I still remember the days of HDDs being in the megabytes category, but moving into GBs was a big thing... TBs now seem like nothing with cloud storage, and storage giant, Western Digital, is pushing the bar much, much higher.
At a Chinese trade show, the storage company demonstrated its new heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology, which should pave the way for some massive increases in HDD storage. HAMR was first developed by WD's rival, Seagate, but WD believes it can hit five times the areal density of current drives using its spin on the HAMR tech.
Right now, the highest density HDDs have an areal density of around 750 gigabits per inch, but HAMR could expand this out to a whopping 4 terabits per inch. To you and me, this means we could see 60TB drives within the next couple of years. The way that HAMR works is by heating the hard disk's surface with a laser while the magnetic head is recording data, which causes the data bits to shrink, thus, increasing areal density.
This, mixed with nanotube lubrication, allows the magnetic head to get much closer to the surface. This means that HAMR-based HDDs could be just as reliable as standard drives, but with much more data.
Today Team Group announced the launch of a new line of high-performance solid state drives. The all new Dark L3 SSDs are based on a 2.5-inch form factor and are designed to provide the extreme performance that today's PC enthusiast demands. The new Dark L3 drives are available in three capacities, including 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB.
The new Dark L3 drives are said to feature read speeds of up to 550MB/s and 450MB/s write speeds based on the company's own testing using ATTO Disk Benchmark. Team says that the new Dark L3 SSDs measure in at 7mm thick, and can handle 35,000 random operations per second. Pricing for the drives starts at just $65 and increases to $200 for the 240GB drive.
Today, Toshiba announced the launch of its next-generation wireless SD storage media. The new FlashAir II series of wireless SD cards are designed to allow users to share images, videos, files wireless. Available in capacities up to 32GB, the cards feature a class 10 rating to ensure that they are HD Video compatible.
The cards feature a built-in Wi-Fi adapter that allows the card to function as its own access point which allows any Wi-Fi connected device to access the data stored on the SD card. Additionally, a built-in "Internet pass-through" feature allows the images to be uploaded to popular cloud and image sharing services in real-time as they are taken. The Card is also capable of being accessed by up to seven devices at once. The company's free FlashAir mobile app enables sharing with Android and iOS devices as well. MSRP is set to $79.99 for the 16GB model and $99.99 for the 32GB model.
Earlier this morning, Western Digital announced the expansion of its My Cloud line of personal storage solutions with the release of the all new My Cloud EX4 NAS. This new offering features a 4-bay design that can support up to four 4TB drives for a total storage capacity of 16TB.
The new My Cloud EX4 NAS is available as an empty unit, or can be purchased with 8TB, 12TB and 16TB of Western Digital Red hard drives pre-installed. The device also features two USB 3.0 expansion ports that allow users to connect two additional external hard drives to expand their networked storage past 16TB. The unit is hot-swap ready and features Western Digital's Easy-Slide-Drive technology.
"The reception for our recently introduced My Cloud personal cloud platform was extremely positive," said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups. "Our single drive My Cloud system is the perfect solution for users that want an easy and private way to store all of their data at home and then share, save and manage it from anywhere in the world, on any device. Expanding our My Cloud platform to a four-bay system delivers the advanced features, customization capability and capacity that many of our customers are looking for."
The EX4 provides users with RAID 0,1,5,10 and JBOD modes to ensure that customers needs and data redundancy are thoroughly covered. Windows customers can utilize the WD SmartWare Pro software to backup all of their PCs to the EX4, and Mac users are able to utilize all the features of Apple's Time Machine backup software with the My Cloud EX4. The device is available now and retails for $379.99 for a drive-less version, or $799.99, $949.99, and $1149.99 for the 8TB, 12TB, and 16TB models respectively.
Today Seagate announced that its Samsung HDD division has began shipping the all new Spinpoint M9T, a 2.5-inch HDD that measures in at just 9.5mm thick. This makes its the worlds thinnest 2TB HDD. The drive is targeted at OEMs of ultra-thin devices such as UltraBooks, Ultra-thin notebooks, and other portable devices needing large amounts of storage space.
"The M9T combines the highest areal density shipping in a single storage device with an innovative design that fits into mainstream notebook applications. While other 2TB are solutions on the market are 15 mm thick, the vast majority of mobile devices are designed to use a 9.5 mm drive; with the M9T, those devices can now have 2TB of storage, enabling a richer computing experience," said Dave Frankovich, senior product line manager, Samsung HDD.
The Samsung Spinpoint M9T features a SATA 6Gb/s interface and Microactuation that provides for fast, consistent performance. NoiseGuard and SilentSeek technologies have been utilized to ensure a quiet experience while maintaining ultra-fast performance. The Spinpoint M9T is available now, but no pricing information was provided at the time of this writing.
