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Data Storage Hardware Technology

Seagate Plans 37.5TB HDD Within Matter of Years 395

Ralph_19 writes "Wired visited Seagate's R&D labs and learned we can expect 3.5-inch 300-terabit hard drives within a matter of years. Currently Seagate is using perpendicular recording but in the next decade we can expect heat-assisted magnetic recording (HARM), which will boost storage densities to as much as 50 terabits per square inch. The technology allows a smaller number of grains to be used for each bit of data, taking advantage of high-stability magnetic compounds such as iron platinum." In the meantime, Hitachi is shipping a 1 TB HDD sometime this year. It is expected to retail for $399.
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Seagate Plans 37.5TB HDD Within Matter of Years

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  • Re:HARM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @10:42AM (#17473062)
    Although amusing, HARM is not an acronym for "Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording." Looks like Zonk didn't even read the summary again, much less the article...
  • OS/BIOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by s31523 ( 926314 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @10:53AM (#17473222)
    I hope OS and BIOS manufacturers are listening... I'd hate to drop 400+ on a hard drive to have it seen as 1/3 of the actual size by either BIOS or the OS.
  • Re:Terabits??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @10:53AM (#17473236) Homepage Journal
    The kilo/mega/tera/etc comes from metric, not the computing industry. A kilometer is 1000 meters, not 1024 meters.

    I do agree on the "bit vs byte" part, though.
  • by cliffski ( 65094 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @10:56AM (#17473272) Homepage
    Ok, so on the more general point of high capacity 3.5 inch drives, Does anyone really need these? In my experience, PC hard disks are already way too big. A friend of mine uses his 100 gig drive for some emailing, websurfing, playing a few games, and music playback. Last time I checked his PC it was over 85% empty. And most of the space that was consumed was the O/S.
    All a bigger drive gives joe average is a longer defrag time, and longer search time. I'd hazard a guess that 80% of current domestic end-user drive space is currently empty.
    Sure, many slashdotters will have filled their disks with all manner of stuff. I'm a developer, and the obj files alone for games stretching back 10 years certainly take a up a huge chunk of my disk, but we aren't average joes.
    I'll get a new PC next year for vista (I need it for checking games compatibility) and no doubt it will come with a 500-1000GB drive as standard. I'd rather it didn't, I've got by for years with my 80gig friend here. If theyt *really* want to innovate on disks innovate here:

    Power consumption (esp with electricity prices going menatl as they ahve in the UK)
    Seek Time

    Why innovate on capacity? it's the one major metric that most people have stopped caring about. I'm not being a luddite, for a long time disk capacity *was* a major issue, and we regularly ran out of space. I think that time is over.
  • Seagate reliability? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by michaelvkim ( 981938 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @10:57AM (#17473276)
    Gigantic hard drives are great and all, but I'm especially wary of anything Seagate releases that's new.

    My first large hard drive was a Seagate 120GB 7200.7 that still works to this day. It's one of my favorite drives and has never let me down.

    I needed more space so I buy the then top-of-the-line Seagate 300GB 7200.8. I believe this was the first to use Perpendicular Recording Technology. I backed up all of my precious data on there and went about my business, only to realize that after 8 short months, the drive had completely crashed and took with it all of my data. Slaving the drive did not work, no program I used to recover lost files could detect the hard drive... it simply disappeared from Windows and was never seen again.

    There are lots of similar stories if you just do some online searching. Since this isn't just a localized case, I'm justifiably wary of any new technology that Seagate releases. Everytime Seagate implements a new technology in their hard drives, I make sure to wait a few generations before buying it. This way, the price is lower, bugs are fixed, and hopefully I'll be able to keep my data for longer than a few months.
  • by lonechicken ( 1046406 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:01AM (#17473338)
    I've got two 300GB hard drives on one of my computers. There's "only" 85 Gigs left on one drive and 5 Gigs remaining on the other. And I regularly clean out games I don't play anymore, and have a separate computer for testing out MSDN stuff. So, yeah we're always going to need more.
  • by Prof.Phreak ( 584152 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:02AM (#17473356) Homepage
    Data centers spend millions (literally) on storage. Try pricing a few hundred terabyte solutions, and you'll see.

