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Data Storage Hardware

A Terabyte In A Cigar Box 691

Posted by timothy
from the drool-drool-droll dept.
Anonymous Howard writes "LaCie has introduced a 1 Terabyte (capacity) disk for (get this) only $1,199.00!(USD) It is external and equipped with FireWire 800, FireWire 400, iLink/DV, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 to connect to both PC and Mac. Take a look here."
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A Terabyte In A Cigar Box

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  • Sorry.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by holzp (87423) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:08PM (#7978658)
    Cuban hard drives are illegal to import in the United States.
    • Re:Sorry.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jangell (633044) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:21PM (#7978862)
      It seems like to me that it wouldn't be all that reliable. You've got four 250 gig hard drives packed into the smallest space they could. Scary.

      They also mention hooking several of them together, that means if you hook even as many as 2 of them together, you are 8 times more likely to fail then a standard drive. I'm sure they are also using the cheapest drives and technology they can possible use to make a profit at that price.

      Don't think this is the wave of the future.
      • Re:Sorry.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Frymaster (171343) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:26PM (#7978935) Homepage Journal
        You've got four 250 gig hard drives packed into the smallest space they could. Scary.

        espescially when you consider that the size will make this a "portable" drive. the jostle-n-drop action can wear drives already... very bad.

      • Re:Sorry.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elmegil (12001) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:27PM (#7978947) Homepage Journal
        Don't think this is the wave of the future.

        Because after all, we haven't been doing RAID for a long time now. Oh wait, doesn't RAID mean Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks?

        Come on, it certainly has its reliability concerns, but if you mirror one to another, where's the difference between this and two racks of smaller disks? Seems to me that 4 points of failure on each side of the mirror rather than a dozen or two could actually HELP reliability.

      • Re:Sorry.. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drsmithy (35869)
        It seems like to me that it wouldn't be all that reliable. You've got four 250 gig hard drives packed into the smallest space they could. Scary.

        It's not really the smallest space. If you draw up an appropriately sized box on a bit of paper, you'll see there's really enough room to fit six 3.5" drives in the box (albeit tightly) in two stacks of three.

        Ideally, they've got six 200Gb drives in a RAID5 (with a failure light somewhere). Probably, they've got four 250Gb drives in a JBOD. Possibly, it appea

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:10PM (#7978684) Homepage Journal
    I bought a putzy little 40Gb Que USB drive a while back, it's depressing how long it takes to transfer stuff to/from it, but makes a good archive drive, particularly for large transfers.

    Max sustained transfer rate :

    FireWire 800: up to 55MB/s

    FireWire 400: up to 35MB/s

    USB 2.0: up to 34MB/s

    OK, is backup/archive solution, but 5 to 8 hours to transfer all disk, how do you back this up? :-)

    • by The Tyro (247333) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:31PM (#7978993)
      lesse here... 1 Terabyte at USB 1.1 speeds.

      1,000,000 megabytes / 1.5 megabytes per second... Divide results by 3600 (number of seconds in an hour)

      Thinking, thinking...

      Oh, about a week to back this drive up at USB 1.1 speeds. Heh... so much for your vacation plans.

    • by C10H14N2 (640033) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:49PM (#7979196)
      ...and what would you be backing up TO that five hours would be considered slow for a terabyte? A SCSI RAID? If you had another SCSI RAID, why would you use a firewire device as your primary? What say you're doing this to a standard backup medium like DLT. Most DLT subsystems that can handle this capacity run below 55MB/s, in fact most are FAR below that (like 11MB/s)--and they cost several times what this device does, so why not just buy two? Even if this thing connected via Ultra-320 SCSI, you'd still be backing up slower than FireWire 800, unless your backup device was another RAID on the same SCSI chain. In either case, would you be buying this thing? Clearly, the Firewire interface in this drive is hardly the bottleneck in terms of backing up its contents. At the price in question, it's a damned good buy, even if you needed a second for backup.
    • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:58PM (#7979292)
      Doesn't seem so bad to me, a nice new Barracuda drive will get you from 32-58 [tomshardware.com] million bytes per second, which is right in the range of firewire/USB speeds. With FireWire 800 you'd hardly lose any performance at all; with USB 2 the time to back up your entire drive might be about 30% longer than to another internal drive.

