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AI Data Storage Technology

Seagate's New 'SkyHawk AI' Disk Drive Is Just a Slightly Higher Speced Version of Its Predecessor (theregister.co.uk) 57

ourlovecanlastforeve shares a report from The Register, where Chris Mellor takes a look at Seagate's recently launched "SkyHawk" and "SkyHawk AI" HDDs. After closer inspection, Mellor concludes that the "AI" variant has a more buzz-worthy name and "slightly higher numbers on the specs" than its "SkyHawk" brethren. From the report: Seagate has bolted "AI" to its SkyHawk disk drive brand, saying it's better suited for next-generation deep learning and video analytics. The marketing department breathlessly describes it as "the first drive created specifically for artificial intelligence (AI) enabled video surveillance solutions." Sai Varanasi, VP product line management, burbled in the same fashion: "We are excited to introduce smart, purpose-built SkyHawk AI solutions that expand the design space for our customers and partners, allowing them to implement next-generation deep learning and video analytics applications." How so? Seagate says the new drive's "high throughput and enhanced caching deliver low latency and excellent random read performance to quickly locate and deliver video images and footage analysis." Both SkyHawk and SkyHawk AI have a 256MB cache buffer and 4.16ms average latency. Where it does differ from SkyHawk is having a higher 550TB/year workload and 2 million hours mean-time-before-failure rating, compared to 180TB/year and a million hours. It's been given a five-year limited warranty and a two-year Seagate Rescue Services contract is included with the drive. In other words the SkyHawk AI is more robust than the standard SkyHawk and transfers data 1.9 per cent faster. Otherwise it seems identical.
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Seagate's New 'SkyHawk AI' Disk Drive Is Just a Slightly Higher Speced Version of Its Predecessor

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  • This is my story, I submitted it to Slashdot, but it says it was submitted by someone else and has a different title than I submitted it with.
  • crossing the line first. gold medal.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      1.9 percent is within the margin-of-error on benchmarks and other testing;

      so just arbitrarily selected stats within that range and a longer warranty = "AI" drive.

      whoop-de-fucking-do, seagate. great job in scamming the public.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @06:05PM (#55460381)

    . . . the "SkyHawk Blockchain" . . . but it will cost 400% more . . .

    . . . maybe they will also offer a hybrid model: "SkyHawk Blockchain AI" . . . ?

    • by AC-x ( 735297 )

      "SkyHawk Blockchain"? What is this, a name for last week?

      The latest greatest thing should clearly be called "SkyHawk ICO"

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday October 30, 2017 @06:29PM (#55460497)

    >" In other words the SkyHawk AI is more robust than the standard SkyHawk and transfers data 1.9 per cent faster. Otherwise it seems identical."

    And it might actually be identical in every way. This is not uncommon in many industries- to sell identical machines, parts, products, whatever, but with glitzy marketing, different packaging, and a better warranty. In such cases, one is actually just paying more to get a longer warranty.

    I am just speculating here, I have no evidence either way with the SkyHawk AI. Perhaps they use better construction, higher quality bearings, improved assembly, or maybe tweaked firmware. But if they don't specifically mention HOW this drive is actually better (what hardware or methods make it different), then I would be very skeptical about it actually being any better (at least as far as MTBF).

    • These ones are from the one factory where none of the laborers have killed themselves by jumping into the machine since the last maintenance cycle.

      • >"These ones are from the one factory where none of the laborers have killed themselves by jumping into the machine since the last maintenance cycle."

        LOL (although I shouldn't)!

        OK, I can't resist: these models are "cruelty-free"

  • The label on the box.

  • Next you're doing to tell me the NAS drives are just slightly different to non-NAS drives, and Surveillance drives are only slightly different from regular drives too.

    To be fair, the workload figure of 550TB/year is quite a bit higher than 180TB/year.

    It's like comparing a consumer grade printer with an office grade printer. They might have the same speed, image quality and maybe even warranty period, but the office grade one is going to last a lot longer if it's printing hundreds or thousands of pages a day

    • NAS drives may actually be slightly different, but a large portion of stuff hitting the market now is just marketing.

      Really? A surveillance drive? How about the WD Red vs Red Pro with a staggering change in warranty and some garbage statistic like support for being in a system with 8 drives or more. So the Purple surveillance drive is the black drive with slightly lower power usage? Wait and "all frame" to minimise errors in saving video? If a HDD has an error in saving anything it's going back to the vendo

      • Don't the red pro drives have accelerometers to detect and mitigate the vibration caused by having many drives physically coupled with platters all spinning at approximately the same speed and heads all moving differently?
        The red pro's are also 7200rpm vs 5400rpm
        They all have different default settings for power management too, like idle timeouts and head parking.

        • The Reds do that. They have the same power management settings too.

          What I don't understand is why the marketing junk. Just list specifications. The fact that we're having the discussion in the form of questions that start with "don't they have" shows this method of not getting information across is a straight up marketing fail.

          • According to WD, Red and Red Pro are different for many reasons
            5400rpm vs 7200rpm
            Red generally has a smaller cache than Red Pro
            Red Pro is designed for up to 16 drives per enclosure, Red for up to 8, with no mention of "nas bay shock protection".

            LARGER NAS BAY SHOCK PROTECTION

            A multi-axis shock sensor automatically detects subtle shock events that may occur in larger NAS environments and when combined with dynamic fly height technology, helps to adjust each read-write function to compensate for increased vibrations and protect data.

            Red Pro has a 5 year warranty, Red has 3 years.

            There's 4 points of difference, all available on their website.

            • Kind of my point:

              RPM: Performance stat
              Cache: Performance stat
              designed for x per enclosure (marketing wank).

              I blame Intel and AMD's marketing department for the errorsion of what used to be performance stats that we used to make our purchasing decision.

              There's 4 points of difference, all available on their website.

              Cool story. The fact you had to look it up IS the problem.

              • Of course I had to look it up, I'd have to look up their marketing wank too. It's all right there on the product page for the drive though, next to the wank.

                However "designed for x per enclosure" is supported by physical hardware differences - an accelerometer to adjust the head height based on detected vibrations.
                That was kind of my point, that feature is apparently not just marketing wank.

  • Translation: A really really big seagate customer that does video surveillance and analytics ("AI") was not satisfied with drive reliability and performance. Since it was a really really big customer they got seagate to build them a special model. Seagate also sells this model to other customers and their salesdrones got overly excited about the "AI" angle.

  • on my new 4K TV
  • Since this is Seagate we're talking about, I imagine the new AI will determine the worst possible time for the drive to fail (sometime after the warranty expires and right at the same time as all of the other drives in the raid array).
  • Seagate has airbrushed "GW" onto its solid state disk drive brand, saying it's better suited for Climate Change research. The marketing department throatily rasps it as "the first drive created specifically for the wide range of intelligence routinely encountered in climate debates."

    But it's more than just re-branding for the virtue market. SSDGW virtue signal to noise ratio has been reduced and performance degradation has been enhanced, offering a failure profile that begins to rise steadily before the da

  • A million hours is around 114 years. The warranty should be at least 100 years.

    I had a drive with a MTBF of 65 years, with a three year warranty. It failed at three years three months.

    Obviously the warranty length is a much better indicator of the manufacturer's confidence in their product.

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