    Besides, if you could store all of music/movies/images that where -ever- created on your home drive (not just those copies of libraries of congress), why not? I'd certainly wouldn't mind having all that storage---cheaply.
  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:20AM (#17473644)
    Datacenters don't necessarily want larger disks. Frequently, they are performance oriented and are more interested in spreading their dataset across a larger number of spindles for increased performance. They end up using terabytes of capacity for gigabytes of data. Seagate in particular has shifted their roadmap from capacity to performance in their enterprise and business class products. High capacity is reserved mostly for end users.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:24AM (#17473740) Homepage Journal
    Here is a Capacity over time [] chart.

    Just eyeballing the straight line, this chart shows capacity doubling every 21-22 months or so. Lately things have sped up a bit.

    I don't think someone would announce a drive that was 9 years away. It looks like things are moving at a faster clip, faster even than the 18-month "Moores law" that applies to transistors.

    Here is the important question on everyone's mind:

    Which is doubling faster:
    Drive size or the yearly porn production rate?
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:37AM (#17473994) Journal
    "I have no idea why people ever stick with tape at all these days other than for nostalgia."

    ...because it's easier (and far less nerve-wracking) to hand over a case full of tapes to the offsite storage courier, knowing full well that he's prolly going to just (literally) throw the thing into the back of his truck and hurry off to the next client?

    True disaster recovery planning involves offsite storage of data IMHO, and tape is hella easier to transport than HDDs. Also, you don't have to worry about what order you stick tapes in, whereas with disk storage, re-assembling a RAID array would be a PITA, even with labelling.

    (maybe someday tapes will be replaced with big-assed flash-storage devices? But until then, dropping a tape isn't as likely to make you wet your pants as dropping a big-arsed tape would). /P

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:26PM (#17474778)
    The 7200.8 does appear to have issues. The Storagereview reliability database has it ranked in the 31st percentile reliability-wise, although the limited number of entries (only 220) might be skewing the results a bit. The 7200.7 on the other hand is in the 89th percentile with nearly 800 entries. The majority of Segate products listed in the database with a statistically significant number of entries are ranked in the 90+ percentile for reliability. Personally I have installed about 300 Segate HDD's in servers in the last 6 months and have only had one failure, but these are enterprise SCSI and FibreChannel drives.
  • Re:Backup Solution? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by segfaultcoredump ( 226031 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:27PM (#17474796)
    Ok, so you are spending $399 for a 1TB drive. Compare this to a 400G (uncompressed) LTO-3 tape @ $50 per tape (price is good as of yesterday when I ordered another 100 LTO-3 tapes). Your drive is about 3x as expensive.

    The tape is still cheaper. It also takes up less space on my shelf and I can drop it and not worry about loosing anything.

    I am looking at these drives for the front end disk array that I use in my d2d2t setup (disk -> disk -> tape). Given about 40 of them I can keep 2-3 weeks of backups online in the disk and then destage to tape for the offsite vault and archive backups. This way restores of recent data is almost instant (no need to mount and seek to the spot in the tape), but the old archives cost me less and I save on power and cooling (the tape library expansion modules take no additional power. its just a shelf with tape slots).

    Its not an either/or choice. Most folks with any real amount of data to backup use both.
  • Re:Terabits??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:23PM (#17475734) Homepage Journal
    LOL, nice reply.
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:24PM (#17475756)
    There is one big reason: Sysadmins won't have a heart attack if a tape clatters to the floor.

    Tape has been engineered for decades for reliability. A tape cartridge doesn't have much in the way of moving parts compared to a hard disk that can go out of whack, and modern tapes like DLTs, it will take more than a clatter to the floor to make the tape unreadable.

    Hard disks are great, but way too fragile for serious backups. However, I wish tape drives and tapes would come down in price like hard drives... the first tape drive with a decent price/performance ratio is a DLT-4 for $1000 or so.

    To boot, there is no standard for removable hard disk cartridges for an autoloader. Yes, Iomega has the REV removable disks (great technology, can be used as WORM archival media, but expensive and not that much capacity compared to a tape drive), Imation has the Ulysses/Odyssey line, but there is no true multivendor standard for making hard disks as easy to mount and mount and swappable for robotics as tapes, with circutry designed to allow for hot-plugging and unplugging with a high number of insertion/removal cycles. What would be nice is a standard cartridge format for both 3.5" and 2.5" drives that has good shock protection, circuitry that can withstand a large number of hot plug/unplug cycles (USB isn't designed for this), uses the full SATA speed of the disk, and is easy for a company to design a robotic mechanism to label and change cartridges in a library.

Happiness is twin floppies.