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Why Deterministic Storage Performance is Important

In the days of spinning media, I/O performance was anything but consistent.  When mechanical head movement is involved, response time can vary enormously.  Actually, the variation of I/O isn’t just to do with mechanics as we will discuss in a moment.  However, inconsistent I/O response time is a problem for applications and as tolerances reduce,… Read more »

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Backblaze HDD Statistics for 2017

For the last four years, Backblaze has been producing statistics from their pool of hard drives.  The company provides cloud storage that started with backup and now covers S3-like capabilities.  The figures for 2017 were recently released and make interesting reading. SMART Backblaze now has a set of data spanning just over 93,000 live drives. … Read more »

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Seagate Pre-announces Multi-Actuator Drives

When your technology is based on mechanical motion, it’s inevitable that at some point the laws of physics will get in the way.  This has been a problem for hard disk drives for some time.  Spin speeds never exceeded 15K RPM except in some test drives.  As a result, throughput has been limited by this… Read more »

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It’s Time for Hard Drives to Join Tape In The Archive Tier

This week we’ve seen the announcement of 14TB 3.5” hard drives from one vendor and 12TB from another. It’s hard to imagine the concept of 14TB in a single hard drive when ten years ago we were looking at only 1TB devices. However, these devices have a problem. The throughput and latency has remained relatively… Read more »

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SanDisk 400GB MicroSD Card – QLC in Action?

Yesterday SanDisk/Western Digital announced the availability of a 400GB microSD card, doubling the capacity of their previous offering.  In a press release WD said: Western Digital achieved this capacity breakthrough by leveraging its proprietary memory technology and design and production processes that allow for more bits per die. Is this the first, or at least… Read more »

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Unreliable Disks for Better Scale-out Storage

Recently I was asked to review a document that used as a reference a piece of work from Google which talked about the need to relax the resiliency levels of hard drives and SSDs.  The premise is interesting.  Hyper-scalers claim they could do a better job in managing performance and availability if the HDDs they… Read more »

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6TB HGST Helium Drive Continues Move to Two-Tier Storage

Over the years, hard disk drives have steadily increased their speeds, peaking at 15,000 RPM, with only a fleeting attempt by Western Digital to push the boundaries up to 20K.  As we know, at that point solid-state drives became more viable than faster HDDs and manufacturers have reined back their aspirations.  Recently we’ve seen more… Read more »

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Optimising Storage Architectures for SSD

Last week I attended Hitachi’s 2012 Blogger Day.  Aside from catching up with some old friends, we were presented with some NDA stuff which will see the light of day soon.  In the meantime, I want to talk about a press release Hitachi made while I was still on holiday (and clearly missed as I… Read more »