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60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-cat-pictures dept.

Data Storage 293

CWmike writes "The maximum areal densities of hard disk drives are expected to more than double by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. Hard drive company Seagate has also predicted a doubling of drive density, and now IHS iSuppli is confirming what the vendor community already knew. Leading the way for greater disk density will be technologies such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006. Seagate has already said it will be able to produce a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016. Laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB in the same time frame, IHS iSuppli stated. It said areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch in 2011. Areal density equals bit density, or bits of information per inch of a track, multiplied by tracks per inch on a drive platter. This year, hard drive areal densities are estimated to reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year."

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293 comments

For depressed people (5, Funny)

SadBob (2645421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080931)

Since pirates are depressed people [slashdot.org] , these will be perfect fit for depressed pirates.

Re:For depressed people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081219)

I'll be buying four :-(

WOW (4, Funny)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080941)

That's a shitload of porn.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081037)

no. it's about the same amount of higher density porn.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081123)

no. it's about the same amount of higher definition porn.

FTFY

Re:WOW (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081151)

Or 3D.

Re:WOW (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081457)

Or 4D even!!!!!!!

Re:WOW (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081305)

That's a shitload of porn.

I must be a nerd, because my digital comic collection is bigger then my porn collection.

Re:WOW (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081467)

I stopped keeping porn a long time ago. It's just too easy to stream the shit now, no need to take up valuable hard drive space or leave files around to be found by spouses and children.

Re:WOW (5, Insightful)

xQx (5744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081559)

Truecrypt.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

Re:WOW (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081477)

I must be a nerd, because my digital comic collection is bigger then my porn collection.

For some people, those would be one and the same.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081601)

No, nerds tend to use proper English. You just have low libido.

Heh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081435)

What internet are you surfing.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081569)

Please do not associate shit with my porn.
Thank you.

I don't get it. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080959)

If 4TB is the biggest drive you can get today, wouldn't densities have to increase by 15x to get to 60TB drives by 2016, not just "more than double"

Re:I don't get it. (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081273)

No, you'e thinking too linearly. The density increases in two dimensions, so the capacity increases by the square of the density (approximately). You would need just shy of a 4x increase in capacity without increasing the number of platters. If you can find a way to decrease the spacing between platters, you could get a 15x capacity increase with an even smaller density increase.

Re:I don't get it. (5, Informative)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081313)

The numbers the summary cites are Gbits per square inch. Meaning it's already been squared.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081407)

In that case, yes, it would have to increase by a factor of 15.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081411)

Two dimensions. That means that the density is quadrupled, because it's squared parallel to the platter, and also squared perpendicular.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081471)

They should make a new platter standard, one the size of an ATX motherboard. That way, we could hook a large, thin single platter drive into the ATX holes, then affix the the motherboard to the hard drive. We could call it a Bernoulli standard [wikipedia.org] , or something.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081521)

No, the total storage increases linearly with the density (though yes, geometrically with the size).

Example: I have ten cubic feet of bunnies. Bunnies have a density of, say, five pounds per cubic foot. That gives me fifty pounds of bunny. If I double the bunny-density to ten pounds per cubic foot, I now have a hundred pounds of bunny. Doubling the density doubled the weight.

More capacity, but what about I/O? (5, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080963)

One thing we have had issues with is that even now, the issue with drives is how fast we can get data in and out of it.

Even the high end SAN makers know this and tell people to always use RAID 6 on the backend, just because the window of time that it takes to rebuild a drive is so long these days that it can easily allow for a second drive failure to happen with no protection.

What I really will dread seeing is an external 60TB drive that is stuck with a USB 3 interface as its only I/O. USB 3 (for lowest denominator compatibility), a SATA descendant, and Thunderbolt, would be ideal, but with how cheap some drives end up, it might just be a sole USB port for in/out.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (1, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081005)

No. The dreadful part is not being stuck with USB3.

The dreadful part is realizing that attaching an over hyped external interface to it will likely not matter.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081015)

Even the high end SAN makers know this and tell people to always use RAID 6 on the backend, just because the window of time that it takes to rebuild a drive is so long these days that it can easily allow for a second drive failure to happen with no protection.

