back to article Behold our SPINNING DATA GRAVE: WD carts out 6.3TB cold storage drive

Western Digital’s WD has paralleled its HGST sibling and introduced an archive drive – but with just 6.3TB of capacity compared to HGST’s 10TB, 8TB and 6TB drives. Er, what? WD is branding its new drive the Ae, standing for, we think A(rchiv)e, and so moving away from its colours-focussed branding with Red, Green, Blue and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 'colours' naming convention is for home/desktop use. WD enterprise SATA have a different naming convention. They already have RE and SE drives.

    1. Chris McFaul

      Re, Se and Xe... so Ae fits in nicely with its business focused offerings.

      And the article forgot "purple" from the WD rainbow too...

      and 500,000 MTBF is operational hours, and i imagine the usages scenario for this drive is that it is designed to be "off" for quite a proportion of the time

  2. Richard Boyce

    Ae

    Perhaps Ae for Aeon?

  3. Andy Barker

    Short warranty for Archive drive?

    Sounds odd giving a 3 year warranty for a drive aimed at archiving. If they sold an archive drive with a 10+ year warranty, that'd be more like it.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

      The creeping storage capacity also seems peculiar. There should be some predictability and consistency with regards to parts, especially if you are going to be swapping out parts as they fail or become obsolete.

      The .1 TB capacity improvement is nowhere near as valuable as having consistent replaceable components.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Creeping capacity

        If it matters for your application, you just use 6.0 TB of it. Some applications don't care, so they get a bit more capacity for "free".

        I doubt they're really improving density though. More likely they're making them better so they don't map out as many tracks during the factory formatting and/or have fewer tracks reserved against failures? Be interested to know a bit more detail why this drive would be gaining 5% capacity over nine months.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

      Sounds odd giving a 3 year warranty for a drive aimed at archiving. If they sold an archive drive with a 10+ year warranty, that'd be more like it.

      You can get optical media with a 100-year warranty ... for all the good that does. If you find the disk isn't readable after 99 years they're hardly going to hop into the Tardis and go back and make another copy!

      The point of a warranty in these cases is to give you some feeling for the manufacturer's confidence (or their insurers' confidence) in the longevity of the product. The fact that hard drives are available with 5-year warranties doesn't encourage me to choose a drive with only a 3-year warranty for long-term storage.

      1. DJ Smiley

        Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

        .... you've just agreed with the OP. Anyway 5yr used to be the standard for warranty I'd look for, for at least a desktop system that's getting harder and harder.

        I'm starting to wonder if we will see warranties which depend on time drive has been running rather than clock time. Warranty for 500,000 hrs run time would be far more trusted than it can sit in a box for 3 years and be fine!.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

          I'm starting to wonder if we will see warranties which depend on time drive has been running rather than clock time. Warranty for 500,000 hrs run time would be far more trusted than it can sit in a box for 3 years and be fine!.

          That reminds me of old Convergent MegaFrame that needed a swift kick on the case (or gentle whack with rubber mallet to side of the disk if your were in better mood) for the disk to start spinning. Some issue with lubcrication on the drives if they were powered off long enough to cool down completely. Think the drives were Micropolis or Maxtor but been a quite a while so I may recall the make completely wrong.

          1. Jan 0

            Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

            Quantum/Maxtor/Seagate Fireball. A quick twist of the case was a lot kinder than banging it.

        2. toughluck

          Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

          500,000 hours? Wow, that's really a lot. It's nearly 21,000 days and almost equal to 57 years constant run time. I don't think there's any piece of IT equipment that could claim that long run time.

          1. quartzie

            Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

            Unfortunately, that number is only the theoretical Mean Time Between Failures. Although it may sound confidently optimistic, WD castrated the idea by offering a paltry 3 year warranty on your archive drives.

            Surely they must have another business case for this model?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

      Yeah I worry about the Helium, it has a neat trick of being able to leak out of confined spaces.

      1. toughluck

        Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

        Not a neat trick. Just partial pressure. It's just that Helium has very small particles and there is so little of it in the atmosphere that for practical purposes, it's vacuum for Helium (and vice-versa, Helium-filled spaces are vacuum for all other gases).

        As for neat tricks, it does have superfluid properties at extremely low temperatures, but while it's cool (pun intended), that is a frequently misunderstood phenomenon; do look up superfluidity.

  4. DJ Smiley

    You've got to laugh...

    Archive quality....

    Long storage....

    3 year warranty..... :(

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ae, standing for

    Argon eon, in perfect alignment with this year's trends :/

  6. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    WD behind Hitachi

    given WD owns hitachi hard to see how they could be behind them.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Older tech

    We created a monolithic storage technology some time ago and installed it terrestrial subsurface, with another backup on a local satellite rock.

    Lasted for ages until some local monkey developed enough to use tools, then the little fuckers broke it up for nut splitters.

    1. Ol' Grumpy

      Re: Older tech

      Love it - have an up vote :)

  8. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    WD reliability?

    Sorry to say that with my experience with WD over the last few years, I'm not optimistic about the longevity of these. Sounds like a 6TB mass grave for data. If you're going to buy these, I'd buy at least two and mirror them. YMMV (your mileage may vary)

    1. Grunchy

      Re: WD reliability?

      Back it up onto CDs!

      Oh - right.

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