Helium filled hard drives will find homes in cloud data centers
HGST just made every home consumer a little bit jealous today by announcing that it's now shipping the 6TB Ultrastar He6 hard drive to massive scale-out data center environments. For the time being, you can't head over to your favorite online vendor or local electronics store and pick up a 6TB drive with helium inside, but perhaps this technology -- and the resulting capacities -- will trickle into home user territory. In the meantime, these drives will end up being utilized by companies like HP, Netflix, Huawei Unified Storage, CERN, Green Revolution Cooling, and Code42, all of which are working with Western Digital's subsidiary to qualify the drive.
As long as hard drive makers keep making technological advances, these mechanical devices will maintain a capacious advantage over their solid state brethren. Wondering what the next thing in HDD design is going to be? Try helium. Turns out that helium is useful for more than making funny sounding voices and filling up balloons -- it's also the key to building bigger capacity HDDs (and no, they don't float).
We keep waiting for the day when solid state drives (SSDs) supplant mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs), and even though prices for NAND flash memory storage has dropped significantly in the past year or so, HDDS still offer more storage space for the dollar. Combined with notebook makers offering lower cost models, the demand for HDDs just keeps growing, and that's just fine by HGST.
Laptops are getting thinner with each new generation, and if that trend is to continue, component manufacturers have to step to the plate with slimmer parts. Toshiba seems up to the challenge. The company just unveiled its first two platter 7mm HDD series for notebooks. Toshiba's new MQ02ABF line comes in 750GB and 1TB capacities, both with a 5400 RPM spindle speed in a 2.5-inch form factor.
HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital, today announced it has begun shipping its new Endurastar J4K320 family of single platter hard drives specifically designed for automotive infotainment and telematics markets. The J4K320 line represents HGST's sixth generation of automotive HDDs and offers the highest capacity for such drives at 320GB. These drives are also built to handle extreme and varying temperatures and altitudes, HGST says.
Flash storage is sexy right now, so it's really not all that surprising that Western Digital went and scooped up Virident Systems, a provider of server-side flash storage solutions, for $685 million in cash. Virident will be integrated into HGST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital, the two companies announced today. In doing so, HGST becomes a player in enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), a market that's predicted to be worth $7 billion by 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
SMR is key to Seagate's plans to ship 20TB hard drives in 2020.
Seagate on Monday announced it has shipped over 1 million hard disk drives (HDDs) using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology. According to Seagate, SMR technology will play a critical role in developing hard drives of ever-increasing capacity with improved areal density, which is the amount of data that can be stored on a single disk, and is the first step to reaching a 20TB HDD within the next 7 years.
Western Digital today announced the expansion of its WD Red line of SATA hard drives built specifically for home and small office NAS (network attached storage) systems with one to five bays. Previously only offered in the 3.5-inch form factor, Western Digital is now offering 1TB and 750GB WD Red drives in the 2.5-inch form factor as well. In addition, the company stretched its 3.5-inch line to 4TB.
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. It’s time for a crash course in solid-state drive technology
Solid-state drives are taking the PC world by storm with their silent operation, blazing speeds, and ever-sinking prices, and yet you're hesitant to buy one. Maybe you're afraid of SSDs, or you don't think you know enough to make an educated purchase, or maybe a bad SSD controller took all your data down to Chinatown. Regardless of the reason for your trepidation, every horsepower junkie should be getting in on the SSD action, and to do that you need a little bit of cash and a whole lot of knowledge. Over the next several pages we will attempt to answer all of your SSD-related questions. We'll walk you through all the reasons why you need an SSD first, then break down the terminology so you can talk like an SSD badass at the next LAN party, then show you the parts of an SSD so you know how it all fits together, and we'll wrap it up with a discussion of the software you'll need to monitor and optimize your drive. Though SSDs might seem complicated with their 24nm synchronous MLC Toggle NAND flash and their AHCI-enabled SATA 6Gb/s IOPS gobbledygook, you're about to find out they are not as scary as you thought they were.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
You've probably never come across a bumper sticker that reads, "You can have my hard disk drive when you pry it from my cold, dead hands," but rest assured, mechanical storage is far from being on the verge of extinction. Storage makers with a vested interest in HDDs have even gone and created a the Storage Products Association (SPA), the world's first trade association promoting hard drives to end users.