      I do think this product would be a lot better with built-in RAID though.

  • by rco3 (198978) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:10PM (#7978687) Homepage
    Wow, FireWire 400, 800 *AND* iLink / DV ? How did they do THAT?

    And, it not only does USB 2 but 1.1 as well? That's amazing!

    Now, does it have a Philips-head screwdriver, too?
  • wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:10PM (#7978690)
    four 250GB hard disk drives and a controller in a case for $1200... What will they think of next?
    • Re:wow... (Score:5, Funny)

      by xankar (710025) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:16PM (#7978790) Journal
      five.

      consider me a soothsayer.
    • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TCM (130219)
      What will they think of next?

      One could hope for redundancy within the "disk". Since it seems to contain 4 250GB disks it's on the same stupidity level as the 1TB firewire setup of that guy in a story some time ago.
  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by pantycrickets (694774) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:10PM (#7978691)
    A cigar box full of porn!
  • Not a 1TB *disk* (Score:5, Informative)

    by djrogers (153854) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:10PM (#7978692)
    It's a 1TB array in a box (just look at the dimensions and weight if ya doubt it)... Not that it really matters - heck it's way cool..
    • It'll likely report to the operating systems as a single "logical disk". Of course, they could throw a gigabit networking port in the back and call it a "file server" as well.
    • Re:Not a 1TB *disk* (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ryanr (30917) * <ryan@thievco.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:16PM (#7978791) Homepage Journal
      We were discussing that. I assume it has to look to the host like one logical drive. I don't suppose there's any chance they actually did RAID 5 with 5 drives for 4x250 drives worth of space.

      "All the space, and 1/4 the reliability!!!"
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Did you realize most disk drives or "disks" have more than platter (aka disks)? You might live in a world with a perfect English language, but the rest us don't and yet we still communicate just fine.
  • by Humba (112745) * on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:11PM (#7978695)
    The bytes lost to marketing [slashdot.org](1024*1024*1024*1024 = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes) vs 1,000,000,000,000 bytes are 3x larger than the drive on the machine I'm using right now.

    I know this is "just the way" drives are measured, but all those missing 24 bytes are really starting to add up. --H

  • A terabyte of sexual fetish for the ex president, please.

    --
    Kill all spammers. [si20.com] Let the irony of this sig sort em out.
  • That's not bad, considering an external drive that's 4 times the size of $200 internal drives.
  • USB 1.1? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 (446439) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:12PM (#7978714) Homepage Journal
    Wow. I calculate it would take about 10 continous days to download or upload one of these over USB 1.1.
  • by EmCeeHawking (720424) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:12PM (#7978716)
    The primary subtitle is "Bigger Disk", which is suspiciously similar to the subject lines of half of the spam I get.
  • Surely you mean 5 LoCs in a cigar box?
    that'd be about 500 deciLoCs per cigar I reckon ...
  • by Limburgher (523006) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:12PM (#7978722) Homepage Journal
    2 Gig of Cubans, and I'll try one of those custom hand-rolled jobs you got there. Yeah, the one with the pointy ends.
  • Man... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:12PM (#7978725) Homepage Journal
    We really are about to hit the terabyte age, aren't we? I remember when 100 megs was cool.. then the gig.. then 10 gigs... then 100...

    Sorry, nothing terribly insightful to say here. Just amazed at how far storage has come. This particular device would have been interesting for Weta to have during production of RotK. They used many many terabytes of data. They'd probably have been quite happy to hand carry a terabyte of data. (Faster than a gigabit network in many ways...)
    • Re:Man... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KiwiEngineer (585036) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:17PM (#7978799) Journal
      I had a friend who was involved in a small way with the RoTK in Wellington. From all accounts they hauled data from one render farm to another using big pelican cases (the ones that you can push over a waterfall and not get your camera inside wet or damaged) full of hard drives.

