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Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the goes-to-11 dept.

Data Storage 316

MojoKid (1002251) writes Seagate announced today that it has begun shipping the world's first 8 Terabyte hard drive. The 8TB hard drive comes only five months after Western Digital released the first ever 6TB HDD. Up until then, Seagate's high capacity HDDs had been shipping only to select enterprise clients. The 8TB HDD comes in the 3.5-inch form factor and, according to the manufacturer, features a SATA 6Gbps interface and multi-drive RV tolerance which makes it suitable for data centers. It's unclear what technology the drive is based on, or if PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) or low-resistance helium technology was employed.

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Porn (4, Funny)

darkain (749283) | about 2 months ago | (#47762049)

That sure is a lot of porn...

Re:Porn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762211)

That sure is a lot of porn...

pfft. What kind of pathetic collection do you have?

And you call yourself a basement-dwelling nerd...

Re:Porn (4, Interesting)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47762511)

Hey, porn in not the only kind of data. There are youtube how to videos through dirpy.com, which, like porn, could be up in the air and a future raid into your home by the government might force you to erase those - I hope you could keep the advertising banner like things, promotional material samples, as in, do I get a right to keep copyrighted junkmail I never asked for delivered by the post office to my snail mail post box, similarly do I get to keep spam images in my emails that I never asked for in the first place, or are those copyrighted and they want to make me pay for them? But there is the clear cut clear case of public domain, which they are still trying to assault and undermine. And pure public domain, like Wikipedia pages, and pre-1923 pdfs at books.google.com, those you have a right to keep on your TB harddrive, no matter what, unless they change the law and they say we no longer have nomadic public domain lands, and stick your pole down and claim public domain nomadic lands as your own through homesteading rights, so all public domain stuff might go up on auction sale, and then you will be banned from knowing anything unless you can show a receipt, else you will be forced to stay dumb.
So archive.org sometimes does not bother compressing the ebooks and pdfs like books.google.com does on a lot of stuff, and it's like there is no amount of public domain scientific literature that I'm satiated with having in on my 1TB portable harddrive, the only issue being I requested TWC to take me to a higher plan so I can download more, instead they kept talking about download speed, I'm like keep that the same, I wanna pay more so I don't feel bad so bad about the total monthly data transfer, and somehow it got left at the same rate I signed up at, and I haven't tried again to get on the higher cost plan. I'm still getting a lot of downloads this way anyway, but sometimes I hold back my exuberance thinking about the total monthly data transfer, which they are kind to show you.

multi-drive RV tolerance?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762053)

WTF is that?

And I did RTFA, it doesn't mention it at all.

I'm surprised this wasn't posted by Timothy...

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (5, Informative)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about 2 months ago | (#47762267)

Rotational Vibration (RV) is the vibration the drive experiences from the platters rotating at high speed. When you put a bunch of drives in a cage, some interesting harmonics build up which can shorten the life span of the drives further. Enterprise grade hard drives are built to better withstand these vibrations, lessening the chance of failure. (At least that is what their literature says -- personally I'd mount the drives using grommets or something like what Rackspace uses [rubber bands I think?]).

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 months ago | (#47762423)

Damn, I thought it meant it would do well in my Winnebago. My server rack is near the rear axle and I've had some issues on bumpy roads...

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (3, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 months ago | (#47762365)

I've got a 32tb array in my RV so that's where my mind went even tho I know it can't be right. :) It's traveled 11,000 miles without a blip and was expanded from 26tb last fall. I don't have any proof to back it up but I'll bet it's one of the largest mobile arrays in the world. Sure, it'd be easy to build a bigger one but who needs that much storage on the move?

Also, I'm getting a kick out of the idea of 8tb drives. Most of mine are 2tb and I just started swapping in 4tb drives last year. Haven't even had a chance/reason to start putting in 6tb drives and now they're up to 8tb. Pretty soon, I'll be able to whittle it down to a mirror.

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (2)

dixonpete (1267776) | about 2 months ago | (#47762435)

Invest in a very high speed Internet connection and you can just download anything you want relatively instantly via torrent. Makes local storage a practical waste of time. IME anyway.

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762531)

Very high speed connection? In an RV? Does your plot involve spools of fiber towed behind said vehicle?

Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762561)

Yeah. Why, what were you thinking?

meanwhile........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762059)

The clowns at Argonne National Lab are still bragging about their 6 TB hard drives. Six! So big! You should so jealous to work at Argonne, really you should.

Re:meanwhile........ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762245)

I've heard that NSA wants to buy two or three.

Re:meanwhile........ (2)

pluff_mud (3799459) | about 2 months ago | (#47762475)

I'm sure they already have 'two or three' on order!

Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762065)

I feel as if we are at a point where cheap capacity is outstripping the need for it for most consumers.

Would it be trivial to design a drive that can be switched into a double-speed half-capacity mode?

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (5, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | about 2 months ago | (#47762137)

Before SSD's were all the rage, a common thing to get a speed boost was to do 'short stroke' the drive. Essentially, all you do is only partition the first third of the drive and use that space.

The theory is that the head doesn't need to move around as much and speeds up the drive. I've never done it but modders used to swear by it.

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (4, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47762281)

If it's the outer most tracks, sure. More surface area = more bits. As such, that 1/3rd would be physically narrower making the actuator arm not having to swing as far back and forth when reading/writing to that partition. As a bonus, the outer most track also has faster throughput as more bits fly under the head vs the inner track regardless of RPM.

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (1)

countach (534280) | about 2 months ago | (#47762379)

I suppose, but if your data is only small, a good OS will probably put it all together at the beginning of the drive anyway.

Plus, OSes perform better when they have got a lot of space to work with. So not all usage scenarios would improve.

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (2)

skezix (3717409) | about 2 months ago | (#47762473)

The Pillar Data Axiom SANs did this. DEC filed a patent for it back in '92. http://www.google.com/patents/... [google.com]

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 months ago | (#47762551)

In the early 1990s, AIX allowed you to partition drives (physical volumes) where a logical volume could be residing on the inner or outer part of a drive. That way, DB indexes and critical tables could be placed where access was relatively fast, while the stash for archive logs, program files, and stuff not really accessed could be placed on the outer part. Not SSD speed, but it was a way to help with database performance, especially if one had a lot of spindles.

Re: Switched double speed half capacity, realistic (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47762587)

Isn't it the outer portion, rather than the inner portion, given that you can reach more per revolution if it's written to the outer edge, on account of the greater circumference? And if so, then yup, this is a viable technique for speeding up read times. OS X actually implemented something similar as far back as 10.4, where it'd move the OS and other frequently-used files to the outermost portions of the platter in order to improve read performance. I never really noticed a difference, personally, but Apple clearly thought there was one, given that they implemented it into their OS as a standard feature.

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762139)

Yeah, right. Media consumption is at an all time high. Between PVR, data mining markets, virtual machines, backup data, servers, and etc. At 12TB I still don't have enough space.

It's a bit weird to think about really. Back in the early 90's I worked for a company that had a "huge" 2TB array (which consisted of hundreds of drives). It was lol fun to keep the damn thing running because it had so many drives there were multiple failures almost every day.

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 months ago | (#47762239)

I remember when Washington University in St. Louis installed a new RAID server back in the early 90's. It had a capacity of 1 Terabyte and only cost them $100,000. I remember thinking that was an amazing capacity. Now I've got 7 terabytes of external storage on my desk and it's almost completely full. If you build it, they will fill it.

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47762447)

Between PVR, data mining markets, virtual machines, backup data, servers, and etc. At 12TB I still don't have enough space.

12 TB, snort. I've got over 100 TB worth of 2 and 3 TB drives on-line or on-call a boot away. The most critical part is mirrored RAID-Z2 (4 drives' worth of redundancy per data item), and most of the rest is ad hoc replicated via rsync, some of it several times, so there is nowhere near 100 TB of data stored, but there is a lot.

I would definitely be happy with 64 of these 8 TB. At least for a while.

Short stroke (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47762171)

Would it be trivial to design a drive that can be switched into a double-speed half-capacity mode?

High RPM drives tend to have smaller capacity if I remember correctly, and any drive can be short stroked to save on seek time.

Re:Short stroke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762291)

I've been known to short stroke it to speed things up too. Works well, but can wear out the arms.

Re: Short stroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762325)

I don't need to short stroke it when your mom will gladly "long stroke" me ;)

Re: Short stroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762377)

That's funny, I guess we'll both be getting the slow long stroke then.