It's not just another drive failing--it's unrecoverable read errors (UREs). You might not know that a sector is unreadable until it's too late--if you discover it during a resliver of a RAID5, you are seriously out of luck. With very high data densities per disk, the chances of a URE are high.

So you're right--I/O speed is important. Also important is resiliency. If these don't scale along with the sizes, I think these will be considerably less useful than most people hope.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (2)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081339)

Agreed. I recently was reading that in a Raid 5 array with 2TB disks it is likely that you will lose data in the event of a single disk failure because of UREs. I have been thinking that setting up various raid 10 spindles is the best way to archive and protect data. One spindle for use, and another for backup, all with 1TB drives (2TB of space with 4 1TB drives). It strikes me that HDD is a terribly inefficient way to back up data securely, but surely it is better than optical disks.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081519)

The old wisdom is that "RAID is not a backup." So RAID5, RAID6..doesn't matter, you should be backing up regardless.

Tape is still probably the cheapest medium for backups, though you have to invest in the drives as well (and those can be in the thousands of dollars.)

I use online backups to a remote host along with a large drive which is offline most of the time and rotated with a few others. I'm just getting into ZFS and snapshots, with which I can more easily take frequent backups. Unfortunately, I don't think that helps with the UREs since snapshots still only store the data once. ZFS itself should help with UREs if scrubbed regularly.

The problem with optical is that the density ratios are so poor and the media is very fragile. Bluray discs can get up to about 50GB now, which means you need 20 to back up 1TB. With more discs, the likelihood of at least one of them failing increases, not to mention you need to store them.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (4, Funny)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081571)

I agree that RAID is not a backup, but that doesn't mean that my backup can't be a RAID . . .

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081515)

It's not just another drive failing--it's unrecoverable read errors (UREs).

A URE is a type of drive failure.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081593)

It's not what most people mean when they say, "Drive failure," and the URE could have happened before the RAID was ever put into degraded mode (it could have been the first failure, just no one noticed it.)

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081539)

It's not just another drive failing--it's unrecoverable read errors (UREs). You might not know that a sector is unreadable until it's too late--if you discover it during a resliver of a RAID5, you are seriously out of luck. With very high data densities per disk, the chances of a URE are high.

Checksums.

ZFS has this already, and Btrfs is coming along with it as well. Any new file system that's designed to be used on spinning rust that does not have this should probably be shunned going forward.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (4, Interesting)

Conception (212279) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081083)

It's not the interface, it's the drives themselves. They aren't really faster than they were when ATA-133 came out. Doesn't matter what interface you stick on there, hard-drives aren't getting faster (thank god for SSD). At 60TB also, the BER rate approaches something like 600% chance over the whole of the drive, or something like that, if they are using the same reliability numbers that current drives use. Terrifying.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081127)

You just have to make your platform able to handle file replications to N + 1 nodes (or any of the other plethora of ways you can slice it). Then go with a RAID 5 or whatever strategy you want, to give individual nodes the likelihood of higher availability. If you need to handle higher IOPS you can go with a distributed filesystem that can handle metadata/journalling on discrete nodes and load it up with SSD's / Fusion IO, whatever fits your bill. Then you can have banks of slow disks without much concern of the general IO as the metadata/journal nodes will have blazing IO and will act like a buffer to disk.

On the USB 3 front, I suspect that will be the case as almost everyone has a USB port. Additionally, the bandwidth available for USB 3 far exceeds the transfer rates of any spinning disk, so I don't think it is really much of a concern.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (0)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081163)

Wouldn't such a density be limited to just SATA, and not available as an USB3? Incidentally, what's the top density that NTFS can handle?

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081225)

It's not as bad as it may seem. With disk speeds up to 15,000 rpm and higher areal densities means that data can be pulled off pretty fast. If HDD manufacturers were to implement technologies such as multi-track disk heads then IO speed could increase a lot more and would be limited mainly by seek times. What a lot of companies are doing nowadays is using 2" (laptop) drives in their servers, packing a lot more drives into the space, which means more smaller disks and therefore less to rebuild in the event of a failure as well as a lot more disk heads to increase IO even further (and help a lot with those nasty seek speeds when trying to access data in 200 different files at once). What we're really left with as the limiting factor is the electronics and if all else fails that can be dealt with by multiple parallel channels (first we had PATA, now SATA, anyone for PSATA?).