      When you have to get a person to drive across town to move the hard drive from one place to another, having a few extra hard drives in that pelican case wasn't a biggie.
    • Re:Man... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:17PM (#7978806)
      I remember when 100 megs was cool

      You youngsters ...

      I have an 1st gen IBM PC here that says 5M was once very cool, so cool it was double-height and you had to park the heads before sneezing, and a PDP-11 in my collection that swears 512K removable disks the size of my satellite dish, with the washing-machine-sized drive that went with them, were all the rage back then.
      • Re:Man... (Score:3, Funny)

        by chunkwhite86 (593696)
        I have an 1st gen IBM PC here that says 5M was once very cool, so cool it was double-height and you had to park the heads before sneezing, and a PDP-11 in my collection that swears 512K removable disks the size of my satellite dish, with the washing-machine-sized drive that went with them, were all the rage back then.

        You've got nothing on my punched card computer.

        Ever played UT2k3 on an ENIAC? Frame rates are terrible.
      • Re:Man... (Score:5, Funny)

        by TCM (130219) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:31PM (#7978989)
        #234 rule on slashdot: never mention something you think is oldskool. Some old fart will come along and tell you about stuff that's been even less desireable to have owned. And they won't stop! Please, make it stop!
      • RAMAC (Score:3, Interesting)

        I still remember the RAMAC.

        Twenty disk platters about a yard across, stacked up with LOTS of space between them. Hydraulic seek mechanism "several" seeks per second. (I hear it the fingers off more than one engineer when the interlock button was accidentally pushed.) Hub about a foot across with the motor built into it. (Extra windings, too, so you could repair the drive if one winding burned out.) Brown oxide glued onto the disks. If you need to change the disk assembly you need to take off the ceil
    • Re:Man... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Pyrosophy (259529) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:27PM (#7978941)
      I, for one, welcome our new terabyte overlords.

      Interestingly, where normal humans had needs of 100 meg, 1 gig, 100 gig storage spaces, this represents the first leap beyond what the ordinary person could ever hope to use. It's got plenty applications, but not normal user applications.

      Unless, of course, storage companies start getting smart and emphasizing fully redundant backups. Think about it. Wouldn't you pay an extra $400 to make sure your parents' data was backed up three separate places, virtually eliminating the chances they would lose it all.

      Losing data is the primary reason people don't trust computers. Our terabyte overlords could make it that much more likely this won't happen.
      • by WuphonsReach (684551) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:42PM (#7979122)
        It only holds something like 72 hours of DV. HDTV streams are somewhere in the vicinity of 10-25 Mbps (DV is 25 Mbps or roughly 15 Gb/hr).

        That's actually not a lot of space once you get into multimedia.

        But backup/recovery of a terabyte of data is not exactly trivial. Re-scanning and re-syncing a large disk array can take over a day. Moving that data across a 100mbps ethernet would require anywhere from 38 to 60 hours.

        The cost isn't too bad (close to $1/Gb), but I'd prefer to see it reconfigured as a RAID5 unit.
      • Re:Man... (Score:5, Funny)

        by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:56PM (#7979268) Homepage Journal
        this represents the first leap beyond what the ordinary person could ever hope to use.

        Well, except for 640k of memory....

      • Re:Man... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by real gumby (11516) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @07:16PM (#7979478)
        this represents the first leap beyond what the ordinary person could ever hope to use.
        It's actually not a lot when you think of it in terms of video.

        Disk consumption recipe:
        • Have kid
        • Take waay too many videos of every "cute" thing that said kid does
        • read raw footage into your computer
        • make copies and edit the copies into videos that will captivate the grandparents and bore your friends to tears
        I think an hour of DV takes up about 13GB. 1TB (80 hours) of video sounds like a lot, but not when you've got half-finished projects (and their checkpoints) littering the disk.
      • Re:Man... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sunspot42 (455706)
        >Interestingly, where normal humans had needs of 100 meg,
        >1 gig, 100 gig storage spaces, this represents the first
        >leap beyond what the ordinary person could ever hope to use.