Registration is now open for the 2014 Storage Visions conference taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 5th-6th, just two days before CES 2014. Storage Visions is the premier conference to meet and hear from the top innovators in the data storage industry, and allows attendees to network with the companies who will create the next generation of hardware and software storage solutions.
Storage Visions is a 2-day information packed experience including numerous keynotes, sessions, as well as exhibits showcasing the latest technology in the storage exosphere. Attendees who sign up early by using the source link below will receive $100 off of their registration for a limited time. TweakTown will be out in full force at Storage Visions recording interviews from all of the major players in the industry, and I will be personally covering all of the new and exciting products in the exhibit booths. Stay tuned for TweakTown for full coverage of the event and all things storage related!
This morning the SD Association announced the all new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) alongside a new designation symbol to identify products capable of recording 4K2K videos. This new speed class and symbol will be featured exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.
"The world's favorite SD memory card continues to evolve and meet shifting industry needs," said Brian Kumagai, president of the SD Association. "Our new UHS Speed Class 3 standard will give consumers and businesses more flexibility and capability as the market shifts to 4K2K video formats. Both SDXC and SDHC memory card standards already offer the massive storage needed to support 4K2k video with enough room to store photos, music, documents and other data on a single portable card."
The new UHS U3 compatible SD cards will feature a lightening fast 30Mb/second sustained minimum write speed which is critical when shooting ultra high resolution 4K2K video. This new speed standard will also facilitate faster write times in high-megapixel DSLR cameras as well as high-bitrate audio recording devices. New devices offering the UHS Speed Class 3 will be backwards compatible and will work with existing SD memory cards.
Astute delivers all-flash arrays focused on the mid-tier markets. While flashier companies look to supply the upper tier of the market, Astute supplies compelling solutions with a low TCO. Astute addresses education, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors in need of faster storage.
Astute provides a low cost of ownership with the best dollars to IOPS ratio and price per GB ratio attainable from an all-flash storage solution. They also boast the highest iSCSI IOPS per Dollar ratio in the industry from their ViSX appliances. For Astute, the importance of correctly calculating the TCO of the storage solution is paramount. In many cases, administrators do not consider other hidden expenses, such as administration and training costs. The result of poor management and training can be unnecessary downtime, which only creates a snowball effect the directly affects business productivity.
By delivering a non-disruptive solution that is complementary of the existing infrastructure, organizations can save incredible amounts of money and realize enhanced performance to boot. Astute has released a whitepaper, available here, that covers the hidden costs of deploying an all-flash solution.
Earlier today, I reported on OCZ's stock taking a nosedive earlier today which saw the stock dip by almost 40-percent. While company stocks rising and falling is the nature of the stock exchange, it is quite unusual for a company to not release a statement in times of extreme fluctuations such as what OCZ saw today, and we are left wondering what is going on.
"OCZ has been dogged by liquidity/solvency fears for some time. The company ended its August quarter with just $10.6m in cash, in spite of raising $13.1M during the quarter. It has also declined to provide November quarter guidance, citing "uncertainties in being able to procure forecasted flash amounts and credit constraints," read an email alert from investor advisement website, Seeking Alpha.
While it is still unclear what is going on, we do know that OCZ is in the midst of major financial troubles and todays dip represents a new 52 week low for the SSD manufacturer. The dip down to $0.65 per share equates to more than 6x OCZ's daily average and the only thing I see happening from this is the company filing bankruptcy within the next week or two. I have dispatched an email to OCZ requesting a comment on today's market decline and have yet to receive a reply, I will update this post if and when more information comes in.
Western Digital is warning owners of its hard drives that upgrading to Apple's OS X Mavericks might not be a good idea right now, warning of data loss when upgrading to Apple's freshly released operating system.
It affects WD's Drive Manager, Raid Manager or SmartWare applications are installed. The company e-mailed its customers after it had noticed its support forum go crazy with users reporting data loss after upgrading to Mavericks with the aforementioned applications installed. WD says if users uninstall the applications, then they are safe to upgrade to Mavericks, without losing their data.
If you've already made the jump and suited up for Mavericks, then you should remove those applications immediately to ensure your data is safe. There's a fix on the way, but it's not here yet.
This morning Transcend announced the release of two new high-capacity USB flash drives in 64GB capacities. The new JetFlash 770 is a USB 3.0 compatible flash drive that features a innovative capless design. With a capacity of 64GB, the JetFlash 770 is capable of housing 30,000 images 23 hours of DVD quality video or 16,000 MP3 audio files.
