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Old 12-01-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Bought a new hard drive yesterday.

It's for the media server PC where I store all my downloaded movies and TV shows. $150. Pretty standard stuff.





Seems like it was only fifteen or twenty years ago that we were using the prefix "giga" in a humorous context, as though a gigabyte were some unthinkably massive quantity of data. At the time, I had six hard drives in my PC (a combination of SCSI and IDE), two of which were full-height 5.25", to give me something like 500 megs of total storage. Or put another way, 0.0005 TB. It was ****. I had more .MOD files than most BBSs.

(Of course, back then a megabyte was 1024 KB. We're at a point now where a few billion bytes is just a rounding error. But who's counting?)

Any wagers on when the first 1 PB hard drive will show up?

Last edited by Joe Perez; 12-01-2009 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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damn 150 bucks for 2 terabytes!
its amazing how much prices are coming down, and capability is coming up.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:41 PM   #3
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want level: extreme.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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Where did you buy? That's a great price!
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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I just got one of these in a 2TB version: Buffalo Technology - Products - LinkStation Pro Duo™

I plugged it into my router and can access it from all my computers or any pc with an internet connection. I have it set up in RAID1 configuration so I really only have 1TB of storage, but should one of the HDs go out I have a mirrored backup at all times. I can also network any printer to it or add more space using the 2 USB ports on the back.

It was $289 shipped from amazon.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Single drive PB isn't going to happen on a HDD platter. In fact even though a 2TB drive seems monstrous, HDDs are one of the slowest progressing parts of a pc technology wise. Both in capacity and speed. The future will be in something with non-moving parts.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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Im holding out for quantum computers
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotorNutFD3S View Post
Where did you buy? That's a great price!
Got it from NewEgg: Newegg.com - HITACHI Deskstar 0F10311 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

It's not the cheapest 2TB drive out there- both Seagate and WD have 2TB units for $140. But I've been having nothing but wonderful experiences with IBM / HGST since I bought a 10 gig DeskStar many years ago, so why change?

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Single drive PB isn't going to happen on a HDD platter. In fact even though a 2TB drive seems monstrous,
Agreed, I wasn't sure we'd ever reach this point. But Moore's Law seems to apply to hard drives as well, and there's no indication that the pace is slowing.


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HDDs are one of the slowest progressing parts of a pc technology wise. Both in capacity and speed. The future will be in something with non-moving parts.
Well, yes and no.

I agree that for laptops, we're probably in the terminal stage of magnetic storage. Lower power consumption, less heat, better shock resistance. And SSDs are starting to get big and cheap. At least in relative terms. But for desktop and server applications, I think that platters have a lot of life left in 'em.

For one, there's still a staggering price gap. The $150 I spent would only get me 32-64 GB worth of SSD. That's thirty to sixty times more expensive per unit capacity, and those are the uber-cheap ones. The big-name SSDs in that price range are 16 GB. And I really don't have room in my little mini-ATX case for sixty SSDs. And a 128 GB SSD is not twice as expensive as a 64 GB device. More like 3x to 4x. They're still following the CPU pricing scheme. By comparison, a 2TB hard drive is only about 1.25x to 1.5x the cost of a 1TB drive, and on down the line.

And second, there's speed. Yeah, SSDs have incredibly fast read times. But their write times are still pretty lethargic. This is an architectural problem. With any storage device, before you can do a write, you have to do an erase. No big deal with a hard drive. But SSDs require that erase cycles happen in relative large blocks, several megabytes in most cases. So if you want to write a few k of data to the device, the controller first has to read a whole block into memory, then erase the block, then re-write the block with the new data added in. As a result, the overall performance of an SSD in a typical application tends to be many times slower than a hard disk.

We'll get there eventually, I'm sure. Just not soon.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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I bought that same one from newegg last week for 159 instead but with a $30 mail in rebate.

It's going into my Windows Home Server which is at 2.29tb right now. I had a media server with a bunch of drives but decided to get Home Server for some redundancy. Works great so far and I can even stream directly from it which I didn't expect with an Atom in it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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SSD tech is changing very rapidly. Much faster than platter tech. Look into NAND stacking and more specifically Intel's recent breakthrough in phase change memory. Intel touts NAND-killer breakthrough ? The Register

Also, a block in flash memory is never as large as MB. If you into it you will find that usually a Block is 64-256KB and made up of Pages that are 512B-2KB. I have not yet seen or used a flash that can't do Page level operations.

For HDD SSD's they have gotten a bad rep for a long time for their speed. The issue largely was because they were all using a siliconimage controller chip that was never designed for the application in the first place. Now the "high end" ones are using a purpose built controller and are achieving write speeds at or better than the best HDDs and read speeds that can nearly saturate the SATA bus when being read sequentially.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:04 PM   #11
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I'm still hoping that the hard drive will go away. I hate them. They're the slowest part of a computer and the most unreliable. If the first PB media is a hard drive, I'm gonna be pissed. SSDs are a start. I still drool over the PCIe 1TB SSD. If it wasn't thousands of dollars, I'd buy it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #12
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So Joe, did you mean to misspell "yesterday" or what?
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:48 PM   #13
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Here's a nice graphic on how media storage has evolved (via Giz):


I never realized an eight-track was named as such b/c it held 8 tracks. LoL

Chris
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #14
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I wouldn't expect to see PB in any consumer form for at least another 15-20 years.