        Huh? I recently ripped my entire CD collection to my hard drives, and that coupled with a bit of video and the normal range of Windoze apps and entertainment software has consumed over 300 gigs. I'd love to have a terabyte right this minute, and I'm sure I'll need one within the next year or two.
      • Re:Man... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by evilviper (135110)
        It's got plenty applications, but not normal user applications.

        Normal users don't record HDTV?

        Normal users don't save dozens of DVDs?

        Normal users don't record 250 hours of standard-resolution TV? (IIRC, Tivo is actually less-effecient than 4GB/hour, but we'll stick with that number)

  • How would you go about RAIDing these things?

    I would wonder about heat and noise, myself. But otherwise, seems like a nice solution. I like going external on stuff like this. Nifty!

    11 pounds, though. Ouch. Talk about a brick.
  • I can store the porn of 10 regular men!
  • by Guano_Jim (157555) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:13PM (#7978739)
    That drive will only hold 1/20th of the Library of Congress [yahoo.com].

    Buy 19 more if you want to be cool.

  • Now I can hide 1 terabyte of porn on a hard drive that fits in the cigar box I used to hide my analog porn in!

    w00t
  • I'm assuming the case contains 3 300GB drives or 4 250GB drives.

    Lacie says the drive runs at 7200 RPM. Anyone know what's inside the case and what hardware glue they're using to connect them?

    --Pat / zippy@cs.brandeis.edu

  • by lukior (727393) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:15PM (#7978769)
    My fear would be that the proprietary controller would go bad and then you would lose all the data you had stored. I bought a sancube that was a raid array in a box and lost data when it went down. They repaired it but that took two weeks. Those were two weeks I didn't have. When I got it back I removed any data that was still useful removed the drives and threw away the box. I just couldnt risk any more problems.
  • Hey Epson, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoiNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:16PM (#7978782) Homepage Journal
    look at Lacie! They actually INCLUDE all the cables for all the interfaces.

    Of course, for a grand and some change, this thing better make the bed the next morning, you follow...

  • I didn't see it specifically mentioned, but it appears as if this storage is all on one drive.

    For that much cash, I think I'd prefer to have two drives, half the size, that replicate each other automagically in case of the failure of one of the drives.

    Half a terabyte should be enough for anybody :)
  • $1/GB (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saeger (456549) <farrelljNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:22PM (#7978877) Homepage
    1 Terabyte (capacity) disk for (get this) only $1,199.00!(USD)

    What's so amazing about that? HD space has been under one dollar per gigabyte [pricewatch.com] for a few years now. Add the cost of RAID and it's still under a buck a gig.

    --

  • by ikewillis (586793) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:25PM (#7978915) Homepage
    For ~$350, you could buy yourself a PlayStation 2 and the Linux kit, and have yourself a slick looking 1TB Linux powered NFS/Samba server. Sure you could build it yourself cheaper, but think of the cool factor!
  • No more ripping (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tchdab1 (164848) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:26PM (#7978932) Homepage
    We're near the point where it's cost-effective to save the .wav files natively.
  • by mackman (19286) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:34PM (#7979023)
    The rumors site are going wild over this new 1 TB drive. Seems there's been some discussion of a big brother to the iPod, the "iPod MEGA!". Prototypes are about the size of a shoe box and purportedly store over a year of music. The external lead-acid battery weights about 80 pounds and fits snugly next to the iPod MEGA! in the included backpack. Introductory price of about $28,000. Steve Jobs is at it again!
  • by Silicon Knight (15308) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:41PM (#7979111)
    I can't speak to the Mac compatability since I don't have any, but getting LaCie external drives to work on PCs is an exercise in frustration.

    My shop picked up one of their external firewire tape drives for backing up a win2k server. Spent a couple days trying to get it to work with any of several backup software packages. Called them and was told that it's only supported with one backup program on Win2k.

    Swapped it (they wouldn't refund our money) for an external firewire DVD burner. The DVD burner works most of the time but it's extremely slow and the system (we've tried it on several) occasionally decides it doesn't exist.
    • While I can't attest to their tape drives, my girlfriend got a LaCie external Firewire/USB2 drive for animation and design classes and there have been no problems with it on PCs. Heck, I even managed to mount the thing under linux reliably on my desktop. The device path isn't exactly what I'd want to try pronouncing, but it works without issue.

