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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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Really nice
By electriple9 on 6/11/2006 10:33:37 PM , Rating: 2
Whats the average power usage of the regular hard drives. With 50 drivers in raid5, 4200rpm wont matter anymore, the transfer speed will be pretty high due to the raid.

RE: Really nice
By masher2 (blog) on 6/12/2006 2:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "With 50 drivers in raid5, 4200rpm wont matter anymore, the transfer speed will be pretty high"

Since 20% of the array is lost to parity, that means the tower is configured as ten 5-disk wide arrays. And that in turn means the transfer rate is only 4X higher than a standard 4200rpm notebook drive...and the mean seak time is actually much slower. From a sheer performance perspective, your average 7200rpm desktop drive would easily outperform this setup.

RE: Really nice
By Slaimus on 6/12/2006 6:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
RAID-5 does not do any striping, so it would be very slow. You need RAID-10 to improve performance.

RE: Really nice
By masher2 (blog) on 6/12/2006 7:00:02 PM , Rating: 4
Um, Raid 5 most assuredly does do striping. It is nothing but a striped array with parity information added. Also, Raid-5 is generally going to outperform a single disk (and possibly even Raid-10) on read speeds, even if it is a sluggard on writes.

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