HAMRs, Shingles and SSD cached HDDs; size versus speed

Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2013 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: HAMR, SMR, cache, hdd, Seagate, western digital, hgst, helium

Enthusiasts are wholeheartedly adopting SSDs for their storage media of choice with HDDs relegated to long term storage of infrequently accessed storage.  For SMB and enterprise it is not such an easy choice as the expense to move to a purely SSD infrastructure is daunting and often not the most cost effective way to run their business.  That is why HDD makers continue to develop new technology for platter based storage such as HAMR and shingled magnetic media in an attempt to speed up platter drives as well as increasing the storage density.  Today at The Register you can read about a variety of technologies that will keep the platter alive, from Seagate's cached Enterprise Turbo SSHD, HGST's helium filled drives and the latest predictions on when HAMR and SMR drives could arrive on the market.

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"At a briefing session for tech journos yesterday, Seagate dropped hints of new solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) - which combine a non-volatile NAND cache with spinning platters - and a general session about Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) and Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Hopefully you have had chicken pox already, otherwise you might want to skip Shingled HDDs

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: HAMR, western digital, ssd, hdd, Areal Density

Western Digital, along with Seagate, Toshiba, and Hitachi are working on the next step in increasing the storage density of platter based drives while HAMR is still in the works.  They will be adding overlapping tracks to their platters, which they are referring to as shingles (as in the roof, not the pox).  There will be two types implemented, with the first type having the shingling hidden to ensure compatibility with existing applications which might take exception to overlapping data tracks.  Type two will not hide its light under a bushel and will require applications to be aware of the shingling and hopefully take full advantage of the new type of magnetic recording.  According to the presentation that The Register attended we will see shingles in the near future, with HAMR due in 2016.

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"Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) at present, in a couple of years there will be more fundamental hard drive technologies co-existing in the market than there are hard drive vendors."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Western Digital refreshes enterprise lineup, launches new Se series datacenter HDD

Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 08:15 AM |
Tagged: Xe, western digital, wdc, se, RE, hdd

Today Western Digital did a slight rearranging of their enterprise product lineup:

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Starting from the top down, the Xe series is essentially a SAS version of their 2.5" 10k RPM VelociRaptor form factor, available in 300GB, 600GB, and 900GB capacities. The Re series is the same 'RE' we are all familiar with, and is now available in both SAS and SATA. That bottom block, however, is something new:

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The Se series is Western Digital's attempt at a lower cost Re series drive, and will be available in capacities up to 4TB. 

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So the Se is an Advanced Format version of the Re, designed for reduced workloads. Throughput is slightly reduced due to differences in track geometry, though WD let me know they expect final shipping Se's may be closer to the Re spec than the slide indicates. The Se carries the same RPM as well as StableTrac (where the spindle is supported at both ends), RAFF (where accelerometers compensate for chassis vibration), and TLER (where IO request timeouts are adjusted to play nicely with hardware RAID).

The key to the success of the Se will be just what sort of reduced cost Western Digital is able to price the drive at. That information, as well as a full review of an Se, will be coming later today, just as soon as our next batch of samples arrives.

Western Digital updates mobile Blue series with 5mm thin HDD

Subject: Storage | April 23, 2013 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: wdc, WD, hdd, 5mm

Today Western Digital launched their new 5mm 2.5" Blue. This model will only come in 500GB. Capacity options are limited presumably due to a single 500GB platter, which is about all you can fit into a housing that's only 5mm thick.

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The drive launches at an MSRP of $89.00, but don't rush out to buy one just yet. The new drive will require a purpose-built installation, as it uses a new SFF-8784 edge connector to receive data and power from the host system. You're basically going to need a laptop that has a bay designed for just this drive, which may take a while.

Press blast after the break!

Source:

Western Digital's new Xe HDDs bridge the legacy enterprise SAS storage gap

Subject: Storage | April 22, 2013 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: wdc, WD, SAS, hdd

Today Western Digital launched a new line of Hard Disk Drives. The Xe is very similar to their VelociRaptor, with the same 2.5"-3.5" heat sink adapter plate. The primary difference, however, is these units feature Dual Port SAS connectivity.

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The new drives feature a 5-year warranty and will come in 300, 600, and 900GB capacities. With SAS HDD's becoming scarce lately, there is a definite gap developing in existing legacy SAS systems. We're glad to see a lower power SAS-connected 10,000 RPM offering to help bridge that gap.