So yeah, Disk IO is a bit of a problem now but there really is quite a lot that can be done to eliminate that issue.

Re:More capacity, but what about I/O? (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081315)

RAID 10 is better than RAID 6.
Rebuild time is nothing, your performance doesn't degrade to shit, and you're more than likely going to survive a second failure during rebuilding.

If you're paranoid you can run multiple mirrors.

What's the useful limit? (3, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080983)

Ok, there's never going to be a hard drive big enough to suit everyone's needs - that's a given. But average joe consumer must have a limit of some kind - what is it?
I can't see how an average person will use more than about 1TB of space any time soon and even then that's probably overkill. At one point maybe it would have been to store music and films, but that's going to the cloud rather than local storage. Average joe doesn't rip his blu-rays.
In the same way that RAM has probably hit a peak with consumers who simply don't need more than 3 or 4Gb for what they want to do, I wonder how Hard drives will fare?

Now as for myself, I could definitely fill 60Tb of space with stuff I'd like to keep - sign me up, but with the price of SSD's seemingly halving over the last couple of months, it's only a matter of time before average joe customer starts to realise that for the same price of a 60Tb HDD, they could probably have a 1Tb SSD that's a lot faster.

Re:What's the useful limit? (3, Insightful)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081029)

HD video, music, photos. ETC. Even grandma can fill a 1TB hard drive with HD video without even trying.

Re:What's the useful limit? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081045)

If "Average Joe" has any awareness of speed, then the Cloud will quickly get kicked to the curb and greater local storage densities will matter.

"Average Joe" will likely never realize that there is a technical reason to seek out an SSD. Some marketing hype might push them in that direction. Genuine "geeky" technical understanding will not.

Joe is willing to tolerate the cloud but wants the speed of an SSD? That's a clear an obvious contradiction.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081133)

Joe is willing to tolerate the cloud but wants the speed of an SSD? That's a clear an obvious contradiction.

To Average Joe, "The Cloud" has the advantage of ubiquity that SSDs and conventional hard drives lack. That's not a contradiction, that's a tradeoff.

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081137)

No, I think it makes sense. Videos and music take up a lot of space, but speed does not really matter for them. That is, streaming full quality HD is reasonable for an internet connection (especially if we are talking about the future). On the other hand, SSDs are useful for fast boot times and fast loading of programs, which does not require many terabytes of space. All you need to do to sell someone on an SSD is to show them two computers side-by-side with and without an SSD. The speed difference is pretty noticeable.

That's why in my current setup, my videos and music are on HDDs while everything else fits onto my much smaller SSD. I wouldn't move the HDD content into the cloud, but I can certainly see why it would give perfectly usable performance. The problem for me is in availability (ex. I can't watch NetFlix on an airplane).

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081179)

Joe is simply not that engaged. He's not going to see the sales pitch. He isn't a tech geek that gets a boner over minesweeper loading a little faster.

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081541)

GP here. Yeah, you're right. But that's all the more reason to expect Average Joe to be using the cloud and not 60TB disk drives. Err, actually, Average Joe will probably have a 60TB disk drive with 20GB used, but that's a different issue. ;-)

Re:What's the useful limit? (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081067)

I can't see how an average person will use more than about 1TB of space any time soon and even then that's probably overkill.

video editing. 1TB is about one of my wife's typical projects. What the "creative" types don't realize is if you record 10,20,30 times as much "stuff" as makes it into the final product, to edit you've got to store all that junk somewhere.

There are batching strategies where you can edit a three hour long interview down to 5 minutes of actual usable clips, repeat until everything is "clipped", then merge up all the clips and edit those. Some video editing software is very unhappy with terabyte scale projects so you have to do this anyway.

You can't edit and dispose of interview #4 because someone might have a cool story to run against it in interview #35.

This is not crazy stuff either, family history stuff

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081201)

Well of course, but you're one of the many who could make use of such space - I'm talking about average only-does-email-and-facebook joe kind of person.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081097)

Average joe doesn't rip his blu-rays.

Mostly, because it takes up too much room on a drive, and too slow to download from the internet :)

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081099)

But people's ability to create massive amounts of content is increasing rapidly as well. With the ubiquity of mobile computing and the shift from fixed PC platforms to mobile devices, it's easily within the ability of most people to generate a staggering amount of HD video content, for example.

