-linked hybrid malware hits Intel Security radar

CTB Locker ransomware attacks rose 165 per cent in the first three months of 2015. More than a third (35 per cent) of victims were based in Europe, McAfee Labs reported. CTB Locker encrypts files and holds them hostage until the ransom is paid. As such, the crimeware is picking up the baton that dropped with the takedown of the …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2015
Storm_That_VSAN_hill

How to storm the virtual heights of SAN

Platoons are easy to manage, nimble and fast-moving, but regiments need a host of logistics operations to bring them to the battle point. Virtual SANs (Storage Area Networks) comprised of a few nodes are simpler to buy and operate than a full-scale SAN with its network connections, HBAs, thousands of LUNs (logical unit numbers …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2015
StoreServ_20000_rack_detail

HP pings out a super souped-up all-flash StoreServ system

HP is introducing a new top-end 3PAR StoreServ 20000 all-flash array family, lowering flash storage costs, federating systems, and flash-optimising its software. The ASIC-accelerated StoreServ product family now consists of: 20850 high-end and all-flash array 20800 converged (disk/flash) array 10000 converged (flash/disk) …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2015
UNicorn

Infinidat decloaks, bulging with a BILLION greenbacks

Symmetrix inventor and serial startup whiz Moshe Yanai has another startup exiting stealth; Inifinidat, which has a funding round and high-enough VC valuation for it to be a unicorn. Infinidata was started up in 2010 by ex-XIV vets with Yanai as a board member and, we’d guess, angel investor. It is kind of re-inventing XIV, both …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015
OceanStor_9000

Huawei releases scaly NAS. Rival's Isilon sales increase. Oh dear

Wannabe Isilon-beater Huawei is showing its scale-out NAS product, the OceanStor 9000, at CeBit, saying it's the first scale-out filer designed for six-layer 4K UHD program production and editing. This system was announced in August 2013 at Interop in Las Vegas and has made, it appears, little progress since then. On paper it …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2015
Thecus N4310 4-bay NAS box

Thecus N4310 4-bay: A NAS-ty beast for the budget-conscious

Review When The Reg did a roundup of four bay NAS units a few months back, it was mentioned that it was intended to put the latest Thecus model, the N4310, up against some of its competitors. The company was finalising some firmware tweaks before launch, though, so it wasn’t available in time. But now I’ve got my hands on one to see …
Simon Crisp, 16 Feb 2015
Wolverine in a cage - X-Men publicity pic

SanDisk opens its cages, sets its mutants FREE

SanDisk - owners of Fusion-io, who bought Nexgen and its hybrid flash/disk array business in April 2013 - has decided it doesn’t want Nexgen and is spinning it off as an independent business. Why? Sumit Sadana, SanDisk EVP and chief strategy officer, said in a canned quote: "Hybrid systems incorporating hard-disk drives are …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jan 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

Avnet CEO: enterprise tech spending on the turn in fiscal Q1

A dark cloud hanging above Avnet’s Asian and EMEA computing components biz cast a shadow over the relatively decent start to fiscal ’15 for the Technology Solutions division. The enterprise tech bellwether reported sales of $2.46bn for the quarter ended September, up 2.4 per cent on an organic basis versus the same period a year …
Paul Kunert, 27 Oct 2014
Angry old man

We're not on the Gartner Magic Quadrant? Just imagine our concern, says HDS

Facing up to exclusion from Gartner’s all-flash array Magic Quadrant, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has come out fighting. HDS ships an all-flash array (AFA) in the form of Hitachi Accelerated Flash Modules inside its VSP array, thus gaining access to all its VSP data management features. Yet this falls foul of Gartner’s AFA …
Chris Mellor, 03 Sep 2014
Seagate_NAS_Pro

Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

Small Office Home Office (that's SOHO to you) and SME NAS supplier Seagate, which also makes hard disk drives and SSDs, has launched a pair of ARM-based and Atom-based desktop 2- to 6-slot filers with a set of minor productivity apps and remote access. The Seagate NAS line is for use by up to 25 employees, has from two to four …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
DDN CEO and co-founder Alex Bouzari