Full press blast after the break:

When only 4TB will do

Subject: Storage | April 9, 2013 - 06:58 PM |
Tagged: western digital, wd black, hdd, 4TB

SSDs may be the speed kings but when you need a lot of storage space they quickly become quite expensive which is where the new WD Black 4TB HDD shines as it is only $85 $300.  It spins at 7200RPM and has a 64MB cache which ought to make it a bit faster than other high density HDDs which are on the market though the 800GB platters could slow that expected performance somewhat.  It also comes with a 5 year warranty which is much better than the usual 2 year warranty many companies have adopted as standard for their platter based drives.  Check out the full review at The Tech Report.

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"Western Digital's Black 4TB the only desktop hard drive to combine that top-of-the-line capacity with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed and five years of warranty coverage. We take a closer look."

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Storage

Western Digital releases 4TB Black series HDD

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 10:35 AM |
Tagged: WD, western digital, Black, 4TB, hdd

Today Western Digital announced their new 4TB Black Series HDD. This new drive boasts some features normally reserved for their RE (enterprise) series drives, such as dual processors and dual stage actuator tech. This 7200 RPM unit comes with the now standard 64MB cache and SATA 6Gb/sec interface. We will be reviewing a sample upon its arrival, but I suspect performance will be close to the RE series, albeit without the additional enterprise-specific features.

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The 4TB Black kicks off at an MSRP of $339. Hopefully we see some 4TB Greens and Reds out of Western Digital shortly - as those should be at a lower cost and be more suited to the typical mass-storage applications of such a high capacity drive.

Press blast after the break:

A lot for storage but little in the way of a warranty

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2012 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: hdd, toshiba, western digital, 3tb, Warranty, sad

As has been mentioned previously on PC Perspective the current trend of HDD manufacturers reducing the length of warranty is not being well received, though with only three manufacturers left consumers have little choice in the matter.  At least with Western Digital, you are more likely to get a 3 to 5 year warranty than you are a single year.  That negative feedback obviously hasn't fazed Toshiba, who are using the WD plants they purchased earlier this year to manufacture 1.5, 2 and 3TB HDDs, 3.5" in size and available in both 7200 and 5400RPM models and offering 1 year of warranty.  In short, a factory which was previously capable of providing a 5 year warranty on spinning disks for your long term storage now offers a shorter warranty than the SSD manufacturers who are poised to replace them.  The Inquirer offers more on this depressing topic here.

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"Toshiba, the distant third vendor in the storage industry, was given the chance to buy part of Western Digital's hard drive business when it wanted to appease regulatory bodies to approve its purchase of Hitachi. With some of Western Digital's plants, Toshiba is now set to launch a range of 3.5in hard drives topping out at 3TB."

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Source: The Inquirer

WD Red drives *do* support TLER...

Subject: Storage | August 3, 2012 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: western digital, WD, TLER, red, raid, hdd

This morning I received a tweet about WD Red drives not supporting Time Limited Error Recovery. TLER is the feature which allows a RAID comprised of Reds to much more gracefully handle drive failures and/or read errors. It's carried down from enterprise drives like the RE4 and RE4-GP.

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I'm posting this quick note here to let the masses know that the Red drives *do* in fact support TLER. It's a primary component of NASware - the NAS aware firmware that drives the Reds. Here's the official reply I received from Western Digital:

WD does enable intelligent error recovery controls, which is not the same as a desktop drive.  WD's exclusive NASware technology is built in each WD Red drive, which reduces the concern with using desktop drives in a RAID environment.
More info on details of NASware can be found here:  http://www.wd.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810

Western Digital has assured me they are tracking down where the miscommunication occurred.

 

Subject: Storage

Introduction and Internals

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Introduction:

I'm going to let the cat out of the bag right here and now. Everyone's home RAID is likely an accident waiting to happen. If you're using regular consumer drives in a large array, there are some very simple (and likely) scenarios that can cause it to completely fail. I'm guilty of operating under this same false hope - I have an 8-drive array of 3TB WD Caviar Greens in a RAID-5. For those uninitiated, RAID-5 is where one drive worth of capacity is volunteered for use as parity data, which is distributed amongst all drives in the array. This trick allows for no data loss in the case where a single drive fails. The RAID controller can simply figure out the missing data by running the extra parity through the same formula that created it. This is called redundancy, but I propose that it's not.

Continue on for our full review of the solution to this not-yet-fully-described problem!