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Hitachi paves the way to 24TB disks

Hitachi paves the way to 24TB disks

The technology behind Hitachi's breakthrough could lead to 3.5in disks of up to 24TB capacity.

Researchers from Hitachi and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation in Japan have developed a new technology that could lead to 24TB hard drives.

The technology, which CDRInfo describes as a harnessing of the self-arrangement properties of polymer materials, allows for magnetic structures measuring just 10nm to be created - increasing areal densities for magnetic media by a whopping eight times over current methods.

The high-density technology, which equates to an areal density of 3.9TBdot/inch², could increase the storage capacity of high-end 3.5in hard-drives to a whopping 24TB. If the company can get the new format to market quickly enough and cheaply enough, it should guarantee disk's dominance over SSD for high-capacity storage situations for quite some time to come.

As well as improved capacities, an increase in data density should, in theory, comes with an increase in data transfer speed and a decrease in seek time - just in time to take advantage of the slowly increasing support for the SATA 6Gb/sec standard.

Sadly, details on when drives featuring the technology will be coming to market will have to wait: Hitachi is expected to present a paper on the technology at the Material Research Society's autumn meeting at the end of this month, after which more details should become available.

Are you pleased to see manufacturers still working on new disk technologies, or should companies be ditching magnetic media and concentrating on making SSDs larger and cheaper? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DwarfKiller 26th November 2010, 18:40 Quote
"3.9TBdot/inch²", that's a lot of data to lose at the drop of a magnet.
Valinor 26th November 2010, 18:53 Quote
It'd take quite a few years for SSDs to get down to the same-ish price level as hard drives, so making hard drives bigger in the meantime seems like a great idea.

24TB tho, who would use that much storage? (assuming that you're not trying to run a database from your home PC, but if you are then they'd be great!)
Twist86 26th November 2010, 19:00 Quote
My thought is why would you trust a HDD to store that much information? I would be so paranoid that id have 3-4 24TB drives backing up the primary just in case.
Dae314 26th November 2010, 19:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twist86
My thought is why would you trust a HDD to store that much information? I would be so paranoid that id have 3-4 24TB drives backing up the primary just in case.

lol RAID5?

More space is always welcome. Although I barely use even 50GB of my 320GB drive that i have right now :P.
TWeaK 26th November 2010, 19:33 Quote
You might not want 24TB, but as the article mentions the greater areal density will likely bring with it greater read/write speeds. A 24TB drive will almost certainly have multiple platters, but you could have a single platter drive of the same density which would hold 4TB (assuming 6 platters in the 24TB drive, which I plucked out of my ass) and be faster than an F3. RAID a few of those together and you'll be laughing.
Alsomething 26th November 2010, 20:09 Quote
I look forward to drives of this size for two reasons.
First the pixel count of cameras is forever increasing and my sister a keen photographer is filling up her hard drive with her 12mega pixel SLR. The 1TB hard drive is half full now and she has only been taking photos for about three years, I dread to think how much space will be needed for a life times worth.
Second I would love to burn all my DVD's onto server for easy access and to protect the discs from being scratched, but this needs huge amount of space. I wouldn't want to do serious modding to make it work, I just to have a little home server tucked away with a couple of these in RAID
thom804 26th November 2010, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twist86
My thought is why would you trust a HDD to store that much information? I would be so paranoid that id have 3-4 24TB drives backing up the primary just in case.

lol RAID5?

More space is always welcome. Although I barely use even 50GB of my 320GB drive that i have right now :P.

Hey, I have 3 x 2 TB disks and I currently have 2 of them full. RAW Files, Movies, Music and, of course, Steam takes up ALOT of space.

24 TB would be amazing but I shudder at the thought of the price of 1st gen products...
shanky887614 26th November 2010, 20:49 Quote
this is actually a good idea think about it

i have a lot of video and audio files on my pc

i use barely 1tb at moment just upgraded to 2tb hdd

this will allow us to do a backup of a years worth of data
mrbens 26th November 2010, 21:04 Quote
This will come in handy when the successor to BluRay HD comes out in the future! If DVD= 8GB, BluRay=50GB, next HD=320GB?

So compressed DVD=700MB, 1080p BluRay=7.94GB (or 10.9GB), next HD=50GB (or 68GB) per movie? Who knows.

Let's hope that by the next HD we can all buy decent encodes of HD movies like the HD TV shows on itunes.

Just be sure to buy 2 drives and use one as a backup of the first! :)
Bakes 26th November 2010, 21:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twist86
My thought is why would you trust a HDD to store that much information? I would be so paranoid that id have 3-4 24TB drives backing up the primary just in case.

lol RAID5?

Unless they drastically reduce the error count, RAID 5 will be impractical and errors will likely be unrecoverable from.
Andy Mc 26th November 2010, 21:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
You might not want 24TB, but as the article mentions the greater areal density will likely bring with it greater read/write speeds. A 24TB drive will almost certainly have multiple platters, but you could have a single platter drive of the same density which would hold 4TB (assuming 6 platters in the 24TB drive, which I plucked out of my ass) and be faster than an F3. RAID a few of those together and you'll be laughing.

