"Seagate Ships World’s First 8TB Hard Drives"


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V

VanguardLH

Lynn said:
"Seagate Ships World¢s First 8TB Hard Drives"
http://www.seagate.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/Seagate-ships-worlds-first-8TB-hard-drives-pr-master/

Yes, seven platters. Reminds me of the old 12 inch
winchester with the removable 10? platters.

Wait, here is WD with a 10 TB drive!

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2604311/wd-leapfrogs-seagate-with-world-s-highest-capacity-10tb-helium-drive-new-flash-drives.html

Lynn
Ooh, helium-filled HDDs. Until you start looking at what's happening to
the helium supply market.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/world-helium-shortage-expected-balloon-drastically-f6C10963426
http://phys.org/news/2013-04-probing-helium.html
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/med-tech/why-is-there-a-helium-shortage-10031229

So they're developing technically superior devices that rely on
deteriorating resources. Although mass production is used to lower
prices until some threshold where there is mass appeal for the product
(i.e., the product hits a price point that consumers are willing to
pay), the problem is that helium-filled drives will increase in cost as
there is more fighting over the the diminishing reserve. About when the
HDD makers would expect cost to hit the sweet spot for consumer pricing
is when helium will take off and force increases in the costs of these
HDDs. Did anyone at Seagate or WDC consider where they're going to get
the helium to put inside their HDD cases?
 
L

Lynn McGuire

Ooh, helium-filled HDDs. Until you start looking at what's happening to
the helium supply market.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/world-helium-shortage-expected-balloon-drastically-f6C10963426
http://phys.org/news/2013-04-probing-helium.html
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/med-tech/why-is-there-a-helium-shortage-10031229

So they're developing technically superior devices that rely on
deteriorating resources. Although mass production is used to lower
prices until some threshold where there is mass appeal for the product
(i.e., the product hits a price point that consumers are willing to
pay), the problem is that helium-filled drives will increase in cost as
there is more fighting over the the diminishing reserve. About when the
HDD makers would expect cost to hit the sweet spot for consumer pricing
is when helium will take off and force increases in the costs of these
HDDs. Did anyone at Seagate or WDC consider where they're going to get
the helium to put inside their HDD cases?
Maybe they already bought enough helium to last their
manufacturing for the next five years? I sure would.

Lynn
 
V

VanguardLH

Lynn said:
Maybe they already bought enough helium to last their
manufacturing for the next five years? I sure would.

Lynn
They could but they would also have to build the storage facilities to
actually have the helium rather than pay someone on the promise that the
supplier will have helium later. I suspect it would be a lot longer
than a 5-year supply they would need to accumulate in their own tanks.
They've been using air for how long now? 30 years, or more?

With air, the HDDs were not sealed. With helium, yep, they'll have to
be completely sealed. So what happens if there is a leak? Will they
add a helium sensor to detect a reduction in helium molecules? Will
they pressurized the interior to notice a reduction in pressure to
indicate helium loss? Are users expect to save a history of HDD
temperatures to notice when there is a sustained elevation in internal
temperatures indicating the loss of helium. Anything that's confined
will have a percentage of failures of that confinement, especially for
consumer-grade hardware.

If helium prices escalate as expected, the normal drop in HDD price as
the product moves from design to manufacture will get obliterated by the
rise in helium cost. With tight competition, the difference of a few
cents can make or break the sales of a product. Until there is a
resolution as to who is going to continue manufacture of helium and
perhaps how to recycle it, relying on helium is technically a win but
financially could be a loss. They talk helium but not how they're going
to ensure they have some in the future.
 
C

cjt

No question helium supplies are tightening, and price rises are to be
expected. But with the stuff now selling, crude, around $70/Mcf (or 7
cents a cubic foot), Helium cost isn't a significant part of the
product price. Even if Helium pricing increases by a factor of 10,
say, it won't matter much to WD.

Keeping the stuff in the drive, on the other hand, does sound like a
challenge. Helium is notoriously able to escape containment. It will
be interesting to see how things shake out.
"shake out" might turn out to be apt.
 