Re: Short stroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762503)

Are you guys talking about Pluffs Mom? Shes known to Short and Long stroke it all night long. be careful with her though because there can be a lot of head wear and tear. MTF is about 2 minutes.

Re:Short stroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762425)

Welp, seems my post was a bit misunderstood. I was actually thinking transfer rates. Say you have an 8TB drive with 6 platters - the option could be to pair up the platters and write alternate bytes to each, doubling sustained read and write..

It could also be an option to turn on when you start using the drive, and if it gets half-filled up, it should be possible to decouple them and get the full size.

The tendency for many consumers is to have an SSD boot drive and a platter storage drive - but that platter drive takes some time to fill up, why not double speed it until it's half full?

RAID (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47762485)

Say you have an 8TB drive with 6 platters - the option could be to pair up the platters and write alternate bytes to each, doubling sustained read and write

That would require the head to be right over both tracks at the right moment. I'm not sure the heads are physically aligned that precisely. Or are you suggesting to separate the head assemblies for the top 3 and bottom 3 platters and do RAID 0 in a box?

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47762237)

I doubt it would be trivial: you can sacrifice capacity for some speed by reducing the amount of platter area you use(and thus how far back and forth the read/write head assembly needs to move); but RPM is still a serious constraint, and bumping that tends to get rather costly. 15k RPM has been the effective ceiling for years, and while increases in data density improve best-case read and write speeds they have no effect on how long you have to wait for a given chunk of disk to finish its rotation and come back under the read head.

It also doesn't help that SSDs are aggressively moving into the high speed area. If you applied the engineering tricks used in ultracentrifuges you could probably build a damn fast HDD; but doing so for less than the price of a really nice SSD would be a great deal more challenging.

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762373)

Welp, seems my post was a bit misunderstood. I was actually thinking transfer rates. Say you have an 8TB drive with 6 platters - the option could be to pair up the platters and write alternate bytes to each, doubling sustained read and write.

It could also be an option to turn on when you start using the drive, and if it gets half-filled up, it should be possible to decouple them and get the full size.

The tendency for many consumers is to have an SSD boot drive and a platter storage drive - but that platter drive takes some time to fill up, why not double speed it until it's half full?

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (3, Interesting)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47762555)

As you mention, 15k SAS drives are going to be rapidly undercut by SSDs. The price difference is no longer 10x or 20x when looking at cost/gigabyte, the price difference is now only 2-3x.

Pay 2x-3x the amount for a SSD of the same size as the 15k SAS, and you gain 50x improvement in your IOPS. For workloads where that matters, it's an easy choice to make now. As soon as you say something like "we'll short-stroke some 15k RPM SAS drives" - you should be considering enterprise level SSD instead. Less spindles needed, less power needed, and huge performance gains.

The only downside of SSDs is that write-endurance. A 600GB SSD can only handle about 120TB of writes over its lifespan (give or take 20-50% depending on the controller, technology, etc). The question is - are you really writing more then 60GB/day to the drive (in which case it will wear out in 5 years).

And more importantly... will you care if it wears out in 4-5 years? That you could handle the same workload using fewer spindles and less power likely pays for itself, including replacing the drives every 4-5 years.

Surely you mean half speed double capacity? (2)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47762355)

I would MUCH, MUCH rather have half speed double capacity. Just about all my storage comes much closer to write once, read mostly.

if 1 drive full, raid. Dual read write armatures (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47762385)

If you have 8 TB of capacity in the form of two 4TB drives, you can trade speed for capacity via RAID. With RAID 0, each druve gets half of each KB, doubling throughput.

I've often wondered about building a drive with TWO sets of read/write heads. All drives going back decades read one cylinder at a time. Why not add another set of heads intge other side of the platters and read two cylinders at a time. Rotational latency eould be cut in half. One set could be used for the inner tracks and one for the outer tracks to reduce seek time.

Expanding on that, why does the head read from ONE point. The arm could be lined with a row of ten read heads. We can put millions of pixels on a four inch screen, why can't we put ten reading sensors on a two-inch arm?

Re:if 1 drive full, raid. Dual read write armature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762599)

file your patent now, i also had the same thought, and there assuredly have been others as well

Re:Switched double speed half capacity, realistic? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 months ago | (#47762517)

Would it be trivial to design a drive that can be switched into a double-speed half-capacity mode?

There's a word for it... "Velociraptor".