Alex Bouzari on his big data storage firm: First, we got rid of the VCs

DataDirect Networks is quite unusual for a storage firm. First, it operates at supercomputer and HPC levels and is neither VC-backed nor a public company, making its internal strategies a matter for its execs alone. In this respect, it’s not as predictable or understandable as either a VC-backed startup or a post-IPO business …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2014
Not_ABBA

Take a chance on EMC: Bursts of aBBa spin up cloudy HPC goodness

EMC has developed a burst buffer technology that transforms its VNX mid-range enterprise storage into an HPC-class storage resource, with the aBBa cache providing the raw speed and the VNX the capacity. High-performance computing (HPC) has such enormous computing grunt that enterprise arrays, like VNX, can't keep up with …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jun 2014
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
Storage step 5

Loved-up shared storage silos in SHOCK SPLIT!

Blocks and Files A previously uniform shared storage architecture is splintering apart as server virtualisation, dedupe, flash and the cloud shatter the old order – giving us five steps to heaven, or hell, depending on your viewpoint. The old shared storage order was a bunch of servers linked across a network to a storage area network (SAN) or …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
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
New HP logo

HP's top-end array just TOPPED ITSELF

HP has announced the XP7, the successor to the high-end XP array. The XP, or P9500, is an OEM version of Hitachi's VSP array and Hitachi has announced the VSP G1000 follow-on product, which HP has manufactured as the XP7. HP says it is the "highest performing, full-featured, enterprise-class disk array." That means it's better …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2014
Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote

Avere SPEC benchmark shows cloud's just as fast as on-premise

Bezos' boys will be pleased while data centre storage admins become fearful; Avere has run a file access benchmark showing file access to Amazon S3 in the cloud is the same as WAN file access to a ZFS data store - and Cleversafe object storage. It claims that it is the first and only vendor to provide low-latency, scalable NAS …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
Tegile Zebi chassis

Tegile's tech trajectory: All-flash function in hybrid mutant body

Hybrid array startup Tegile has a new system coming that will provide all-flash array functionality within its hybrid architecture. CTO Rajesh Nair said two new systems were coming: one in a couple of months and a second one by the end of 2014. He provided some details. The first one will be a companion to the existing high-end …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2014
Toshiba MK6465GSX

Toshiba: Our 2.5-incher does the same job as a 3.5-incher

Toshiba sees life in fast 2.5-inch drives yet, and has followed close on HGST's heels by announcing a 600GB model spinning at 15,000rpm. There are also 300GB and 450GB capacity points in this 24 x7 operation enterprise drive product set. The two drives are pretty similar. Toshiba's AL13SXB has a 15mm z-height, meaning we …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2014
tumbling dice

IBM bets the farm on big data in annual report

IBM is utterly focussed on big data and analytics as its future growth engines, according to its annual report published over the weekend. But the company has hedged a little on the future of its semiconductor and hardware businesses. Available here, the least-brochure-like bits are to be found in the A Letter from the Chairman …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Mar 2014
Avere schematic diagram

Avere gets edgy, speeds up flash flier filer

Avere produces clusterable FXT filer accelerators using tiering across RAM, Flash/SSD, fast SAS disk, and nearline SATA/SAS disks to accelerate access to file data from a filer behind it. Edge filers take this model further – making traditional filers look like slow, high-capacity data stores. Edge filers can store files up in …
Chris Mellor, 07 Mar 2014
WOS7000 Archive Node

DDN unveils Wizard of WOS: Not beardy Steve – object storage, silly

DataDirect Networks has extended its WOS object storage product with a global data protection facility and an archival node, claiming WOS now supports the entire unstructured data lifecycle. The new release is called WOS 360 and it builds on the WOS 3.0 ObjectAssure erasure coding technology to provide Global ObjectAssure. …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2014
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

Sputtering storage space portends poorly for PCs

With sales of most hard drives down, the much-anticipated rebound of the PC market looks to remain on hold for the moment. Research firm IHS is reporting that shipments of storage drives for use in PCs fell over the course of the year with hard disk drives and optical drives continuing to fade while solid-state drive shipments …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2014
IMFT 25nm Flash die