Re:What's the useful limit? (5, Funny)

mpetch (692893) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081109)

640TB

Re:What's the useful limit? (2)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081115)

I've found that a larger hard drive just increases the likelihood of me storing redundant data on the same media. I get lazy about housekeeping. I recently pulled the 500G drive from my laptop and replaced it with a 120G SSD. Instead of carrying everything I own, I only carry tools I need. Now I can actually manage a daily backup to a NAS and not have to wait while it completes. If I'd had the extra cash, I would have likely purchased a larger SSD and still be carrying all the cruft that I haven't touched for weeks or months. The only thing I miss is my music archive, but with less music on hand, at least now I know all the words to the songs.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081147)

This is just sad. You can't even carry your music collection with you and you are trying to make up sad and pathetic rationalizations as to why it's actually a good thing.

Tech should adapt to you rather than the other way around.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081335)

Tech should adapt to you rather than the other way around.

The opposite is actually working pretty well for Apple these days. You just have to market it correctly.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081575)

Personally, I've got my entire music collection available to me via Google Music. It took me ages to upload the 18k or so tracks (a week of overnights with upload maxed out), but now that it's all there, I've got it on anything running a web browser as well as my phone.

Now, I would never in a million years dump the files stored locally, but I sure as shit don't bother loading GBs of music onto an MP3 player or my phone when I go on trips anymore, nor waste time burning CD's for the car or any of that crap. To me, that is the only real benefit of the cloud...I would never trust it as a true backup, but it's handy when getting at the data isn't a matter of life and death. If Google Music went down while I was traveling, I would turn on the radio and deal with it.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081325)

Precisely. When my dh0: drive got full, I thought about copying it over to usb0: but when I looked at what was there, I realized I didn't need "Beauty and the Geek" or "Transformers 2" or "Billboard's Hot 1000 songs of the 1960s" so I erased them. I freed-up about 100 GB of junk I never should have kept in the first place.

Re:What's the useful limit? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081393)

Your music collection fits on a 500G? Your aren't even trying.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081119)

They can have both. And will.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081135)

Hopefully this will also lower $/GB and decrease cloud storage prices as well. That's what I'm excited about.

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081167)

You do know there is no such thing as "The Cloud", right? That the term "cloud" just refers to a bunch of computers, which have things like hard drives in them? Hard drives just like these ones!

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081229)

When I said "the cloud", I'm talking about streaming services such as netflix. Why should someone clutter up their hard drive with films when they can just steam what they want?

Re:What's the useful limit? (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081567)

Don't you need to pay a monthly fee for NetFlix? Also, are you certain, that NetFlix (or a similar service) will be available 10, 20, 30 years later? I know that my record and audio tape collection, VHS tapes, DVDs and data tapes will still be there, they do not depend on some company staying in business and I do not need to pay a monthly fee to keep them.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081195)

It varies from person to person. I have 700GB storage and don't even use all of it.

Different Strokes, yada yada (3, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081197)

Ok, there's never going to be a hard drive big enough to suit everyone's needs - that's a given. But average joe consumer must have a limit of some kind - what is it?

Thing is, there are multiple "average joe users". Just from my knowledge I could state about 4-6 profiles which have different processing, portability, storage and interface needs. My dad is chugging along fine with his MB Air, but despite that sweet chassis, I need more local storage and more RAM.

To apocryphally quote a famous person, 64.0GB is enough for most people... and I'm sure both you and I are not "most people".

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081203)

42

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081221)

I've noticed that when friends get faster internet access (100/10 or even 100/100) they tend to download less and less, and just stream the shows/movies they want to watch. For them loads of storage is not really necessary.
Of course you still have the odd one who wants to download everything in 1080p x/h264 rips at 8-20 GB a piece.

So, for people with slower speeds I can see they'd want to have more storage, as streaming is not an option. (no one rents discs anymore, there's a reason the shops are closing)

Also, for the technical side, how do you back up 10TB (or more)? I suppose it would be necessary to have 2 HDDs in RAID1 with ZFS on top or something, to prevent the effects bit rot etc.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081233)

If a drive has capacity enough to back up completely at least one of my machines, that would be considered adequate by me. Having the 1TB SSD is nice, but so is having a pair of drives that data is copied to on a nightly basis so if the SSD gets lost or erased, it is still present (without having to waste the time and bandwidth costs to recover from a cloud provider.)

