Current data storage techniques rely nearly solely on typical electronic techniques that have been used for years, but they are slightly limited if we wish our data to last for longer than 20 years in cold storage without being switched out. Microsoft is teaming up with Twist Bioscience to explore using DNA as a means of long-term storage. And it's working splendidly.
They've agreed to purchase ten million long oligonucleotides, or DNA, from Twist Bioscience to start encoding actually digital data into the nucleotides therein. Twist Bioscience says that using DNA is advantageous in many different ways over the usual disk or NAND-based solutions. Data could potentially last for up to 2,000 years, far longer than usual, and the amount of data that can be stuffed into just a gram is somewhere around on trillion gigabytes, or a zettabyte, of data. That's astounding.
The approach that they'll be using appears to be de novo or from the very beginning. That is, they'll be making the DNA and not using already present DNA, infusing it with data, then sequencing it so it cannot be re-obtained unless re-sequenced. DNA storage is something that has been explored since 1988, when a small amount of information was put into a small strand of already living DNA. There are plenty of obstacles to making this a viable technology in the future, but thus far, even with current techniques, it could potentially be a magnificent alternative to current archival techniques.
Encoding data into the DNA of living subjects is not viable at all due to mutations and a number of external factors that can destroy the DNA and thus the data. So you won't be a carrier for data anytime soon.
SanDisk today revealed its new cost-effective trio of 15nm Z410 solid state drives built on the company's renowned Z400 line.
SanDisk's new Z410 SSDs are built on 15nm TLC NAND and come in versatile 2.5" form factors with 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. The company boasts that the Z410 sport "one of the lowest power draws of any SSD in the industry", with dependable 1.75 million Mean to Time Failure (MTTF) rates. The Z410 SSDs also maximize read to write speeds by leveraging a combination of SLC and TLC blocks, making the line an ideal solution for high workloads and super fast application start-ups.
"SSDs are being rapidly adopted as the preferred storage option across the entire spectrum of the PC marketplace," said Tarun Loomba, vice president and general manager of Client Platform Solutions, SanDisk. "In addition to the performance and durability benefits that SSDs provide, the SanDisk Z410 SSD delivers storage that is ample for most consumers and the right-size for typical corporate users. The Z410 is an important addition to our overall SSD portfolio, as our customers require a complete range of storage options, from home/office PCs to the latest high-performance, ultra-thin laptops."
SanDisk is currently shipping the Z410 SSD's in the full capacity spectrum of 120GB, 240GB and 480GB, all of which come with a 3-year warranty.
We all know the iPhone doesn't have expandable storage, but that doesn't stop companies like SanDisk thinking outside of the square with its new iXpand Flash Drive.
SanDisk's new iXpand Flash Drive is a flash drive that will ensure you'll never run out of space on your iPhone. It's a small, great looking dongle that expands the storage on your iPhone. It does this by featuring a flexible, fold-out Lightning port that will fit into "most" hard and soft cases.
When used with the SanDisk iXpand Drive app, which has been "completely redesigned" from feedback, pictures and videos you take on your iPhone will be saved to the iXpand by default, instead of your iPhone. SanDisk has also included a USB 3.0 connector to transfer your pictures, videos or music to your PC - which also lets you do things you can't do on your iPhone normally, like cut/copy/paste/deleting files onto your SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive.
LaCie has just unveiled an insane new storage option, which when they read this - can you guys send me one? The new 12big Thunderbolt 3 storage from LaCie is a professional-grade 12-bay storage solution that looks like a desktop PC, except it rocks up to 96TB.
The company says that its new storage tower rocks 50% higher capacity than any other desktop direct attached storage solution on the market, and is powered by 256MB cache, enterprise-class 7200RPM drives from Seagate that rock a five-year limited warranty. The warranty covers the drives, enclosure and spare parts - with the drives rated for 8,760 hours of operation (24/7/365).
The front of the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 enclosure features drive status LEDs that show you the drive health and RAID build status. The drives themselves can be accessed from the front of the unit, with the company using aluminum to assist with heat dissipation, helped out with four temperature-regulated fans.
Seagate shipped 39 million drives worth 40 percent of the HDD market in its third fiscal quarter, and while it sounds like a lot, it's well below expectations.
The company put the blame in part on reduced demand in the desktop PC sector, which is expected to only continue until the Windows 10 hardware refresh hits (with any luck, in the latter half of this year). One can point to the success of SSDs in the high-performance space as well; the more advanced drives should supersede HDDs soon, although not before SSD demand and thus prices increase, which should ease the pressure on HDD makers for awhile.
Tom's Hardware Contributing Editor Paul Alcorn says the solution right now for HDD makers is to focus on the high-capacity market where SSDs can't compete: this is in line with Seagate's 8TB enterprise drive success, which represents the only success last quarter as well as a market shift to the cloud. Seagate Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Luczo agreed when explaining the situation.
