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HDD Capacity Threshold Reaches 15TB

Western Digital has announced what is currently the largest capacity hard drive available on the market today.  The Ultrastar DC HC620 has 15TB of capacity in a helium-filled 3.5″ form-factor.  This is a 7% increase (or obviously 1TB) over the 14TB drive announced in October 2017. Incremental The new capacity drive looks more like an… Read more »

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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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Dude, Where’s My 100TB Hard Drive?

It wasn’t that long ago we were being promised hard drives of unimaginable capacities.  I’m sure that at some stage triple digit numbers were being talked about.  However today we’re stuck with a “mere” 12TB of capacity per drive.  So what went wrong, or are we just being a little too hopeful? I did some… 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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When Did Hard Drives Get Workload Rate Limits?

A recent article on The Register reminded me that we’ve started to see hard drive vendors introducing warranty limits on their hard drives for the amount of data that can be written to them in any one year.  Solid state drives have always had this restriction, because we know that flash is damaged by being… Read more »