Maybe we will see disks with more options for interfaces. For example, it would be nice if an external drive could be configured to show up as a virtual tape library for example. This would allow backup software to back data up, without the fear of just one goof from the OS (or perhaps malware) completely trashing the backup drive's filesystem. Other options might be a UDF drive presented so files can be copied in a write once, read-many fashion, and so on. Of course, we have drives that work as NAS servers, but with how software is able to be improved, why not have a standalone external USB or Thunderbolt drive start sporting some SAN-like features? For example:

1: Use USB for the "control" connection, then use either iSCSI, or Thunderbolt for the presenting of LUNs to the machine. This would allow for separation of data and filesystems, so a trashed filesystem in one user's home directory wouldn't mean a complete restore.

2: Have the ability to take snapshots and have an antivirus utility running on another machine with the LUNs presented read-only look for them. If this is done with a Windows box running off the drive, this can catch rootkits that might be able to hide from the main machine's OS.

3: Snapshots in general would be useful, either as a way of doing quick and dirty backups, or other items.

4: Combine snapshot backups with a cloud backup service, and this would result in no CPU needed on the host machines for backups. Encryption can be done on the drive as well.

5: Obtain two similar drives and give them Internet ability, then one can enable replication (with end to end encryption) on the block level, so someone can just ask a friend to allow their HDD to just passively sit on the network, and it does everything else.

6: No real need for a file server at home. Just present a LUN as a CIFS share.

7: Some redirector service similar to dyndns, so someone can access their drive from anywhere securely.

There is a ton of stuff that can be done with disk controllers. A VTL might have been an expensive, ardious task years ago, but that is "just" programming to make a disk drive or a drive array appear as a library of tapes. It would be useful at home because it would provide a means of storing data that is resistant to malware (no "list all drives, format all drives" logic bombs at least.)

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081289)

I can't store 1TB of movies and music on the cloud, this would be a very high recurring fee and I would upload data at 120KB/s. a one-time fee for the HDD and another one for the backup HDD is cheaper. I still get to access files from my cheap ass NAS with VIA CPU, even though at 120KB/s from outside but when I get fiber it will be more like 10MB/s.

I do want to get a 4TB HDD for it, RAID is not so good as you still have to buy one or more backup drives so there aren't any savings. maybe put the OS on a SD card so that when the drive fails, my server willl still work. also I could host backups for a few friends on my huge disk - asking them to pay a bit for it.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081317)

Imagine backing 60TB up to Carbonite. It takes forever just to backup 1TB now.

Re:What's the useful limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081363)

My home-taken wedding videos are around 60GB and they're poor quality video from 2004. There's no way I'm going to store my stuff on the cloud and that's too complicated for the average person who can't rip their media.

RAM hasn't hit a peak. OS min memory requirements keep going up. Programs keep grabbing more and more memory too. 4GB is at the limit of most 32bit systems, so RAM usage will hover there for a few years then continue to increase as before.

With the larger HDDs, I think we'll see more and more systems using snapshotting and an increase in automated backups. My backups are limited by sapce and the time to make them. If I could easily store full backups every week I would do so. Why bother with incremental backups if you have enough space for full ones.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081495)

OS RAM usage hasn't gone up in a while. From XP to Vista, there was a jump from about 128Min/1Gb recommended to 1GbMin/2Gb Recommended. Windows 7 has the same requirements as Vista (And tends to run better on the same hardware). Windows 8 is slated to have the same requirements again and Microsoft has actually reduced memory usage by the OS. This means that there's a very real chance that OS RAM requirements won't have changed in a decade.

Yes, I'm aware that I neglected to mention other OS's but we're talking about mr average here, who will likely be running a Windows machine. He may be running Mac OS, but he sure as hell isn't running Linux.

Can't argue with program requirements though, those are steadily rising but once again Mr Average doesn't run that many programs side by side. They'll have a web browser, possibly email and/or IM clients and perhaps a media player. They won't be running VM's and will only occasionally be doing any kind of video editing, if at all.