The free storage tier for OneDrive used to be among the largest of all the cloud storage providers by offering 15GB absolutely free. In 2015 Microsoft announced that they were cutting that all the way down to 5GB, a controversial move to be sure. The decision was made to let users claim the extra space if they responded and acknowledged they wanted it.
If you didn't respond to the call for action, then you should be receiving an email from Microsoft telling you to start migrating your data now, or upgrade your plan, by July 13th. If you haven't been using more than 5GB, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about, but if you're a data hoarder with your OneDrive account, then you'll need to plan for the eventual cutting of your storage space. The next highest tier is the "Basic" tier with 50GB of storage priced at $1.99 a month.
The smaller space will be the norm for all new users, so if you don't happen to have an account quite yet, then you'll only receive 5B for free. Initially, long ago under the SkyDrive moniker, they offered 7GB of storage upon signing up. A limited time offer in 2012 designed for users who had signed-up for the cloud service before April 22nd 2012 allowed those users 25GB of free storage as a token of appreciation. 5GB for free is more than what Dropbox offers, at 3GB, but less than Google Drive at 15GB. Apple's iCloud also has 5GB of free storage.
Intel is on a roll after having introduced us, finally, to Broadwell-EP on the server-side, they're also introducing a number of new SSD products intended for use in data centers or in professional capacities. Two of these new SSDs are even packing Intel's own 3D NAND technology, available for the first time in any of their products.
The DC D3700 and D3600 are being introduced to provide solutions for hot storage of data in the cloud, designed to run 24/7 for extended periods of time. They come bundled with MLC with HET (high endurance technology) and an NVMe 1.2 compliant controller that's capable of read speeds up to 2100MB/s and write speeds of up to 1500MB/s on the top-end D3600 device with a capacity of 2TB, and D3700 drive that has a capacity of 1.6TB. Sustain random read IOPS can be as high as 470K with write IOPS up to 95K on the D3700 and 30K on the D3500.
These SSDs will be offered in sizes of 800GB to 2TB with dual port 2.5" drives with U.2 connectors that support PCIe functionality. This means that unfortunately they aren't going to be backwards compatible with existing SAS or SATA connectors. If you want the highest endurance flash storage with these speeds, it'll be time to upgrade. The DC D3600 and D3700 drives also feature end-to-end data protection and power-loss data protection with self-test and thermal throttling and monitoring to make sure that they're as reliable as possible, or at the very least give you an indication when they're about to go.
3D NAND is exciting on many different levels, it gives greater endurance than is already seen in SLC or even MLC with HET, to the tune of several GB's of program/erase cycles, which translates into tremendous endurance over traditional methods. Intel is taking advantage of that fact by positioning the DC P3320 and P3520 as being perfect for any data center. They feature 32 layer MLC-based 3D NAND that's denser than the competition, able to potentially offer more storage in the future. The Intel/Micron cells put most of the CMOS logic underneath the NAND itself, leading to that smaller footprint.
Seagate will soon be the first to launch an external hard drive that requires nothing but a USB connection for power. The "Innov8" features 8TB capacity (equivalent to over 2 million songs, 4 million photos, and 800 HD movies) with 200GB OneDrive cloud storage on top; it supports both USB-C and USB 3.1, and includes Seagate Dashboard software which features one-click and scheduled backups. Finally, the Innov8 is comaptible with Lyve for easy photo consolidation.
The drive is beefy in appearance, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. Either way, it's awfully sleek. It launches in April through Seagate.com, Amazon, and elsewhere and goes for $349 MSRP.
Western Digital gets in on the Pi Day fun by announcing its new PiDrive 314GB, a new 314GB HDD made specifically for the... you guessed it, Raspberry Pi.
WD's new PiDirve 314GB costs just $45.81 - but it's currently available for $31.42 - celebrating Pi. The 7mm-high drive is based on the WD Blue range of HDDs, which are found in many budget and mid-range laptops and PCs. The difference here is that the interface has been modified from SATA to USB so that it can connect and work with the Raspberry Pi.
WD adds that it customized the PiDrive 314GB so that it would "reduce the electrical power load of the hard drive on Raspberry Pi while still maintaining sufficient performance to deliver maximum USB data transfer rate".
With many companies vying for the number one position in the emerging enterprise SSD market, Lite-On has announced its addition recently, showcasing its EP2 U.2 Series SSD.
Utilizing a U.2 interface, this model is able to be converted to both SATA-Express and M.2, as explained by techPowerUp recently. With speed being key, this new product features sequential transfer rates capped at 2200 MB/s read and 1300 MB/s write.
Further features include a 290,000 IOPS 4K random read rating, a capacity of up to a massive 1920GB and being quoted as "designed for read-intensive database servers."