Spinning Disk, the HDD Technology that Refuses to Die

Image of the Seagate logo and a spinning hard disc graphic

Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The rise of flash storage or solid state drive (SSD) is apparently unstoppable, but the humble magnetic disk refuses to die. Production of drives continue almost unabated, as does research into performance and capacity improvements.

Seagate has recently announced the release of an all-new, hard disk drive (HDD) unit capable of storing up to 10TB. Each 3.5” drive offers a 25% density boost on previous models, allowing businesses to realise even greater PB capacity per array.

But increased capacity is not the only innovation. Seagate’s new drive is also helium-filled, helping to reduce friction and vibration. This means that each drive unit is also more energy efficient, helping to reduce overall array running costs.

Wider lessons for business

Seagate’s continued activity in the magnetic disk arena is not simply an effort to short up that side of their business. The reality is that in terms of cost, capacity and reliability, flash still cannot compete equally. With a mean time before failure (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours, the 10TB magnetic drive is well ahead of Seagate’s best solid state units that are rated for 2 million.

And although the enterprise is slowly moving towards a flash-first approach for in-house storage needs, cloud providers are still heavily reliant on spinning disk for their own services. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google all use magnetic drives as the backbone for their cut-price service offerings.

The benefits of sticking with spinning disks

The difference in IO performance aside, magnetic disk will remain an important part of most organisations’ storage plans well into the future. At least until flash prices and capacities reach parity with their spinning disk counterparts.

Whether organisations choose to upgrade the drives in their arrays, or to fully populate available shelves in their existing racks, there’s plenty of life left in spinning disks. Which is encouraging news for any business considering extending the usable lifespan of their data storage provisions beyond official OEM EoSL. 

Post warranty support services from CDS are proven to reduce maintenance and support costs by as much as 70%, freeing up budget for spend on other mission critical projects.

Contact us today to learn more about how spinning disk can still play a part in your future storage strategy (and how CDS can help you save a fortune in the process).