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High density RAID takes on a whole new definition

Unknown to few outside of the high-density storage industry, 2.5" drives began to overtake several enterprise markets almost overnight with the advent of perpendicular recording.  The high densities, low costs and low power requirements for 2.5" drives make the drives perfect for corporate environments where reliability and density are the focus.

At Computex Taipei, DailyTech got a nice shot of a standard PC tower with fifty Fujitsu 200GB 2.5" drives in a RAID configuration.  The total storage of the array is 10TB, but 2TB are lost to parity for the array. The MHV2200BT hard drives featured in the array, announced by Fujitsu in March of this year, use SATA 1.5Gbps and a mere 4200RPM rotation speed.  Each drive has a peak power usage of 1.6W during a read/write operation, giving the whole array a peak power usage of just 80W.

Furthermore, each drive can be hot swapped in the event of a failure, and Fujitsu representatives had no problem removing drives during the live demonstration.  Fujitsu employees had no estimate on price of such a setup, but the MHV2200BT hard drives are expected to ship this summer.

Earlier this year, Fujitsu employees gave DailyTech the scoop on the migration of the enterprise market from 3.5" drives to 2.5",  and the company is already forcasting 1.8" drives to start packing a punch in the high density market.   Fujitsu already holds the world commercial storage record of 1.3PB.

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By Quiksel on 6/11/2006 10:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
THIS, my friends, is what I call BADASS.

very unique idea, and one that could actually get some exposure. only thing I truly wonder about is the failure of a drive (or multiple) in such a big array... The more parts a system has, the more propensity for failure (and the harder to isolate the fault). But man, what an idea!

RE: sweet
By Ecmaster76 on 6/11/2006 10:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
Failure would be precisely detected the moment it happened. Any storage controller worth manufacturing has the capability.

As mentioned, 20% of the array is dedicated to parity data. I imagine if a drive fails, you just pop in a blank and the system will restore itself in a few minutes, prrobably without any interruption in data access. A more catastrophic failure, such as a power surge post DC stepdown would be a problem, but that is why engineers use fuses and similiar devices. And IT pros use backups.

RE: sweet
By BZDTemp on 6/12/2006 7:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
You're exactly right. HP shot, as in with a rifle, one of their storage servers to make that exact point.

RE: sweet
By KenGoding on 6/12/2006 2:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
That movie is cool, but I notice they were very careful about where they shot it.

RE: sweet
By masher2 on 6/12/2006 2:10:07 PM , Rating: 3
> "I imagine if a drive fails, you just pop in a blank and the system will restore itself in a few minutes"

You won't rebuild a 200GB drive in "a few minutes", no matter how capable a controller you have. It takes time to rebuild an array after a failure...which is why RAID is a solution for ensuring uptime, not a replacement for backups. A second drive failure during the rebuilding process means the loss of the array, and all data within it.

Still, that's a small window, and a very low risk. Heat concerns aside from the high disk density, I don't expect this solution to be any less reliable than a standard Raid array.

RE: sweet
By TomZ on 6/12/2006 9:06:03 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure that I really agree that this idea is really unique. Lots of companies offer high-capacity RAID storage for enterprise environments. RAID is as old as the hills, and other vendors are also transitioning to 2.5" drives for power savings and to increase density.

RE: sweet
By vingamm on 6/12/2006 1:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Oh Yeah!!! I am drooling over here. I think my geekiness is about to show. DAMN That is a concept. 10TB expending on 80W in a standard case. Oooooooo!!! The posibilities!!

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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