J

John Turco

No question helium supplies are tightening, and price rises are to be
expected. But with the stuff now selling, crude, around $70/Mcf (or 7
cents a cubic foot), Helium cost isn't a significant part of the
product price. Even if Helium pricing increases by a factor of 10,
say, it won't matter much to WD.

Keeping the stuff in the drive, on the other hand, does sound like a
challenge. Helium is notoriously able to escape containment. It will
be interesting to see how things shake out.

What does the helium do in a hard drive, anyway?

John
 
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V

VanguardLH

Joe said:
How did they manage a removable platter in a Winchester drive? It would
seem like removing the whole sealed unit would leave nothing but a
circuit board behind...
You're showing your lack of age.

The whole platter assembly was removable. It came out with a plastic
bell that you could store separately hence you could replace "drives"
(well, the platter packs since the "drive" was the washing machine that
stayed in one place).

HDD platter packs:
https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/historydisplays/FifthFloor/MagneticDataStorage/DataStorageImages/DiskPacks/BurroughsDiskPack.jpg
http://i.stack.imgur.com/1hFxX.png

That one you inserted the pack into a "drive" (about the size of a small
washing machine), twisted on the handle, removed the plastic shell, and
closed the drive. As to its size, see the comparison here:

http://tr2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2006/07/18/2403b5c6-c3c2-11e2-bc00-02911874f8c8/6e7370e0dd9011619120051b79c8646b/3373.jpg

Rack-mounted sliding HDD:
http://www.edwardbosworth.com/CPSC2105/Lectures/Slides_06/Chapter_09/DiskAndBusBasics_files/image006.gif

That one only had 1 or 2 platters, the rack-mounted drive slid on rails,
and you plopped the platter set into the drive (the top was the seal),
and slid the drive back into the rack.

Because of the size, thickness, and weight of the platters, especially
for multi-platter packs, they were only supposed to be spun up when
stationary. A U.S. sub once forgot to spin them down before leaving
port, the drive assemblies broke lose from the floor bolts, and the
thing went bashing around the room.

The air contamination problem was eliminated by having both the platters
and head assembly sealed inside a plastic shell that you twisted into
the drive which made electrical contacts to control the heads. Where
you screwed the pack into was the motor to spin the platters. See
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/IBM3380DiskDriveModule.agr.jpg.
Think about trying to tote one of these with your laptop.

History of magnetic drives
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM_magnetic_disk_drives

At the opposite spectrum were the microdrives. I believe they were
originally planned for pre-installation on motherboards to provide some
starting storage capacity. 1-inch platters about the size of a quarter;
http://www.tommytrc.com/sparkatopia/wp-content/uploads/HLIC/2c3e0f690844aa9164799a8d31d484a8.jpg.
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microdrive.

In the old movies showing computers, HDAs were boring to film because
nothing could be seen, so they should you a bank of old tape drives and
some maintenance panel rarely touched with blinking lights and switches.
The computer room was so noise due to drive motors, fans in the
equipment, and high-volume air flow A/C that I used to wear my hearing
protectors that I used at the gun range. It saved from hearing loss.
 
J

Joe Pfeiffer

VanguardLH said:
You're showing your lack of age.
I may be showing my ignorance, but I'm not showing my lack of age. I
was in high school when IBM introduced the Winchester drive.
The whole platter assembly was removable. It came out with a plastic
bell that you could store separately hence you could replace "drives"
(well, the platter packs since the "drive" was the washing machine that
stayed in one place).

HDD platter packs:
https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/historydisplays/FifthFloor/MagneticDataStorage/DataStorageImages/DiskPacks/BurroughsDiskPack.jpg
http://i.stack.imgur.com/1hFxX.png

That one you inserted the pack into a "drive" (about the size of a small
washing machine), twisted on the handle, removed the plastic shell, and
closed the drive. As to its size, see the comparison here:
Not a Winchester. I was very familiar with several families of
removeable disk packs -- none of them Winchester.
http://tr2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2006/07/18/2403b5c6-c3c2-11e2-bc00-02911874f8c8/6e7370e0dd9011619120051b79c8646b/3373.jpg

Rack-mounted sliding HDD:
http://www.edwardbosworth.com/CPSC2105/Lectures/Slides_06/Chapter_09/DiskAndBusBasics_files/image006.gif

That one only had 1 or 2 platters, the rack-mounted drive slid on rails,
and you plopped the platter set into the drive (the top was the seal),
and slid the drive back into the rack.
Still not Winchester.
Because of the size, thickness, and weight of the platters, especially
for multi-platter packs, they were only supposed to be spun up when
stationary. A U.S. sub once forgot to spin them down before leaving
port, the drive assemblies broke lose from the floor bolts, and the
thing went bashing around the room.