Re:What's the useful limit? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081413)

>>>Average joe doesn't rip his blu-rays.

No but they might download a pirate rip of a BRD. :-)

>>>RAM has probably hit a peak with consumers who simply don't need more than 3 or 4Gb for what they want to do

It's not the average Joe who is carelessly consuming RAM. It's the programmers. I remember when I bought my PC in 2002 and it had half-a-gig of space. That was almost 10 times more than the minimum recommended by Microsoft XP. It ran superfast! But NOW the Flash has grown, the browser has grown, and even the office tools have grown.

I'm not doing anything differently (still watching VHS-quality videos and typing documents), but the programs are gobbling more & more space so my "superfast" PC now runs like a snail (especially with flash). In a few years the programmers will make even 3GB feel claustrophobic. In fact I'd say it's already starting.

Re:What's the useful limit? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081511)

>>>I can't see how an average person will use more than about 1TB of space any time soon

P.S. If I wanted to be really anal, I could argue that my Commodore 64 played music with only 0.00006 GB of memory, and my Amiga did videos with only 0.00025 GB of memory. In consoles, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis only used ~.004 gigabyte cartridges. Why on earth would anybody need more than that? Answer: Media grows in size and needs more storage space.

It'll take 20 years to download 60TB from Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080987)

'nuff said.

does not compute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080995)

4TB * 2 != 60TB

Good, it makes my 5.x TB NAS look modest finally. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081009)

I've been waiting for this day.

Re:Good, it makes my 5.x TB NAS look modest finall (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081473)

If your NAS fits on 2 hard drives, it is already modest.

So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081017)

I want faster, not bigger :( I just know there's a Freudian slip in there somewhere...

I'm going to make a bet or three (4, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081019)

I'm going to make several bets here which will also hold true:

* sequential performance will improve at a rate congruent with storage capacity
* random performance will remain roughly the same as it has for the past 10 years (ie, poor, though it will likely improve slightly unless we go back to double-thick drives like we had 10-15 years ago)
* resiliency will not improve for single disks and will likely be worse for in terms of longevity.
* none of this will matter for the consumer market, because by that time, everyone will be using SSDs almost exclusively. You can still fit a lot of data on a 500GB drive, and those are commonly available for laptops and desktops already.

Re:I'm going to make a bet or three (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081091)

A 500G SSD costs more than the laptop or desktop you would want to connect it to.

You seem to be pining for something that you have no real awareness of.

Re:I'm going to make a bet or three (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081165)

"You seem to be pining for something that you have no real awareness of."

The Fjords?

Re:I'm going to make a bet or three (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081377)

A 500G SSD costs more than the laptop or desktop you would want to connect it to.

You seem to be pining for something that you have no real awareness of.

Wrong. About a year ago I bought two high-end 256 GB SSDs for less than $500.

Re:I'm going to make a bet or three (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081513)

512GB SSD for $500 [newegg.com]

It would be nice (1)

Apu de Beaumarchais (2023822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081063)

It would definitely be nice, but it's probably as likely as getting 1TB holographic discs before then.

225 gigabytes per square inch? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081073)

Wow.
That's amazing.
And it would be six terabytes if you could squeeze the same density on a floppy.

Just Say No (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081087)

If windows ever asks if you want it to check out the disk, just say no or be prepared to walk away for a week.

Re:Just Say No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081263)

Yeah, and don't bother telling people to remove viruses by formatting unless you want to make their computer hang for a month.
Actually, I'm totally fine with that as I have never had to format to kill a virus...if all the easy methods fail, I just attach Cheat Engine to the virus and make it crash so it can't protect itself from deletion anymore :)

Who has a leal use for this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081145)

Ill be the first one to say it. What "consumer" or "IT Geek / Anime fanboy" has any legal reason to have that disk space? Any one who has the money for a LEGAL dvd collection to rip to that large a drive can just buy a 30 - 50 disk array instead. This seems to be a reasonable situation to define limits to what a law abiding person needs for personal use.

Re:Who has a leal use for this. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081253)

30 - 50 disk array?

I have about 2000 and they are all stored "online" iTunes style.

It's very handy and allows for a number of convenience features you can't really get any other way. Really big drives greatly simplify storage on the media server and eliminate the need for more expensive array hardware and aftermarket controllers.