The JetFlash 770 features a USB 3.0 interface that provides transfer speeds up to 80MB/s which means that file transfers will be quick and painless. The new Jetflash 520 is also available in 64GB capacity and is the epitome of luxury USB flash drives. The drive is constructed out of a single solid piece of metal, and is fully water-resistant while maintaining an excellent shock and vibration resistance. The JetFlash 520 features a USB 2.0 interface, but does come in silver or gold plated versions. Both new drives are available now and retail at an MSRP of $69.
Earlier today, Toshiba announced a new SSD from its Storage Products Business. The new PX02SS is a new 2.5-inch enterprise-grade solid state drive that is available in capacities up to 800GB. Toshiba says that this new SSD is designed for various write-intensive enterprise applications and is an ideal solution for large workloads.
The new PX02SS is built around a 12Gb/second interface with select models utilizing self-encrypting technology. Toshiba says that the drive is capable of supporting up to 30 full drive writes per day, and that features a layered error code correction approach which improves reliability.
"Toshiba's unique integrated SSD design and manufacturing capability ensures that key components of the SSD, including NAND flash, are designed by Toshiba," said Don Jeanette, senior director of product marketing at Toshiba Storage Products Business Unit. "Component and design commonality reduces qualification time for our customers and reflects Toshiba's partner-driven approach to SSD design and manufacturing, helping our customers save time and money."
Today, HGST announced that it has managed to ship more than 100 million Travelstar Z-series 7mm 2.5-inch hard drives this year and expects demand to rise to more than 140 million units by 2017. Seeing the demand for large storage capacities in ultra-thin mobile devices, HGST has launched a new 7mm 2.5-inch HDD with a capacity of 1TB.
The new Travelstar Z5K1000 drive is said to be the industry's fastest 7mm 5400 RPM HDD and features best-in-class shock robustness. The Z5K1000 is designed for use in ultra-thin laptops, ultrabooks, external storage and ultra-compact CE devices. Featuring 2 platters, the Travelstar Z5K1000 family features 1.6 watts (W) read/write power and 0.5W low-power idle, and delivers a nearly silent operation at 2.1 idle/2.2 seek bels.
"The 7.0 mm 2.5-inch mobile market continues to be a strategic space for HGST as evidenced by our record 100M shipments," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST. "With the addition of our new 1TB Travelstar Z5K1000, HGST continues to offer the market's broadest 5,400 and 7,200 RPM 7.0 mm 2.5-inch hard drive portfolio to meet the needs of a diverse mobile computing and storage segment."
"Hard drives will remain the mass storage vehicle of choice, having the best cost-per-GB ratio of any storage medium on the market," said Fang Zhang, analyst, storage systems, IHS. "Also, as consumers create and consume more and more digital content, the need for additional storage becomes essential. Because of this, 7 mm HDDs, especially HGST's 1TB Travelstar Z5K1000, will continue to play a major role in the thin and light device segment moving forward."
Today ASUSTOR announced that its line of NAS storage devices are now fully compatible with over 100 different Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) devices in the PowerWalker line from BlueWalker. ASUSTOR says that the integration of PowerWalker UPS' with its NAS systems allows SOHO and small business users greater flexibility and a larger variety of solutions when searching for a UPS.
"In order to protect their critical electronic equipment against the damage that can potentially be caused by power outages and power surges, modern enterprises can choose to deploy uninterruptible power supply mechanisms," said Quote Lin, Director of Research and Development at ASUSTOR. "After passing our strict verification and testing process, we are happy to announce that PowerWalker UPS devices are now compatible with all ASUSTOR products. This provides our users with a wealth of options when choosing a UPS device to provide protection for their NAS."
The use of a UPS in a NAS deployment is critical to prevent data loss in the event of a power outage that might occur during a data transfer. This is especially important for NAS devices that implement solid state drives as their storage medium as data loss can occur not only during an outage, but can happen during brownouts and power fluctuations. A UPS will power the system long enough to complete transfers, and then allow the system to be safely shutdown to prevent data loss.
SanDisk recently purchased SMART Storage Systems. With a busy year of acquisitions in the flash market, this certainly ranked among the best. The acquisition caught many by surprise, but in retrospect, we should have seen it coming. The core competencies of both companies mesh nicely. Both companies bring an ingredient for success to the table that the other was missing.
SanDisk brings the fab and a long, illustrious 25-year history in the NAND market, while SMART brings the award-winning Guardian Technology and the forthcoming UltraDIMM technology.
Guardian Technology brings endurance-enhancing technology to SanDisk, but SanDisk already holds 4,900 NAND patents in their coffers. The acquisition of SMART surely had to bring more than just endurance-enhancing technology to make them a suitable acquisition target for the industry heavyweight.
