Is there gold in 16TB HDD?
On June 26, Seagate launched galaxy Exos X16 series 16TB enterprise helium hard disk in Beijing, marking the first official launch of the industry's largest hard disk in China.
Why do disk manufacturers release large disks at the same time?
It is easy to understand that the growth of mass data will inevitably lead to the demand for mass data storage. But it is not desirable to increase capacity to meet demand due to cost.
In America，AWS, Google and other large data centers will give priority to purchasing large-capacity hard disks with consideration of dollar cost per TB, which is not just for disks but also for power, cooling and space in the data center.
The new 16TB hard disk has higher storage capacity and 10-20% system TCO optimizations compared to 8TB products. Seagate's long-term partner Inspur ,China's leading cloud computing and big data service provider, firstly adopt galaxy Exos X16 series 16TB enterprise helium hard disk in the world.
But for hard disk makers like Seagate, achieving 16TB is not a piece of cake because Moore's law is slowing down and the post-Moore law era is approaching.
New technological breakthroughs are required in order to achieve a larger disk capacity. At present, there are some technologies to choose such as SMR (shingled magnetic recording), HAMR (Heat Assisted magnetic recording) and MAMR (Microwave Assisted magnetic recording) and so on.
Disk manufacturers simultaneously trace these technological developments while their emphasis on market positioning is not the same. The new galaxy Exos X16 series 16TB enterprise helium hard drives use CMR technology, which is targeted at enterprise, cloud and super-large scale data center users.
In the interview, Seagate also positioned SMR technology in the PC market and HAMR in the enterprise market. Sai Varanasi, vice President of product line marketing for Seagate technologies, said HAMR would increase storage capacity by about 30 percent per year.
SMR, HAMR and MAMR have their own strengths and weaknesses with different emphasis. But for users, there is no need to worry about the technology itself; the important thing is the cost of purchasing and using.
Take HAMR as an example, the existence of laser thermal assistance which has specific requirements for the disc medium was converted to selling price.
SSDS have coveted disks for a long time, while there are a gap of $/TB in SSDS, which leaves space for disks. For SSD, $/TB is not only a technical and manufacturing factor, but also a factor of capacity and marketing strategy.
Sun Dan, global vice President and China President of Seagate technologies, said in the interview that the price difference between HDD and SSD is impossible to approach in the short term, such as10 years. Since HDD drives are also being innovated, HAMR is still increasing by 30% per year, so $/TB will be lower and lower. SSD technology will bring the price down, but it will not be the same. For the data center, HDD hard disk will be the mainstream due to cost.
According to Ms. Sun, the biggest challenge is for end users to decide where their algorithms, applications and data reside, and for the enterprise to balance its costs with its data value and future growth of the business. Seagate will continue to innovate with ecological partners to meet the different needs of customers, providing customers with high-performance and high-capacity products, helping customers get more value from data, and meet the challenges brought by the explosion of data in the IT4.0 era.
How long will the gap last? 10 years, 20 years, or forever. SSD technology is developing from 2D to 3D, SLC to QLC; Compared to disk technology is also developing from CMR to SMR, HAMR and MAMR. Which runs faster? I'm afraid no one can tell! Isn't it?
Ten thousand years is too long, seize the day! From this perspective, Seagate's 16TB disk is a good choice! If you can make full use of new technology, it is real gold!
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