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back to article HGST pushes out bulk storage spinner with 5 power-sipping settings

HGST has produced a bulk storage disk drive that sips power like a miser. It is for the bulk storage of cool data and has five power-using states. The MegaScale DC 4000.B is a 4TB, 3.5-inch format drive, and HGST says it "uses up to 45 per cent less operating power and 29 per cent reduced idle power when compared to current 4TB …

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Will price reflect the reduced lifetime?

So it has ~1/3 lifetime (depending on the metric). Will it cost 1/3 of equivalent decent drive? Somehow I doubt it. Would need to have insane quantities of the drives for the power saving to offset the cost of replacing drives more often.

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Give and take away

Large bulk storage is usually used for long periods, so I'd have expected a longer or at least the mtbf instead of shorter.

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MTBF

I would guess the shorter lifespan comes from cycling the spindle speed up and down more often: it's virtually always when a drive is power-cycled that it dies, rather than while it's sitting there spinning at a constant speed for days. Just like a laptop, slowing or stopping the drive will save power, but shorten the drive's life.

Lower power/heat would be appealing for a big array: a smaller/cheaper power supply per drive shelf, less cooling cost per rack, a smaller/cheaper UPS/generator etc. It's not just shaving a few % off the electricity bill for the drive itself. I get the impression a lot of big installations have a lot of "cold" data where even a 7200rpm SATA drive is excessive, but the latency of tape would still be a deal-breaker.

I wonder if they could do a bigger version, like the old Quantum Bigfoot 5.25" HDDs? Pack 10 or 20 Tb in a single unit, with slower access times - we've moved the other way, to 3.5" and now 2.5" drives to get faster and faster access times, but in some cases a slower bulk HDD is just what the doctor ordered.

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