Following on from Sony’s recent announcement of tape that is capable of storing 148GB per square inch, the two companies have revealed that they have managed to reach 154GB.
Although that figure isn’t a huge jump, IBM and Fujitu’s announcement comes with an impressive forecast. The alliance believes it can double the density of its tape every other year for the next decade.
Although innovations involving magnetic tape seem like something from a post-modern vision of 2014 viewed from 1965, the speed at which technology is moving in this field is accelerating at a rate more in line with demand.
Data centres are having to come up with more ingenious methods of cold storing petabytes of data being generated from social media, cloud storage and archiving.
Facebook has dabbled in the concept of the Blu-ray array as a temporary solution to the problem, while the SSD manufacturers continue to make strides in increasing the capacity of their products, but neither are likely to be as cost effective as magnetic tape. It isn’t suitable for quick access, and its longevity and durability is yet to be tested, but it could prove to be a solution for a growing problem.
The 154GB/in tape is only a prototype, but if the hype is to be believed, we can expect to see 4TB per square inch by 2024. This month, Sandisk released the first 4TB SSD in a standard 2.5in casing. The rest of the math follows from that.
Seagate has unveiled what it says is the world’s fastest hard drive, the Enterprise Turbo SSHD.
In what Seagate claims is the industry’s first enterprise solid-state hybrid disk (SSHD) drive, the Enterprise Turbo SSHD combines the capacity of a hard drive with solid-state flash enabling high-speed performance for “mission critical data”.
Seagate said the drive is the fastest storage device around due to its triple increase in random read performance over existing 15,000RPM drives. It will be available in up to 600GB capacities.
“By unifying the best of solid-state and magnetic technologies, Turbo improves tiered storage performance combining accelerated speed with hard disk drive (HDD) high capacity,” Seagate said in a statement.
“The result, a combination of performance and capacity that we believe represents a new paradigm shift for mission critical, enterprise storage.”
The drive fine tunes storage tiering by caching at the I/O level in an attempt to patch performance gaps and bottlenecks often found in tiered system environments. It also offers a self-encrypting drive option to maximize security for data at rest.
Seagate said that enterprise vendor IBM has been testing the device over the past year in the runup to launch,
“After months of testing in Seagate and IBM labs, the first enterprise SSHD has been introduced as an option for the IBM Series x servers,” the firm announced.
Seagate said that these performance tests using standard system benchmarking tools showed that a 10,000RPM version of enterprise SSHD delivers input/output operations per second (IOPS) at double the speed of a standard 600GB 10,000RPM hard disk drive.
“The end result is much improved and more cost effective performance for servers running mission critical applications such as big data analytics, virtual desktop infrastructure, and database and transaction processing,” Seagate said.
The storage firm is aiming the drive at OEMs and system builders that demand high performance for a more affordable price point as they push to offer lower cost server and storage configurations.
Seagate has announced what it claims is the “industry’s first” 4TB video hard disk drive, that is, a 3.5in HDD that is engineered specifically for use in video applications such as digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs) and surveillance systems.
“Purpose-built for video solutions, the Video 3.5 HDD can store up to 480 hours of HD content making it the industry’s highest-capacity drive designed specifically for video,” the firm said.
When we asked how the hard drive is engineered for video applications and is not just a bog standard hard disk drive, Seagate explained that the hard drive supports up to 16 HD video streams or 20 standard definition video streams simultaneously, as well as having 24×7 operation capabilities.
To clarify what exactly this means, we asked Seagate to explain how the video hard drive differs from a desktop hard drive. A Seagate spokesperson said that the video hard drive is built for DVR like applications that run 24 hours a day seven days a week in warmer environments, such as a DVR inside an entertainment center, with support for profiles to ensure continuous smooth delivery of video content.
“They’re built to support an ATA-8AV command set which means they’re optimised for streaming, meaning we can support 30 percent more HD streams on this drive than on a laptop drive,” Seagate explained.
“ATA commands are also paired with command completion times that are optimised for video so if your drive has corrupt data, which likely is a single pixel on one frame of your screen, the drive knows to skip over it rather than go back to correct or rebuild that data which would cause your video to pause while this happens.”
The video drive has also been built for low power consumption and heat emission so device designers and manufacturers can build the drive into designs more flexibly. It also offers “superior acoustic management” to limit audible distractions during operation of DVRs and STBs, so designers can build nearly silent home entertainment systems.
“Boasting near silent acoustics, the drive operates below the range of audible sound for the human ear at just 2.3 decibels providing optimised acoustics for home entertainment components, crucial for consumer electronics and video applications,” the firm added.
4TB of data is capable of storing around 100 full length DVD quality movies. Compressed movies take up much less space, with the drive being able to store around 4,000 lower quality films. For movies that have been condensed into the popular HD compression format Matroska video (MKV) at HD 720p, the drive can store around 1,000 two-hour movies, or 120,000 minutes of video, making it idea for storing all your favourite episodes of cheesy American TV shows such as Gossip Girl or 90210.
Seagate hasn’t yet announced a release date or pricing for its 4TB video hard disk drive.
Seagate, which recently completed the acquisition of Samsung’s hard disk unit and swiftly cut warranties on most of its drives to just one year, has now announced that it will buy hard drive packager Lacie. Seagate has signed an agreement with Philippe Spruch, Lacie’s chairman and CEO, to purchase his 63.5 percent stake in the company at $7.05 per share in cash, which values the firm at $186m.
According to Seagate the purchase should help the firm grow in Europe and Japan. The firm also announced that Spruch will be employed by Seagate and run its consumer products division.
Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, CEO and president said, “Lacie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium branded direct attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development.”
Lacie’s fancy portable hard drives are popular among those who like fancy cases wrapped around bog-standard consumer hard disks. Seagate’s purchase of Lacie should see the firm not only become the sole supplier of hard drives in Lacie products but make a renewed push in the consumer portable hard drive market following last year’s floods in Thailand that affected the three big hard drive manufacturers.
Seagate said the deal should be completed by the third quarter of 2012 pending regulatory approval in the US, France and Germany.
Need a thin and speedy external drive to go along with your shiny new ultrabook? Seagate’s got you covered with a new 500GB FreeAgent GoFlex Slim drive.
Yes, the name is too long, but the spec sheet is pretty impressive, too. The new drive features USB 3.0 and unlike most external 2.5-inch drives it is a 7200rpm unit. The new 500GB unit has yet to hit retail, with a $135 price tag, but if you can’t wait last year’s 320GB drive is on sale for about $90.
The drive measures 124x78x9mm and weighs 160g, but we’re not sure about the design. It won’t match most ultrabooks on the market, and since ultrabooks are aimed at fashion conscious consumers, this could be an issue.
First of all the 4TB GoFlex is an external 3.5-inch drive, naked desktop variants will follow soon. Secondly, the drive is only available through www.seagate.com, but a few lucky retailers will have it in stock shortly. The price stands at $249, which sounds fair.
On the tech side of things, the drive is pretty much your regular run of the mill 3.5-inch external drive. It supports USB 3.0, which seems like a good idea given the immense capacity, but there is no eSATA on board.