back to article Seagate ready for the HAMR blow: First drives out in 2017

Seagate is reducing its manufacturing capacity while still focusing on high-capacity disk drives for cloud and hyper-scale storage of unstructured data. This means it needs higher capacity drives, requiring new read-write head technology. It is a high-technology, nano-scale, clean room manufacturing process, and drive read- …

  1. x 7


    that used to mean a type of software dialup modem. WHY confuse things by stealing an existing acronym? Are Seagate so short of ideas they even have to recycle abbreviations?

    1. Mikey

      Ok, let's have a look...

      1) Because it has absolutely nothing to do with software, modems or the era of mass dialup. So the only people who may get confused are those still refusing to move to broadband and have something of a fetish for the painfully slow data rates.

      2) Because the tech industry NEVER reuses acronyms, ever. Did you have a go at Nvidia when they reused the term SLI from the olden days of the 3Dfx Voodoo 2? Because I think a few people got confused, then shrugged and went back to knowing the difference (Because it only took 10 seconds of reading to find out).

      3) Because in this case, it actually works with the terminology. What else would you call it?

      4) Because apparently you get easily confused over things like not letting go of the ? key after one character, so I guess you're allowed to be at this point.

      5) Because I like lists.

  2. Ru'

    Seems to me that they are working flat out designing ever more complex carts for horses, ignoring the fact that more and more people are buying cars.

    1. Mikey

      Yes, because absolutely no-one wants or needs bulk data storage on cheap, easily replaceable media with the ability to recover the data on a duff unit using well proven methods. And certainly no-one needs this because this cloud thing isn't happening. And heavens forbid anyone has less than the budget to afford a stupidly fast and expensive bit of flash storage. I mean, all those people who just surf the net, read emails and look at cat pics and porn will be SO hampered using a mere spinny platter unit.

      Or... you're just looking at it the wrong way. Maybe your phrase should have been "Why are they still making heavy goods vehicles when people are buying more and more cars?"

      1. Ru'

        So you'd invest your own money in a disk company right now? Those new fangled cars will never catch on, you know. Need a man walking in front, and they're so expensive.

        1. Mikey

          If I had the money to invest, I'd ensure it was invested in a disk company that also makes flash storage, because diversification is a smart move. Just like having said disk to back up that oh-so-precious chippery that is one controller failure away from total loss. Eggs and basket scenario, you see.

          And yes, if I had the cash to do so, why not? I'd look for the right company that is also looking ahead, trying new technologies and seeing if they can squeeze yet more life out of existing tech so we can have greater capacities for less money. Give people the space, they'll use it. Drives break, people upgrade, disks get sold still. If the market is there, then you'd be daft not to cater for it.

  3. Mark Hahn

    This work makes a lot of sense, because Flash is not going to challenge magnetic recording any time soon (in $/TB). Given that most data is quite cold, HAMR's emphasis on improving the write density is what the industry needs.

    If, on the other hand, you live in a world where you only have modest amounts of hot data, you can simply ignore this.

  4. JohnMartin

    -Disclosure NetApp Employee .. opinions are my own-

    15TB SSD drives are already shipping, by the time HAMR + Shingled stuff is available, I'd expect that density to more or less double so its likely that SSD will stay ahead in the density stakes for the next few years. In any case, datacenter economics will increasingly favour flash for anything resembling a primary workload, and increasingly for secondary workloads simply because most people won't bother with the distinction and the subsequent increase in managing the difference at a hardware level, provided the price of flash is "good enough".

    It's also likely that these new spinning rust drives won't be created for traditional datacenter workloads/environments at all, they'll be pushed at the hyper scale cloud vendors (AWS, Azure, FaceBook, DropBox, Google etc). People will certainly put data on them but probably via some kind of as a service proxy.

    Theres some really interesting stuff in development, especially around dense object repositories which will make good use of the economics of these drives, but a lot of that stuff is under NDA. If you're really interested, reach out to your favourite storage vendor to see what they're going to do with them.

  5. danwat1234

    SMR for consumers, is only good for hybrid hard drives, which have GBs of cache to cache the writes.

    Like the Seagate FireCuda 2TB laptop drive with 2 1TB platters.

    But otherwise, it'll be HAMR that'll bring up to another leap in bit density and hopefully boost sequential transfer speeds up and over 200MB/s for laptop drives and 300MB/s for desktop drives.

    Still no laptop hybrid drives with more than 8GB of flash memory, come on now. GTA 5 is 65GB in size!!

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