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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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4200 RPM
By fenderkb76 on 6/11/2006 10:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't read up that much on perpindicular storage besides knowing that it arranges the magnetic poles in a different direction from standard storage for higher density. Does this allow the hard drives to get by with slower rotation speeds to acheive the same performance? Can a 4200 RPM perpindicular drive keep up with a standard 7200 RPM SATA or 10,000 RPM Raptor, or a 15,000 RPM SCSI? I know RAID will speed it up, but you're still going to loose some speed in the overhead, won't you?

RE: 4200 RPM
By Hypernova on 6/11/2006 11:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
In theory a drive half as fast but twice as dense is the same as one that is half as dense and twice as fast.

Think about it. the spindle covers the same amount of bits in the same time period.

RE: 4200 RPM
By Stele on 6/11/2006 11:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's true. Not only that, the RAID array makes up for some of the performance deficiencies a slower spindle speed might cause. Furthermore, this amount of storage and the use of 2.5" HDDs suggest that this storage tower would mainly be targetted at the nearline market, where large capacity and reliability are more important that blinding access speeds (since they won't be accessed as heavily as frontline storage).

RE: 4200 RPM
By the1physicist on 6/12/2006 1:21:19 AM , Rating: 2
A drive that spins half as fast would need 4 times the data density for the same transfer rate.

RE: 4200 RPM
By masher2 on 6/12/2006 2:12:58 PM , Rating: 3
That's *not* true. Doubling the data density doubles the areal bit rate, true...but it has no effect on latency.

If you double the density of a disk but have its rotational speed, you wind up with a drive with the same transfer rate, but twice the mean rotational seek latency. Meaning a slower drive...especially for desktop usage.

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