The Optimus is an existing line of SAS SSD's brought over from SMART that is the very epitome of high performance. We have a lot of experience with the Optimus in our labs, with an in-depth product evaluation in our IT/Datacenter library.
Today PROMISE Technology announced the launch of the Pegasus2 and SANLink2, the world's first storage solutions with Thunderbolt 2 technology from Intel. PROMISE says that the Pegasus2 line of hardware RAID solutions provides stunningly fast transfer speeds which dramatically accelerate the workflow in 4K environments by utilizing Thunderbolt 2 technology.
The all new SANLink2 is a Thunderbolt2 to 8GB Fiber Channel Bridge that is designed to remove storage bottlenecks for desktop and mobile computing systems by providing direct connectivity to an external Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) such as a VTrak x30 RAID storage system or a VTrak A-Class shared SAN filesystem for rich media video ingest and editing.
"SANLink2 and Pegasus2 have set new standards for performance and flexibility, creating a whole new realm of possibilities for multimedia pros and power users," said James Lee, CEO, PROMISE Technology. "Being the first company to bring to market storage solutions with Thunderbolt 2 technology further validates PROMISE's position as the leader in designing high-performance devices for the media and entertainment market -- which revolutionizes the creative workflows of our customers so they can be ready for creating, editing, and delivering HD and 4K and beyond content."
Today, Xilence announced the return of their prized SSD/HHD docking chassis for 5.25-inch drive bays. The docks have been designed to fit two 2.5-inch SSDs into a single 5.25-inch drive bay and provide hot swap connectivity. Additionally, the SSD Dock provides an additional two USB 3.0 front ports when the 19-pin plug is connected to a motherboard-based USB 3.0 headers.
"We had a very good feedback in the past regarding the internal removable storage media device and decided to sale it also in new portfolio because of the customer feedback," said Michael Albes, chairman of Xilence. The SSD docks are ideal for those who are running older systems that lack 2.5-inch drive housing, or for those who might need extra storage space.
ADATA has just unveiled a new external SSD drive that is as fast as it looks. The all new DashDrive HE720 is a stainless steel wrapped external storage device that features the one of the company's ultra-fast SSDs that has been paired up with a super-speed USB 3.0 interface.
ADATA says that the new DashDrive HE720 is capable of read speeds up to 400MB/sec and write speeds in the 300MB/sec range. Measuring in at only 8.9mm thick, the HE720 is considered to be ultra-portable. The external drive supports ADATA's One Touch Backup software and allows for quick and portable backup and synchronization of the data that is most important to the customer. The DashDrive HE720 is available in capacities of 128GB and 256GB but pricing was not given at the time of this writing.
Many of you will remember when Samsung launched its V-NAND 3D NAND product back in August. Samsung has said that 3D NAND is the future of storage and it fundamentally changes the way NAND flash is manufactured. As with any cutting edge technology, wrapping our head around how this new NAND flash works is a little tough.
Fortunately, our friend Jim Handy of Objective Analysis has taken it upon himself to educate the world on what 3D NAND is, why it is needed, and how it is made. Handy has started a new series on his personal blog, The Memory Guy, that will span over 9 weeks and will educate us on everything 3D NAND. Handy has posted an overview of the series and we highly encourage you to head over to his blog and check it out!
Early this morning, Samsung announced its fifth generation of green memory solutions that greatly reduce energy consumption and save customers money. The unveiling came at the company's Memory Solutions Forum that is being held today in Seoul Korea and were presented under the theme of a "New Memory Paradigm."
"With the introduction of these innovative memory solutions that maximize IT investment efficiency, we have set the stage for sharply strengthening the value of advanced memory," Executive VP of Sales, Young-Hyun Jun, said in his keynote. "We will continue to benefit society with the introduction of green IT technology in cooperation with our global partners to lead the global IT industry in creating greater shared value for customers."
Samsung says that the new memory solutions are optimized for the next-generation of data centers which feature cloud computing that is based around big data. Samsung offered three new green solutions to the market including DDR4, PCIe SSDs and a combo of the two technologies. These solutions have been designed to achieve dramatic improvements in performance and energy savings over existing IT technology.
This morning ASUSTOR announced the launch of a new online accessory store for its products. The new store was implemented after ASUSTOR realized that many of its customers had little to no local access to its products and accessories. Going the extra mile, the company has decided to offer free shipping on all orders, something it feels will make its customers very happy.
The store also allows customers to compare products via a new comparison table function, and users can also quickly find accessories by searching using keywords. I navigated the website for a few minutes this morning and am quite impressed to be honest. As a former web developer, the site seems very responsive, snappy, and well laid out.