HDD's are getting crazy cheap and large capacity. Picked up my 1TB external WD for $100 about 4 months ago.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
So Joe, did you mean to misspell "yesterday" or what?
Damn pesky mods always changing people's thread titles and avatars...


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Originally Posted by neogenesis2004 View Post
SSD tech is changing very rapidly.
Agreed. And it will continue rapidly to evolve in size, speed, reliability, etc. I just think that in higher-end applications, the platter will be around for a while. Just look at how long it took for hard drives to become standard in home PCs, displacing tape and floppies. About 10 years. And hard drives had been around in "big" computers for 30 years before that.

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Also, a block in flash memory is never as large as MB. If you into it you will find that usually a Block is 64-256KB and made up of Pages that are 512B-2KB. I have not yet seen or used a flash that can't do Page level operations.
"As Flash SSDs have gotten faster and larger, erase blocks have grown as well. Flash erase blocks used to be 16K in length. Now they are 1 Megabyte for small SSDs extending up to as large as 4 Megabytes for some models."

Source: http://managedflash.com/news/papers/...rmance-art.pdf

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Originally Posted by neogenesis2004 View Post
Now the "high end" ones are using a purpose built controller and are achieving write speeds at or better than the best HDDs and read speeds that can nearly saturate the SATA bus when being read sequentially.
I've been following SSD technology semi-closely, mostly because I intend to replace the HD in my laptop with one just as soon as they are fast / cheap / reliable enough. I haven't seen any benchmarks as yet that lead me to believe this is the case. The problem, for me, is that I use my laptop to run a couple of big database applications which are hugely write-intensive. They're slow enough as it is, without my adding further bottlenecks.



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I'm still hoping that the hard drive will go away. I hate them. They're the slowest part of a computer and the most unreliable. If the first PB media is a hard drive, I'm gonna be pissed. SSDs are a start. I still drool over the PCIe 1TB SSD. If it wasn't thousands of dollars, I'd buy it.
Agreed, I don't much care for them. There's an old saw (from the early 90s) that goes something to the effect that hard drives used to be slow, expensive and unreliable, but today, they are fast, cheap and unreliable.

But, to paraphrase a political joke, hard drives are the worst mainstream storage technology currently available, except for all the other ones.


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I wouldn't expect to see PB in any consumer form for at least another 15-20 years.
Maybe.

I think that the technology to make it happen will be available. I mean, consumer-grade hard drives went from 100 megs to 1 gig in about 5 years, from 1 gig to 100 gig in another 5, and from 100 gig to 1 TB (ter?) in roughly 6. And all the while, they've gotten smaller and contained fewer platters. The actual increase in storage density (bytes / cm2) has grown much faster than that.

OTOH, I'm not sure if there will be a demand for it. We're now at the point where I can store more HD video on a drive than I can watch in several months. Perhaps if a technology (by which I mean more of a legal and contractual evolution than hardware) comes along which makes the concept of going to the store and buying (or renting) a physical thing with a movie on it totally obsolete, then it'll become necessary to have PB-level storage. Microsoft and Netflix are making good strides in that direction, but critical mass is still a way off.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 12-02-2009 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:51 AM   #16
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So that was you?
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:57 AM   #17
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I think demand not technology will be the reason for the slow down. I just can't see consumer users needing 1PB or more within 15 years. With high def video he need for more storage increased pretty rapidly, but I don't see audio or any other formats getting much more dense in that time frame. Can you even imagine needing 1000TB for your home computer? I feel like I have a pretty damn large need of space and I can't even manage to fill my 1TB external storage drive. Like I said, I don't see audio getting much more dense, nor for image formats, maybe video will take another few leaps in that time, but surely not on that scale.

I also don't see any current storage technology capable of it. I know it will be along one day in the near future. Either way, I give it at least 15 years, if not quite a bit more before you start seeing 1PB-2PB drives like you are currently seeing TB. Then again, I also think the next 15 years will be very interesting times for technology. Computers may not even exist like they do today.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:00 AM   #18
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Is the "Deskstar" still considered the "Deathstar" in terms of reliability?
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
I think demand not technology will be the reason for the slow down. I just can't see consumer users needing 1PB or more within 15 years. With high def video he need for more storage increased pretty rapidly, but I don't see audio or any other formats getting much more dense in that time frame. Can you even imagine needing 1000TB for your home computer? I feel like I have a pretty damn large need of space and I can't even manage to fill my 1TB external storage drive. Like I said, I don't see audio getting much more dense, nor for image formats, maybe video will take another few leaps in that time, but surely not on that scale.

I also don't see any current storage technology capable of it. I know it will be along one day in the near future. Either way, I give it at least 15 years, if not quite a bit more before you start seeing 1PB-2PB drives like you are currently seeing TB. Then again, I also think the next 15 years will be very interesting times for technology. Computers may not even exist like they do today.
Funny, IBM would have called you crazy if you thought every person in the world would have a "Personal Computer" 20 years ago. They also shot down the "mouse", who would ever use a device called a mouse. Go figure...

The fact of the matter is that as storage, both ram and hdd, increases in size the programs that run on them will be created larger and larger in size to provide more functionality.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:11 AM   #20
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Is the "Deskstar" still considered the "Deathstar" in terms of reliability?
I had both my 30gig Deskstars **** the bed on the same box a couple of months apart. Second disk failed JUST after the first disk was replaced on RMA. I was not pleased. Last time I ran a RAID0 configuration.
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