RAID5 is risky with drives 2TB and greater. They would need to invest some new RAID class to use 24TB drives.

Also RAID is NOT for backing up data it is for resilience. To do proper backups you are still looking at tape as the medium to use, Ideally something like LTO 5 which gives you native capacity of 1.5TB per tape (upto 3TB compressed, but good luck with that). LTO will give you an archival life of 15 to 30 years, depending on how much you use the tape.
knuck 26th November 2010, 22:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twist86
My thought is why would you trust a HDD to store that much information? I would be so paranoid that id have 3-4 24TB drives backing up the primary just in case.

we said the same thing when 1GB drives were announced ...
shanky887614 26th November 2010, 22:13 Quote
andy mc will they work on normal pc's though that lto5
Andy Mc 27th November 2010, 04:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
andy mc will they work on normal pc's though that lto5

Yes, but it depends on how deep your pockets are. The drive generally run on SAS (Quantum has some that run on 6gb SAS).

This sort of thing is not cheap, I have an LTO 2 drive that I'm debating selling thats hardly been used which I could get a few hundred for, but as the interface is SCSI using it on windows 7 is a no go :(
Cthippo 27th November 2010, 06:52 Quote
There is an issue with Win7 and SCSI?
Andy Mc 27th November 2010, 07:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
There is an issue with Win7 and SCSI?

Well when I last tried I could not find any working drivers for any of my SCSI cards for win 7, at the time no-one else could either from the hours I spent looking on the net, but it may have changed since then.
The_Beast 27th November 2010, 07:28 Quote
That's pretty sweet, I'll take 3. One for use, one for backup and one for a backup of the backup



I'd commit suicide if I lost 24TB of data
SMIFFYDUDE 27th November 2010, 08:52 Quote
This guy might be intersted in this news

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/modding/2010/10/21/modder-creates-90tb-server/1

Also pr0n enthusiasts
Phil Rhodes 27th November 2010, 10:19 Quote
And video editors.

Or to put it another way: 24Tb disks? :D
Gradius 27th November 2010, 12:41 Quote
SSD will takes around 5 to 10 years to drop the price where the HDD is now.

I use both, first for speed needs, and the other for capacity of course.

However the smaller is the write, more sustained to errors it can be.
Jehla 27th November 2010, 22:48 Quote
Am I too late to drop a "24TB? We will NEVER need more storage than that, no way no how"
SpAceman 28th November 2010, 09:42 Quote
Never say we will never need that much storage. There was a time where a 1GB drive was more than enough for the home computer. Eventually 24TB will be the minimum.
Chicken76 28th November 2010, 09:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Unless they drastically reduce the error count, RAID 5 will be impractical and errors will likely be unrecoverable from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
RAID5 is risky with drives 2TB and greater. They would need to invest some new RAID class to use 24TB drives.

What do you guys mean? What makes this amount of data 'risky' in RAID5?
feedayeen 28th November 2010, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Unless they drastically reduce the error count, RAID 5 will be impractical and errors will likely be unrecoverable from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
RAID5 is risky with drives 2TB and greater. They would need to invest some new RAID class to use 24TB drives.

What do you guys mean? What makes this amount of data 'risky' in RAID5?

It is not the specific amount that is risky, but the probability of failure increases.


The probability that a hard drive will fail is largely independent on it's size and capacity, the repair time from a failure however is linear with the capacity of the drive. Larger drives take a longer amount of time to repair, for a 1 TB drive, it can take 3 or 4 hours easily with constant read and writes across all drives in the system, this step would be extremely stressful on the remaining HDDs. These remaining drives may themselves be damaged or on the verge of failure because they are of the same design as the first failure and they've undergone nearly identical usage cycles. This is not a good situation and if you expand the capacity to something close to 10TB for each drive, the repair time from the first failure could be close to a week. If a second drive fails during the repair period, you now have 2 dead disks, depending on how the controller stores the data, everything could be lost.
Boogle 28th November 2010, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feedayeen
The probability that a hard drive will fail is largely independent on it's size and capacity, the repair time from a failure however is linear with the capacity of the drive. Larger drives take a longer amount of time to repair, for a 1 TB drive, it can take 3 or 4 hours easily with constant read and writes across all drives in the system, this step would be extremely stressful on the remaining HDDs. These remaining drives may themselves be damaged or on the verge of failure because they are of the same design as the first failure and they've undergone nearly identical usage cycles. This is not a good situation and if you expand the capacity to something close to 10TB for each drive, the repair time from the first failure could be close to a week. If a second drive fails during the repair period, you now have 2 dead disks, depending on how the controller stores the data, everything could be lost.