Eat our dust, spinning rust: In 5 years, it'll be all flash all the time

Blocks and Files El Reg’s futorologists have looked into the data centre storage area and foresee the banishment of disk drive spindles starting within five years. Put bluntly, disks suck. They are slow, they fail, they suck up electricity and floorspace. CIOs of companies with performance-focussed data centres don’t want disks. They look at all …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2013
Arlington Cemetery

DEATH of the desktop: Virtual systems could KILL OFF the biz PC

Blocks and Files The business PC desktop is facing death by a thousand VDI cuts augmented by a BYOD bashing. Her are just a few reasons to predict the death of the business desktop : EMC’s XtremIO all-flash array, twinned with VMware View or Citrix Xen Desktop and backend VNX arrays, can support 7,000 or more virtual desktops All-flash …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2013
HAF supported by most HDS arrays

HDS unveils embiggened array: We HAF vays of making you flash

HDS has updated its HAF all-flash array, doubling the size of its proprietary SSDs to 3.2TB and the resulting maximum capacity to 38.4TB. It has picked the week of EMC's XtremIO announcement to release the news. The HUS 150 array has had support for Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage modules added, bringing, HDS claims, " …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2013

Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey

Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have spent tens of billions of dollars rolling out state-of-the art data centres over the past few years. These companies are building massive facilities housing thousands of servers with dedicated fibre and Ethernet connections that shunt tens of gigabytes per second. But when customers are …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013
WD WD TV Live

Growth, what's that? Storage firms tighten belts as revenues flatline

It’s results round-up day at the Register, with LSI, Mellanox, QLogic, Symantec and WD all filing their quarterly results. Here we go on a numbers blitz: Western Digital reported first fiscal 2014 quarterly revenues of $3.8bn and profits (net income) of $495m from making 62.6 million disk drives with an average selling price of …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2013

Seagate: Fibre Channel? RAID? SATA? File System? All RUBBISH

Seagate is building hard disk drives with a direct Ethernet interface and object-style API access for scalable object stores, a plan which - if it works - would destroy much of the existing, typical storage stack. Drives would become native key/value stores that manage their own space mapping with accessing applications simply …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2013
Two teenage girls - one whispering in other's ear

Rest of world can now get hold of IBM's secret China-only storage tech

IBM's latest storage release has so many bullet point items it's like a machine-gun burst. Big Blue is announcing nine new and updated storage products: Among them is a mid-range Storwize array, the V5000, which was made available solely for the Chinese geography back in July. Storwize v7.2 software XIV v11.4 SmartCloud …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2013
gcloud_cloud_services_teaser

Microsoft's Azure will bring tiers to your eyes

For those of us who have been in IT for a while the term hierarchical storage management (HSM) has become more than a little old fashioned. HSM was coined back in the bad old mainframe days when a high-capacity 300MB disk cost tens of thousands of dollars. At that time it made sense to have a primary array of disks backed up …
Aaron Milne, 07 Oct 2013

Facebook Frankenphoto morgue will store your cold, dead selfies FOREVER

The term “cold storage” has something of the morgue about it. Dead bodies in refrigerated cabinets, what an image. Facebook is backing the use of a photo morgue, the use of cold storage for old pix. Old photos will have low individual access rates but when access is wanted it is wanted at faster speeds than a tape library …
Chris Mellor, 24 Sep 2013
IBM 3410 open reel tape subsystem

Tracking the history of magnetic tape: A game of noughts and crosses

Feature America began its love affair with tape following WWII, when Jack Mullin, serving in the US Army Signal Corps, dropped in on German radio broadcaster Bad Nauheim and returned home with two portable Magnetophons and 50 reels of tape. News of his 1947 Hollywood equipment demos reached entertainer Bing Crosby who recognised the …
Bob Dormon, 19 Sep 2013
IBM logo

IBM forges NextScale servers for HPC and hyperscale cheapskates

IDF13 Concurrent with Intel's launch of the "Ivy Bridge-EP" Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors in San Francisco today, Big Blue trotted out its most vanity-free machines to date, the NextScale line. The new systems are designed specifically to compete with low-cost, stripped down alternatives from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Silicon Graphics, and …