The air contamination problem was eliminated by having both the platters
and head assembly sealed inside a plastic shell that you twisted into
the drive which made electrical contacts to control the heads. Where
you screwed the pack into was the motor to spin the platters. See
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/IBM3380DiskDriveModule.agr.jpg.
Think about trying to tote one of these with your laptop.

History of magnetic drives
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM_magnetic_disk_drives
OK, now we've gotten to Winchester drives -- and yes, the answer turns
out to be the motor and drive electronics were all that was left when
you pulled the pack.
 
V

VanguardLH

Joe said:
I may be showing my ignorance, but I'm not showing my lack of age. I
was in high school when IBM introduced the Winchester drive.
That was a pun figuring you asked because you're too young to have been
in the computer industry at the time to be familiar with that old
hardware.

Now after giving you links and pics about the HDAs, suddenly now you
know about them. (rolls eyes)
Not a Winchester. I was very familiar with several families of
removeable disk packs -- none of them Winchester.


Still not Winchester.


OK, now we've gotten to Winchester drives -- and yes, the answer turns
out to be the motor and drive electronics were all that was left when
you pulled the pack.
Winchester became a nym for all those type of drives whether or not the
heads were included or not in the earlier models. Just like using
Kleenex for facial tissue, the term didn't get used across many types of
products until the defining product was introduced and widely used.
 
R

Rod Speed

VanguardLH said:
That was a pun figuring you asked because you're too young to have been
in the computer industry at the time to be familiar with that old
hardware.

Now after giving you links and pics about the HDAs, suddenly now you
know about them. (rolls eyes)
Winchester became a nym for all those type of drives whether
or not the heads were included or not in the earlier models.
Wrong.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM_magnetic_disk_drives#IBM_3340

Just like using Kleenex for facial tissue, the term didn't get used across
many
types of products until the defining product was introduced and widely
used.
Wrong.
 
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J

Joe Pfeiffer

VanguardLH said:
That was a pun figuring you asked because you're too young to have been
in the computer industry at the time to be familiar with that old
hardware.

Now after giving you links and pics about the HDAs, suddenly now you
know about them. (rolls eyes)
Please reread my original question above -- I was asking specifically
about removeable platters in Winchester drives. I never said I was
unfamiliar with removeable platters.

Winchester became a nym for all those type of drives whether or not the
heads were included or not in the earlier models. Just like using
Kleenex for facial tissue, the term didn't get used across many types of
products until the defining product was introduced and widely used.
I have never encountered "Winchester" applied to anything but drives
with the heads sealed in with the platters. It would have been very
weird for that to have happened, since that was the whole *point* of the
Winchester drive.
 
V

VanguardLH

Rod said:
I didn't have to read the part that mentioned "The name stuck in the
USSR, Hungary and possibly other countries as an umbrella term for all
hard drives; it is still in wide use today." Happened, too, in the USA.
Guess you didn't have many contacts back then outside your employer.
 
V

VanguardLH

Joe said:
Please reread my original question above -- I was asking specifically
about removeable platters in Winchester drives. I never said I was
unfamiliar with removeable platters.
Yep, you're right. There were Winchester drives where the heads were in
the platter package. The whole thing could be removed. About the only
time I saw that happen (obviously my experience doesn't encompass every
conceivable situation) was when a defective platter/head package got
removed to get replaced with a new one.

So, yes, just the electronics (and motor) would be left behind after
removing the platter/head package. It provided modularity so the whole
washing machine didn't have to get replaced.
 
R

Rod Speed

VanguardLH said:
I didn't have to read the part that mentioned "The name stuck in the
USSR, Hungary and possibly other countries as an umbrella term for all
hard drives; it is still in wide use today." Happened, too, in the USA.
Guess you didn't have many contacts back then outside your employer.
Wrong.
 
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