Goodbye PMR. Hello HAMR. Mr. DNA
– you are a fun side project for now.
There’s some Interesting Hardware Around the Corner… but when will storage become infinite?
Talking 3.5” HDD drives there is a significant step change in hard disk drives just around the corner. Since 2006 HDDs have been based around perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR); in 2015 this turned into “2 dimensional” PMR that has allowed up to 1.5TB per disk platter. In 2017, 8 platters in a drive have allowed up to 12TB per HDD.
But the big news is that Seagate have now made 40,000 Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) drives and are shipping to key customers now, with a general rollout being in 2018.
This will initially allow for 20TB drives with an expected CAGR in capacity of above 30%.
Meanwhile Western Digital have been making inroads into Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) HDDs. Predicting MAMR drives to market “early 2019” they promise “more reliability” and “less expense” than other technologies, albeit it at a slower predicted CAGR of capacity to Seagate’s ambitions.
In the world of SSD and related technologies, the simple prediction is that it wont be as inexpensive for high data storage as HDD in the coming 3 years at least. Currently the tech is 4x the cost of HDD.
- For mass storage the HDD is still king: the recent slow-down in capacity improvements will pick up again with HAMR.
- PMR tech will go to 14TB (end of 2017, Toshiba) and 16TB in 2018.
- Internally to the drive there’ll be a shoot-out between HAMR and MAMR techs – but this wont affect the end user.
- Regardless of the size of the disks (SSD, HMDR etc) without the ability to find and manage content your content might as well be stored in water.
The Bad Pun:
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
Outside of 3.5” HDDs and SSD there never seems to be a month go by without another futuristic tech that promises to hold Exabytes of data in a pin head. Most of the ideas are fanciful or could never achieve the data throughputs desired, but some hold more water (which is a material I am sure some have suggested would be a good technology for data storage also!).
One of my favourites that has come back up this year is storing data in DNA. Even Microsoft are in on this act having bought a company (Twist BioScience) in the R&D of this space. The Scientist.com has a great article on storing all the data ever produced in a few KG of DNA: Link.
Are trialling 120TB 1u setups along and will always be able to incorporate the latest and greatest components in their software defined object storage.
Some Useful Links:
About Object Matrix
Object Matrix provides digital content governance and object storage platforms. The company was built on the philosophy that archive systems should be scalable and interoperable, as well as ensuring instant access to data and metadata. Its flagship product, MatrixStore, is an integrated object storage software solution providing protection and governance for the lifetime of any digital content. It’s used by global organisations that create, curate, and distribute video content, including NBC Universal, TV Globo, the BBC and BT.
Object Matrix is comprised of a team of storage industry experts with a shared vision for high levels of data security combined with intuitive user interfaces. In addition to providing solutions and product integrations for the storage, search and retrieval of media assets, Object Matrix also provides consultancy, training, systems integration, and ongoing support services.