Helium filled hard drives

CougTek

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,726
Location
Québec, Québec
The news you linked dated back to September 13th, 2012. I read about the 7-platter upcoming drive from WD's HGST division, but it wasn't this news.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
Who wants a 7-platter stack? I'd rather they increase the RPM or lower the power the power consumption first.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
Were I in the spinning disk business (and I'm glad I'm not), I wouldn't be chasing performance at all. Capacity is the only thing they have going for them, and maximizing that seems the obvious play.
 

Howell

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
4,740
Location
Chattanooga, TN
You can't float the head in a vacuum. It is the tension between the head arm and the force of floating the head that allows for precise head height positioning. Coincidentally the lighter gas means the head arm force may be less which means less resident to shocks.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
And the question I had is answered right in the brief. Because these drives are sealed, they can be used in oil baths.

Why would a hard drive need to operate in a oil bath? Is that a common IT problem? :cyclop:
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
Oil baths are an interesting cooling system. Having no air-hole means you can submerge the HD's rather than needing to separate the HD's from the rest of the machine which is entirely submerged in non-conductive mineral oil.

Why use water on individual components when you can cool everything with oil in a fish tank? The only real problem is that it can be a bit messy when removing components.

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
Oil baths are an interesting cooling system. Having no air-hole means you can submerge the HD's rather than needing to separate the HD's from the rest of the machine which is entirely submerged in non-conductive mineral oil.

Why use water on individual components when you can cool everything with oil in a fish tank? The only real problem is that it can be a bit messy when removing components.

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

I can image a 20-YO in his mother's basement with something like that, but at work in the data center? How does one service the system and upgrade components?
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
You pull it out of the oil (messy); replace the HW; and put it back. There is no reason an entire rack can't be submerged as long as you have a big enough tank and something that can lift it in and out. The primary problem were HD's and that was because of the air-hole which is now eliminated with these helium HD's.

The real benefit for a large commercial operation is the ease and cost of cooling compared to air conditioning.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
Well, it is 6 TB...

Still, at $800 for one unit isn't it more economical to buy 6 1 TB models and RAID them together? Provided you've got the room in the case, of course?

What's so special about it being filled with helium, exactly? Are they noticeably faster or more reliable than their normal counterparts? Enough to warrant it costing $200 more than 6 1 TB drives?

Does the helium in it allow for more areal density? Also, why specify SATA? Do they make PATA or SCSI ones, still? Or is there a new interface for me to know about, other than USB 3?
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
Never mind, found the answer to my question. Thought for some reason that CougTek's post above me was the only one... I need to either go to bed or start paying attention to my scrollbar.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
Multiple drives in Raid-0 is not a replacement for a single larger HD. HD's fail, and when they do they take out the entire raid-0 set. When you are dependent on multiple HD you multiply the failure risk many times. The data is normally far more important than saving a few bucks at the start.
 
Last edited:

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
Still, at $800 for one unit isn't it more economical to buy 6 1 TB models and RAID them together?

Yes. Well, yes provided you don't use any idiot RAID system. (That's 98% of the RAID systems installed in non-enterprise applications. The other 2% have been done for an actual sensible reason, and installed by someone who honestly has a few clues. You can usually tell who these people are - for starters, they don't much like ASUS or Western Digital products, and most of them can read and (if pushed to it) even write. Most RAID systems you see outside large commercial installations and special-purpose business operations are spelled with a "W". Oh, and an "ANK" after the "W". If you want more space, just add drives of the most economical size. Well, unless you are one of the 2% do it that way.)

But the $800 is just early-adopter tax. Wait a year or two and they will be $200.

Also, why specify SATA? Do they make PATA or SCSI ones, still? Or is there a new interface for me to know about, other than USB 3?

SAS is used for high-end enterprise drives. It is to SATA as SCSI was to PATA - more capable, more flexible, more scalable, generally not all that much faster, and very expensive.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
Tannin said:
Most RAID systems you see outside large commercial installations and special-purpose business operations are spelled with a "W". Oh, and an "ANK" after the "W".

Stop judging my data collection habits! :p
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
My local machine has a RAID-0 array of 4, 4TB disks. But I do consider that to be a temporary drive; no mission-critical, non-backed-up stuff allowed.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
Been there, done that and never more. Even the act of needing to restore from backup isn't worth it...
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
It is purely temporary, and speed is important. Good for storing the thousands of RAW images after a big shoot (with a copy still on the CF cards) before sorting and filing. Also good for a recovery destination on hard drive repairs.

The recent version of AutoCAD was a 40GB+ download that expanded to 60GB+ before installation (another 60GB+ depending on options). My main SSD only has ~100GB of free space on it, but I don't want these tasks going over the network.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
My big file server has 29 internal 4TB drives (29? Yeah. There's a bunch of empty space inside the chassis in front of the power supply and I had the extra SATA ports that were just going to waste...) and another 12 3TB drives in an SAS enclosure and potentially another 8 2TB drives in an eSATA enclosure and a Drobo 5D. But there's also an LTO tape changer and my data is duplicated across multiple disks or arrays so whatever the hell I'm doing with RAID (in my case, a lot of arrays that are around 15.somethingTB) is not really in the same category as a couple drives in a RAID0.
 

sechs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
4,709
Location
Left Coast
So, what's up with the 1TB per platter limit, and why are manufacturers doing such a crappy job producing them?

This behemoth requires seven platters to his 6TB. I recently replaced a stack of single platter 1TB drives, old enough to be out of warranty, with two platter 2TB drives. That's zero progress -- and I had to poke around to make sure that I didn't get drives built with three platters.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I thought that the new drives have the shingles? Maybe that is not working out very well.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
So, what's up with the 1TB per platter limit, and why are manufacturers doing such a crappy job producing them?

I suspect they have yield problems when bit densities get too high. And Hitachi was the only company that really messed with 4 platter+ drives in the modern era. They're just leveraging something they know how to do.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I doubt it. At least my Wd and Seagate drives are four platters.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
Hitachi's been offering five platter drives for ages (e.g. the 75GXP). I can't remember the last time I saw non-Hitachi drive with five.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
Until HAMR is commercially feasible areal densities probably aren't going to increase all that much. I suspect by the time it is SSDs will be approaching magnetic disks in terms of price per TB. HAMR can potentially increase densities by a factor of 100, but by stacking flash RAM chips (V-NAND) in a single package solid-state drives can blow that away. More on V-NAND. The forecast calls for 1 Tb chips by 2017.
 
Top