Since the inception of the 8-14 inch plates known as hard disk drives in 1956, potential density of storage on this classical and familiar media has been increasing exponentially.
Our friends at Western Digital and HGST are currently shipping their latest “monster drive”. It’s the helium filled Ultrastar He8. It still uses the now standard perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology, but manages to squeeze 8TBs of data onto the metallic plates. But that’s not the end! They also announced a new 10TB drive, which will use a new technology called shingled magnetic recording (SMR).This will definitely open the floodgates on spinning media capacity!
Seagate, the company that introduced the first 5.25 inches drive back in the 80’s also has a new non-helium 8TB drive. We don’t know if they are also working on SMR or any new technology.
I know some of you data junkies will be drooling by now, thinking about the amount of photos and movies that you will be able to download and keep, but unfortunately, this technology is more suited for continuous writing and erasing of data, or handling “Big” data, than the handling of typical applications. We will have to wait and see what the future brings... Still, this means new life and a bright future for HDDs. Definitely Western Digital is making sure that spinning media is not dead!
The world today is one of constant capacity concerns and storage systems that are bulging at the seams. Western Digital and their new classic drive are helping us loosen that belt up one more notch.