back to article Seagate: We'll bring down HAMR in 2014 ... this year, you get shingles

Seagate aims to ship enhanced capacity shingled magnetic recording (SMR) disk drives later this year and bring in Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology next year, a full two years earlier than supposed. Possibly this is its riposte to the helium gas attack mounted by WD subsidiary HGST. Shingled magnetic recording …

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Coat

Pimental said SMR drives would be introduced later this year, and enable a 20 - 25 per cent areal density increase. Taking a 4TB 3.5-inch drive and giving it an SMR upgrade would bump capacity up to 4.8TB to 5TB.

Thanks for working out what 20 and 25% of 4TB is for me ;-)

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Megaphone

with Breather Hole in HDDs ... how come Helium fill !?!

with Breather Hole in all HDDs ... how come Helium will stay in there unless they remove breather hole ... how will drive breath then !?! .. or it wont need it then !?! ... then why now they need !?!

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I for one

will be avoiding SMR drives like the plague, or rather the crappy idea that they are.

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SMR has its uses

If your use case is almost always one write, hardly any modify and lots of reads then SMR is fine. The obvious example is a DVD collection. As long as it is clearly marked, I am happy with SMR for certain applications.

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Boffin

Re: SMR has its uses

Not to mention the rather obvious use-case of putting SMR into a hybrid flash drive which it seems perfect for.

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Re: SMR has its uses

Yes, SMR plus a big flash cache managed by the drive firmware sounds very plausible. I can't help observing that Seagate is the company that springs to mind in connection with flash-cache drives.

Also yes, one will need to be very careful that if one is doing server-style things with desktop rather than enterprise drives, one doesn't accidentally buy an SMR drive. (I have visions of someone replacing a 2Tb drive in a RAID-5 array with a newer one that uses SMR. Ooops! ).

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Thumb Down

Seagate and Western Digital Drives are shit.....

Years ago, you could get 5 or 10 years out of a drive....

Now they are all dead and dying within 12 months....

In terms of "ultra data density drives" (TM me) - they are not worth shit if they are dropping dead like flies because they have no fucking quality control.

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Meh

You must have bought a bad batch. It happens.

Other folks aren't having the same problem. It would be the number one story in the tech press if they were.

Did you buy all your drives in one batch? (Or all the PCs containing the drives in one batch? ) If so, the likely explanation is that all the drives are the same production batch, which contained a defective component. If PCs were cars, there would have been a recall.

Talk hard with the supplier. You need all the non-failed drives in the batch replaced a.s.a.p. and it should not be at your expense. (Although you're probably better biting that bullet anyway, if the drives are out of warranty and the PC vendor has gone out of business).

At my workplace we buy a couple of hundred PCs every year, and the reliability we've seen hasn't changed noticeably over the last five years.

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Re: Seagate and Western Digital Drives are shit.....

5 years maybe - 10 years hasn't been feasible in quite a long time (at least not 10 years of 24/7 use, which is how I use my computers.) If you're experiencing a lot of disk failures, it very well could be your fault - running drives at high temperatures or in a high-vibration environment will significantly reduce their life span, so if you want them to last, make sure they've got air flow and proper mounts.

In any case, it's a bit irrelevant, because after 5 years a drive is comparatively tiny and slow, to the point where it's not worth really keeping around any more. And it's certainly past the point where you should trust it to keep working.

If you're trusting your data to a single drive, you're just asking to lose it, regardless of drive quality or durability - you must have redundancy and backups if you even remotely care about keeping your data safe.

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I would like

much more emphasis on quality than size. That is why I'll be sticking to much smaller drives.

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Boffin

Re: I would like

For warrantied quality, buy enterprise-grade drives. They do cost about twice as much as bog-standard desktop ones, though. Personally I'd much prefer two drives mirrored - one made by WD and the other by Seagate, so as to minimize the chance of both coming from the same defective batch. But that's not an option in a laptop.

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Re: I would like

@Nigel 11

not my experience. See <http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/02/10/dell_perc_11th_gen_qualified_hdds_only/#c_691865>.

I'm not sure mirroring with different drives is a good idea. I thought they spindle synced and to do that they should be same maker/model - I'm very probably wrong though.

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Anonymous Coward

So their message is...

Don't stop yet. It's not quite HAMRtime.

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Go

Avoiding HD failure

Bad batches are unavoidable, but all in all, my experience with current drives, compared to drive of 10 and 15 years ago, is similar. I for one, never lost a single drive in 20 years. This is why:

1- Every drives have its fan. I never ran a drive without a fan, period. Never saw a temperature over 35C-38C, even under heavy usage condition, even for 10K RPM raptor drives. In normal usage, the temps are never over 5C to 10C above ambient.

2- Power supply with very clean output. I've been exclusively using Seasonic power supplies for a long time now. They are king of the hill. Seriously, noting comes close. (just take a look at JonnyGURU review of the X-560 gold for example, you won't regret this great read) and used either Antec or Enermax before. Clean electric supply goes a long way preserving your electronics.

3- UPS to avoid wild electrical fluctuation. Again, help a lot not to hammer your electronic component with out of spec electric input or sudden power cut and then immediately goes back up way too high.

4- My drives in my server and SAN are mounted on rubber support to reduce vibration. In a corporate environment (as opposed as industrial environment) this is less critical than the first 3 point, but still help.

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