Re:Who has a leal use for this. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081373)

HD surveillance. Several years worth of OTA Tivo recorded shows. (yes you can LEGALLY transfer shows from a Tivo to a computer for long term storage.)

Re:Who has a leal use for this. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081439)

Who cares what a bunch of god damn law abiders are going to do with their computers. Fuck them right in the ear.

Re:Who has a leal use for this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081529)

legal reason to have that disk space?

You're argument ends right there. The legal reason would be that they can afford it. That's all there is to it, if something exists and you can purchase it, that's all the reason you need. You do not need a use for it, just the money to buy it.
I mean, what legal reason would someone have to own every "super" car invented in the past 40 years? Just that they can afford it.
Your argument is not only pedantic but slightly retarded.

Am I an anomoly? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081161)

I've had 4 terabytes of storage now for quite a few years and my actual total usage seems to have peaked at around 2 terabytes about a year ago. It hasn't changed much since.

Re:Am I an anomoly? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081357)

Interesting, but probably not a valid statistical sample size, unless you're very, very large. Also, I may have my units mixed up.

Re:Am I an anomoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081395)

I think my entire life's work as a sound engineer and studio owner would fit into about 30TB. That's twenty years of full multitrack recordings and stereo masters.

Re:Am I an anomoly? (2)

lance_of_the_apes (2300548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081581)

I would rather see access speeds improved. When they can deliver a 2 or 4 TB solid state drive at a reasonable price, then they can work on increasing sizes.

Re:Am I an anomoly? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081605)

You're not. I don't give a flying shit about bigger disks _at home_. I've got about 5TB of redundant disk space spread about, and I don't use half of it.

I'll be the not first to say it - this is pointless and the HD vendors are pissing in the wind. I don't and will never need a 30TB mechanical drive.

Now, come up with a 30TB SSD drive and then maybe you're talking, I'm sure business/corporations would love those in data centers.

Call me Bill Gates Jr. all you want, 5TB drives ought to be enough for anyone with regards to mechanical drives. They're a dead end.

Shock and vibration (1)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081215)

So does this mean I have to bar morbidly obese people from my house? A head crash by someone walking in the vicinity of my computer is likely to take out terabytes of data!

Yeah f'ing right (4, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081243)

2016 is in 4 years. Let's see...

In 2008, Seagate announced the world's first 1.5TB drive. [computerworld.com]

And in 2012, Hitachi announced the first 4TB drive. [extremetech.com]

And in 2016, this will magically become 60TB?!

If you said 10TB, I would believe it. I'll even go along with 15TB.

But 60TB? don't believe it for a second.

Re:Yeah f'ing right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081425)

Why? Its HAMR time!

I wonder (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081261)

how long the rebuild time would be for a 60TB drive that's failed as part of a RAID group. Some 3TB SATA drives we have can take a day (obviously it depends how much the RAID group is getting used while it's rebuilding).

I can imagine that future...... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081285)

By that time,

- Windows UNG (Ultra Next Generation) will come in 1 Deep-X-ray disc...200 TB. There will be 18 versions, each one for a different segment, and the activation key will be the user thumbprint. (big smuggling of fingers)
- The boot time for a PC (will not be called PC any more....but something that DA ...meaning Digital Addendum) will be the same 2 mins as today.
- No more BSOD...but an holographic 3D fancy shmancy error message with a female voice.
- HD will be obsolete...xDR (extra dynamic resolution) will be the new standard. All HD technology will be scrapped.
- Everything will be USB 8 (except Apple products). USB will be a serial version of the parallel version from the serial version of PCI3e + USB 7.
- We will be able to generate electricity VERY cheap using LENR....but electrical companies will sue anybody trying to use a LENR device and not paying their extortive fees.
- Everybody will have at least 2 electrical vehicles....but because of that, the electrical network had to be upgraded to a super network, and the costs spread among "customers", increasing their monthly bills much more than the twice the price of gas they have been paying when they used their "old" combustion engines. And...btw, a lot of electricity plants will run on gas, duplicating the released CO to the atmosphere...

Depressed People Surf the Web Indifferently (1)

Gimbal (2474818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081587)

(FTFY)

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