      OS X is apparently picky about mounting it with the firewire connection at times, but it sounds like terrible misconfiguration on a particular lab of computers. I've

  • by jcsehak (559709) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:41PM (#7979118) Homepage
    ...on how long till it becomes self aware [lacie.com]?
  • by jcc (55702) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @07:07PM (#7979385)
    We use LaCie external drives all the time to ship data (FedEX is faster that 100Mbs coast to coast).

    I recently tried to buy a couple of the 500GB "big disks" but they were out of stock everywhere, so had to settle for the 320GB version (2 160GB drives in a box). They must be connected with striping, because the I/O is a lot faster that single disks.

    4 drives may be even better, but don't count on them being available in quantity in February. That's when you can start to back order them.
  • Yes, and... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @08:05PM (#7979923)
    I have four 250GB WD drives inside my FW800 Dual 1.25GHz G4...and I paid less than $225.00 for each of them.
  • by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzo@nOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @08:24PM (#7980100) Homepage Journal
    Enclosure [yahoo.com] ~= $150
    250 GB drives (YMMV) [upgrade-solution.com] ~= 4x$170
    ==
    $830

    Have fun. No G4 requirement to use the 800 Firewire interface, which is the only available on this solution.

  • by TClevenger (252206) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @08:43PM (#7980350)
    Marketing researcher wanted. Salary: 100,000 dollars** per year!

    ** One dollar = 10 cents

  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @09:02PM (#7980546) Homepage Journal
    A professor a keele university many years ago ( I think I read this originally) developed a system whereby potentially 14 terrabytes could be stored on a credit card sized device. See this
    Article [findarticles.com] it was reckoned that this storage medium could have been manufactured for roughly 30quid (sterling).

    Why havent we seen this technology yet ? well, its potentially a disruptive technology having this kind of storage available so cheaply to consumers would cause so many problems in the marketplace. It hasnt happened yet. Make no mistake, although this is a cool development. Just realise that there are things possible that cant be sold for reason of economy.
  • Nice box (Score:5, Informative)

    by majid (306017) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @09:30PM (#7980791) Homepage
    I had the opportunity to see one at MacWorld. They are very hefty and made of ultra-heavy gauge aluminum (feels more solid than the G5 case). Also very heavy.

    The aluminum case is not enough to dissipate the heat generated by the 4 drives, so they also have a fan, but it is a very quiet one (as much as one can jusdge such a thing in a trade show).

    The case is also available in a 2 drive 1/2 terabyte version for around $600.
  • by PWBDecker (452734) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:33AM (#7982529)
    I kick myself everytime I check hard drive prices, especially seeing this. In 1999 I built a 120GB RAID array from 30gb drives for about $1200 (for the drives, no controller). Now you can get almost 10 fold the storage for the same price, only 4 years later.

    And don't think that ordinary users couldn't use this. I didn't do anything special when I first got my RAID array, I just realized I didn't have to delete things to make room for others. I had a nice collection of music videos (500, over 50 Radiohead videos (I miss them)).

    I can think of two really good uses for something like this on a consumer level.
    a) Imagine a TiVo with one of these built in.
    b) P2P should apply to EVERYTHING on the internet, not just some random clients people are cooking up. If desktop machines have 100s of gigabytes of storage, and most of that is going to media files they get from (and share on) P2P services, then that service should be built right into the file system, so a portion of local storage is dedicated to network storage. You could distribute files based on popularity (saving them by name in the temp folder and holding on them, instead of naming them randomly and deleting them), so that when someone views a file by streaming, its then saved on their HD and accessible by them and anybody near them that requests the file. By this logic, more popular file will be more readily accessible.

    The internet should be served by every computer that's on it. P2P all the way!!
  • lousy idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by ajagci (737734) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @02:21AM (#7982845)
    This has to be 3-4 drives in a box without replication or redundancy (since you can't swap anything). That means you just greatly increased your risk of losing a whole lot of data at once because if any one drive goes, all your data is gone.

    Get a real RAID drive or separate disks and you'll have more safety and more flexibility.

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