Repair time isn't linear with capacity. The 24TB drives will be a lot faster than a 1TB drive. Unless the controller itself is already maxed out - I doubt the repair time will be significantly higher than it is now. Maybe 24hrs at most. I've also found the HD failure is practically random, just because one in the set has failed, doesn't mean the others will - they can last for years while others in the same batch fail within a few months.
shanky887614 28th November 2010, 17:12 Quote
i think you guys are slightly mis informed if you think we will never need that size

what this means is most video and audio formats will come in raw uncompressed formats which are of a higher quiality

let me give you an example

a 24min video of anime in an mp4 container (with video in an mpeg4 and audio in lc-aac)

it will be arround 51MB (this is with a 300kbps bitrate)

the raw video data size for this low quality video comes to 3770mb

if you work with raw videos,pictures or music you will find 1tb of space does not go ver far at all


this is why most people who want the best quality have massive data stores of over 10tb+

240mins or 4 hours will be 37gb

in other words this equals 125mb a min
or only 8000min/133hours on a 1tb hdd

i havent got very many dvd's only 100 but this would take up 1.5tb

2 hours = 120mins * 125 = 15,000 * 100 = 1,500,000mb or 1.5tb
Picarro 28th November 2010, 20:54 Quote
Our household data storage is currently around 8tb. This is movies, files, photos, music, important documents, games, backups and random stuff.. I would welcome these HDD's :D
nissanskyrice 29th November 2010, 10:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Unless they drastically reduce the error count, RAID 5 will be impractical and errors will likely be unrecoverable from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
RAID5 is risky with drives 2TB and greater. They would need to invest some new RAID class to use 24TB drives.

What do you guys mean? What makes this amount of data 'risky' in RAID5?


would need to use something like RAID 60 to even come close to safe... Now theres an expensive pRon server.
cgthomas 29th November 2010, 10:17 Quote
Backing up that amount of data will be a bitch to start with - we need a more reliable storage media.
SDDs are a step in the right direction, but still too expensive for the general public
kHAn_au 29th November 2010, 11:41 Quote
on consumer kit sure raid 5 isnt great with 2t disks. if you have decent SMART/error prediction then youre much safer.

I agree though, they will have to crack the unrecoverable error rate nut seriously hard before even 8tb disks will of practical use.

I'd suggest doing internal mirroring in radial arcs of the spindles- it would allow for faster reads and writes as rotational latency would be divided by the number of mirrors. The controller s would have to be far smarter and robust too. Plus an enterprise grade SSD cache would be needed.

I could handle all that if it meant a reliable 8TB (24/3) disk though...
liratheal 29th November 2010, 12:07 Quote
I wonder if there will be any fun and games making those interact with older versions of Windows with older LBA, especially given the fun with a "mere" 3tb disk, that I believe Bit-Tech covered back in June.
Th3Maverick 29th November 2010, 17:07 Quote
That's all fine and dandy, but with all of that extra space for buffering and swap, I have but one question...

Will it play Crysis?
The_Beast 29th November 2010, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3Maverick
That's all fine and dandy, but with all of that extra space for buffering and swap, I have but one question...

Will it play Crysis?

Late to the party and HDDs have very little effect to a games performance
bobwya 29th November 2010, 22:49 Quote
"paves the way" = 20 years to market (if at all)

Get real folks... :-)
Farfalho 30th November 2010, 13:36 Quote
Do want
[USRF]Obiwan 30th November 2010, 14:11 Quote
i got 3 2TB drives and i got 500gb left, all those HD1080P movies and HD series take a lot of space! I wanted to get rid of my movie/series collection wall to make room for other stuff. I'm half way so I need another 3 drives to convert my complete collection.

The result is a 2mx3mx20cm (hxwxd) collection gets stuffed into a 12x12x10cm size. Thats what i call saving space!

So a 24TB drive is welcome :)
1-0-1 30th November 2010, 18:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor

24TB tho, who would use that much storage? (assuming that you're not trying to run a database from your home PC, but if you are then they'd be great!)

... and consumers have been saying that ever since anything remotely 'radical' came out. If I am not mistaken a certain biggish corporation doubted the fact we will ever need computers to start of with.
What I see here not 25TB only but the potential of SSD pricing being toppled, having cheaper and bigger storage available, new hardware adoption in the enterprise and small business sector coming directly or indirectly out of Hatachi's research and obviously all the other endless potential we cannot possible know about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
this is actually a good idea think about it

i have a lot of video and audio files on my pc

i use barely 1tb at moment just upgraded to 2tb hdd

this will allow us to do a backup of a years worth of data

Not only that but it is a little now fact the amount of (useless) data that can be stored is directly proportional to how much storage one can afford (and how fast your internet connection is)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgthomas
Backing up that amount of data will be a bitch to start with - we need a more reliable storage media.
SDDs are a step in the right direction, but still too expensive for the general public

Too bad home products (or which I know about) has no proper compression or deduplication mechanism. The business sector does not really have that problem - get this: 800GB server de-duplicated and compressed size is just under 400GB. That is a full backup and the incremental after this is just pathetic small making near continuous backups a very true and cheap reality (done with VEEAM Backup and Replication).
I think the problem as you mentioned is we using roughly the same storage technology from production storage, archiving, home use and backup (except Tape).
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