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Seagate Releases 3TB External Drive for $250 272

A few anonymous readers noted that Seagate has released a 3TB external drive. This makes it the largest 3.5-inch in its class, and it is available with USB 2, 3, or FireWire. That's more capacity than my entire four-drive RAID for just $250.
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Seagate Releases 3TB External Drive for $250

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  • Ugh. Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:31AM (#32729764) Homepage

    Why is it external? Does anyone know if this thing uses a standard 3.5" hard drive (i.e. is it just an enclosure stuffed with a 3.5" drive), or is it a "proprietary" external?

  • by Andrewkov ( 140579 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:32AM (#32729792)
    That's more capacity than my entire four-drive RAID for just $250.

    Yeah, but which would you trust more with your data.
  • Buy two (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nichotin ( 794369 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:37AM (#32729868)
    What I figured with these huge capacity drives, is that it takes so long to fill them that if they crash, it is a real nuisance almost no matter what is on them. Let's say you fill them with movies you downloaded from bittorrent. If you don't have a decent connection it can take months to download the same movies. And even if you can do a steady 5MB/s, you still have to account for all the time it takes to find back whatever you had previously from public or private trackers.

    All I am saying, is that because of these huge capacity drives, I tend to go for at least raid 1. The time spent working to earn enough to purchase an extra drive (or two+ for raid 5), pretty much makes up for the time to acquire the same material if I only had one drive and it failed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:38AM (#32729874)

    Given Seagate's recent QC problems, not dis.

  • by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:43AM (#32729942) Homepage
    If only there were something linked to this slashvertisement [] that could provide your answer....

    Hmmm.... or even the summary, which implies it is a single drive.
  • by elucido ( 870205 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:45AM (#32729990)

    At this point we need faster more secure storage, not bigger. A solid state drive with optional encryption would be far more impressive than a 3 TB drive. What are we supposed to use a 3TB drive for? The internet isn't fast enough for most of us to fill it up. When we all have FIOS it might be a different story. And even then it will be too slow.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:53AM (#32730130) Journal

    Actually, I think we need *both* bigger AND faster, more secure storage. This only addresses one of the issues, mind you - but it has some definite uses.

    Off-hand, I wouldn't mind owning one of these as a "Time Machine" backup drive for my Mac Pro tower, for example. When I start working with video editing and try to keep around a library of clips I might want to re-use, plus having my entire iTunes music library and photo collection stored on it, I reach a point where a 3TB external backup drive would be nice. Not saying I'd have 3TB of data to back up ... but it allows keeping enough changed data over time so you can go back further in the past to retrieve older (now deleted) files you realize you want back.

  • by vegiVamp ( 518171 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:00AM (#32730252) Homepage
    Except for, you know, raw capacity. Oh, and price.
  • Re:Ugh. Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:01AM (#32730262)

    I don't get it. Why are the standards for hard drives always way too late to appear? I can't count the number of times over the years when new hard drives would come out and even relatively new machines needed hacks to work with the full capacity. It seems like every time they extend a standard they only plan a few years out and we've got to go through this process over and over again.

  • Look at the price. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elucido ( 870205 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:03AM (#32730292) []

    This product seems to be "better" but it's also over $500. Thats certainly out of my price range and probably out of the price range for the majority. On the other hand it supports 128bit AES encryption. It supports HARDWARE encryption and you don't have to write down any passwords. I'd say it's a great external drive but once again $500+ for a 1.5TB drive?

    Bigger drives have their purposes but overtime the bigger the drive the harder it is to organize all the data. If you know how to use regular expressions and desktop search you can solve the organization problem but then you end up with the problem of how to secure the data. You can encrypt the data with a password but to be secure it probably has to be written down which defeats the purpose. And none of these drives seem to be solid state drives. This means backing up files is usually slow as hell.

    It's very useful to have 3TB backup. I'd say any serious user would need something like this, but it's better to go with speed and security for the price if you have to make a choice.

  • Re:Buy two (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:05AM (#32730330) Homepage Journal

    I am still working on filling up my 1TB disk. I have a second one, and I rsync the first one to it periodically for the very same reason.

    On the other hand, a 3TB disk would be a nice backup solution for a 4x750GB RAID0. And indeed, my plan for the next time I feel like spending money on my PC is to put a four-disk RAID in it, and to buy an external disk to which it can be backed up. Copy the array, edit the menu.lst, and grub-install, and you've got a bootable backup. Neat and sweet.

    Finally, people doing video editing could definitely use a stripe of these disks as a working volume, using 1394 or USB3. (USB2 has too much processor overhead.)

  • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:08AM (#32730374)

    RAID is not a very good failover system. It never was, and it never will. Disks on raid often have extremely similar use patterns, leading to very similar drive life. When one drive in a RAID dies, it's not uncommon to see one or two more die at nearly the same time.

    Real failover comes from offline backups. RAID wins at providing improved IO with little setup cost: You'll be hard pressed to find a modern DB server under a significant read and write load that isn't using RAID 10 either directly or on a SAN to improve its IO throughput.

