I can think back to the time when I was but a small boy, playing my Commodore 64 being enthralled at playing such classic titles as Daley Thompson’s Decathlon and Manic Mansion. I always wondered how many games I would end up with. What’s the latest game all my mates are playing? The sad fact of the matter is that all of the games came on magnetic data storage tape. I hated waiting for the games to load, didn’t you? The size of your game collection depended upon the storage capacity of your bedroom!
Today the story is very different indeed; we find our media upon all sorts of devices, from standard desktop SATA HDD’s to SSD’s and USB Flash Media and all things in between. Storage media seems to be forever increasing in volume and in technological advances, as the latest offering from HGST (formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) shows. They have unveiled the first 6TB hard drive, claiming it as the world’s highest capacity disk with low operating costs for data centre applications such as cloud storage and massive scale-out environments. (Not designed for your average game collection, then?)
The 6TB Ultrastar He6 drives are helium filled units based on HGST’s HelioSeal technology. They partly owe their large capacity to the fact that the firm has managed to cram seven disk platters rather than five into the standard 1in high form factor for 3.5in drives,
HelioSeal sees the air inside the hard drive replaced with helium, which is less dense and so reduces the turbulence caused by the spinning disks, cuts power consumption and leads to reduced frictional heating, according to HGST. A side effect of this is that the drive is hermetically sealed, opening up the possibility of the Ultrastar He6 drives being able to support being submerged in non-conductive fluid for liquid cooling applications. The Ultrastar He6 line is available in versions with either a 6Gbps SATA or 6Gbps SAS host interface, with a quoted mean time before failure (MTBF) of 2 million hours, according to HGST.
Things have come a long way since the storage capacity of magnetic tape data storage, haven’t they?