6TB hard drives are coming

On December 7, 2012, in Storage News, by Nick Parsons

TDK are in the proccess of creating a new read/write head that uses thermal assisted recording. What this means for areal density is that the current density of 1Tbit/square inch will increase to 1.5Tbit/square inch.

The price of SSDs is still coming down and their performance is unbeatable when compared to normal hard disk drives. However, from a capacity point of view, hard drives still rule the roost. With the new technology increasing storage capacity by 50% hard drives will expand on this advantage of storage capacity. With the new tech in mind it means that 2.5″ drives will be able to store 1TB of data per platter and 3.5″ drives will be able to store as much as 2TB per platter. Think of that in current terms and it will allow a normal height 9mm laptop drive to store 2TB of data and a desktop drive with 3 platters able to store 6TB, and even as much as 8TB if 4 platters can be squeezed in. Ultrabooks are becoming increasingly popular and require a 7mm high 2.5″ drive, which means that these machines can remain ultra thin and still be able to store 1TB of data.

2014 is the expected data at which this thermally assisted recording should be publicly available, so we should be seeing 6TB (and possibly 8TB?) within the next 2 years. A technology by Seagate, HAMR, might allow us hard drive of 60TB in future, but that technology is further down the road.

What does this mean for data recovery? Hopefully it means that users are able to make regular backups of larger amounts of data. However, when they forget to do so and a 6TB crashes, recovery pricing will be expensive if you consider the new technology.


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