  • by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:29AM (#32730680)

    Unless they are SATA drives. Only the ATA drives worked that way. The 2.5 inch SATA drives still require the power connection to function. Since all of these newer drives are SATA (II or III) you will still need the power connection. I have tried and the 2.5 inch drives did not spin up until I plugged in the power connection. The data connection on a SATA drive does not give power.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:40AM (#32730868)

    DVCPRO HD [] is 40 to 100Mbit/s.

    A 2 hour movie would be up to ~90GB. Say you shoot video for a living, you could easily take 10 hours of video a week.

    So you're up to ~1TB for a week of video. Plus scratch disk, plus some extra clips. 3TB starts to get filled very quickly.

  • by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:42AM (#32730898) Homepage

    As the person you responded to already mentioned, it would be good for time machine backups. With time machine backups:

    1. Organization is not an issue
    2. Speed is a very, very, very negligible issue
    3. Any data needing encryption should be encrypted at the source, again not an issue
    4. Larger capacity means increased granularity and the ability to backup more machines
    5. Why would I spend twice as much money for half the capacity and encryption I don't need?

    The same could be said for any windows (or any other) backup solution. There are countless situations where speed and security are less important than Raw capacity. I have more than 2 terabytes of movies, tv shows and music on disk. (4x1 TB Raid 5). I would certainly consider 3TB drives (if they actually exist) in the future long before SSD, or a smaller, more expensive drive with encryption..

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:43AM (#32730920)

    RAID is not a very good failover system. It never was, and it never will. Disks on raid often have extremely similar use patterns, leading to very similar drive life. When one drive in a RAID dies, it's not uncommon to see one or two more die at nearly the same time.

    Real failover comes from offline backups.

    While true, you have to look at it from a practical standpoint. I admin several database servers at work, and they get full offline (and off-site) backups of their data via LTO3 tapes. At home though, the investment in tape drives and and media is simply cost prohibitive. A decent RAID5 array using FreeNAS (or even one of the ready-built D-Link NAS units, which I have owned as well) is relatively inexpensive overall.

    With a decent RAID array I can have several terabytes of storage (my current largest array in a RAID5 config allows me nearly 3TB). Now, since tape drives are out, the only sane offline backup option I have is DVD's. Dual layer discs are simply too expensive to use (and I've not had great luck with their reliability), so I'm limited to backing up my data 4.7GB at a time. To backup that entire array ONCE, assuming never changing data, is going to take ~600 DVD's. If you assume 5 minutes spent per disc burning them then we're talking 50 straight hours of disc burning to get a full backup, and THEN having to keep on doing this as data changes.

    For a home user with a lot of data, this just isn't feasible. Instead, I have to prioritize my data. EVERYTHING I want to keep, but realistically I don't NEED to keep it all. So, I have 1 or 2 directories that I keep important stuff in. Tax returns, pictures of family that are irreplaceable, invoices/receipts from big purchases, etc. Those do get backed up to DVD every now and then. They also more importantly get synced to my Dropbox account so that I have them off-site.

    For the vast majority of it though, it's simply to big to make regular offline backups. For that, a RAID array is most certainly better than keeping it all on single drives with NO failover whatsoever. I can live with the possibility that I MIGHT lose that data, but the risks are still greatly reduced.

  • by Maltheus ( 248271 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:44AM (#32730938)

    Yeah, I had some Seagate drives with a firmware problem and they wouldn't make the patched firmware available to the general public. You had to request it. Well I requested it and they never even responded. I used to be a Seagate-only kind of guy, but that debacle turned me away from the company forever and I buy at least 4-6 high capacity drives a year. I'll wait for one of the other companies to put these out.

  • by XanC ( 644172 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:45AM (#32730956)

    That was exactly his point. Your RAID required a particular piece of hardware. He suggested software RAID. Yours was some kind of awful hybrid. If you'd been using a real OS and real software RAID, you'd have had no problem.

  • Re:Buy two (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:50AM (#32731032)

    On the other hand, a 3TB disk would be a nice backup solution for a 4x750GB RAID0.

    You are nuts. The unreliability of 750GB drives and the very long backup time would make your setup an exercise in pain.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @01:33PM (#32733510) Journal
    RAID is not peace of mind. Regular scheduled backups, with offsite storage, and tested recovery procedures is peace of mind. Its not considered backed up until your data been successfully restored from a backup.
  • Re:Ugh. Seriously? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:59PM (#32735706)

    A symptom of people choosing "cheap" IDE/ATA over SCSI long ago. Or rather, the consumer computing industry has always been about buying "cheap and good enough" for now and having to buy again to work around the limitation of the cheap standard. (Ahem, Windows PCs).

    If people had gone SCSI, we would have avoided the 340MB limit, 1GB limit, 2GB limit, 120GB limit, 132GB limit... As SCSI has always been block addressed.

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