There's even a word for a drive that's "triple" speed... "Cheetah".

In any case, you wouldn't decrease the capacity on account of the faster rotational speed... you'd just use a faster DSP capable of doing its thing in less than half the time as a slower drive. From what I recall, the Cheetah's storage density per platter was basically the same as any other 2.5" drive.

SSDs obviously made the highest-performance spinning disks almost irrelevant, but personally, I used to think it would have been awesome if Seagate had taken the Cheetah platform, added two more independent sets of actuators and read/write heads, and wired it all up to look like 3 SCSI drives with sequential SCSI IDs so you could have single-drive RAID-5 performance in a luggable laptop (think: inch-thick Alienware/Sager/Clevo) or SFF desktop. Heat would be an issue... but really, a Cheetah didn't throw off any more heat than the mini-PCIe discrete video cards found in some gamer/mobile-workstation laptops now. In MY laptop, at least, the GPU's cooling system is bigger than the CPU's.

One thing I'd LOVE to see, and even think there's a market for, would be a single-platter drive suitable for mounting in the optical bay of mobile workstation laptops (say, 120mm diameter, 7mm or thinner). I rarely use optical discs, but having another 4tb or so that's always with me would be nice to have. Basically, it would be 7mm thick Quantum Bigfoot from the late 90s... and Jesus, with that much diameter per platter, just imagine how many terabytes you could pack into a multi-platter drive that fully-consumed a 5.25" quarter-height drive bay. It's almost scary to think about something like a 256-tb 5.25" single-bay hard drive.

I'm also kind of surprised that nobody ever made a thin-but-3.5" drive for laptops (which would obviously need a larger drive bay... but modern laptops, even thin ones, have SHOCKING amounts of horizontal acreage under the keyboard that could easily be put to good use for bigger cheap drives).

Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (2)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about 2 months ago | (#47762069)

I remember when tape drives stored a few times more data than hard drives, and were priced about the same. I know I can back up to external USB drives (which I do using Snebu [snebu.com] , but I which tape drives were more affordable.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762089)

They still sell tape drives? Must be marketed toward the old geezer crowd or something.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

sudo (194998) | about 2 months ago | (#47762113)

When you are talking about backup up hundreds of TB (or PBs) then you still need tape drives.

1000 tapes only require the power of the tape drives to run... buy another 1000 tape drives and you still need the same power.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (5, Informative)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47762461)

Agreed - tape is a good choice as soon as you:

- need removable backup storage that gets swapped daily and goes offsite (legal reasons)
- have the budget for multiple tape drives, including a spare at your offsite disaster recovery location
- have enough data that you need an auto-loader
- have someone to babysit the tape drive on a daily basis, swapping in tapes in an organized fashion, replacing tapes based on usage history (not when they break), and run period cleaning tapes

The tape drives are $2-$5k each, you should always have at least two of the current generation, in case one breaks. Individual tapes are $40-$60 and you're going to be buying 50-60 per year if you follow a normal setup (daily backups, one tape per week gets pulled for permanent storage, etc.)

For smaller companies, hooking up a 1TB or 2TB USB drive to the server and running a backup is about the limit of their technical proficiency (and limits of their budget). For $800, you could buy 6 or 8 USB drives and have them rotate them out on a weekly basis.

Sure, it's not a daily backup with permanent retention offsite. But it's generally more foolproof then tape (or less fiddly). And it's a lot easier to sell a $800 backup solution then a $8000 backup solution. Plus you can start with a $400 solution, then slowly add more drives to the pool over time to get better historical backups. Older, smaller, USB drives can be repurposed for other uses as you slowly increase the size of individual drives. Not as easy to repurpose old tape drives or media that is now too small.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762115)

They still sell tape drives?

Yes, tape is very common for backups & archiving. LTO6 is 2.5 TB (uncompressed) per tape and sells for around $40-$50 per tape:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

And LTO is far more reliable than a SATA hard disk.

Must be marketed toward the old geezer crowd or something.

Or, to those of us who care about our data.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (0)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47762481)

Tape is still critically important. Admit it, though. Even LTO6 looks like a sad sack of shit compared to the capacity of this drive. No chance in hell tape can keep up the game much longer.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762549)

No chance in hell tape can keep up the game much longer.

That's probably engraved on a plaque in some wizened tape executive's office. They have been saying this for decades. Or are you telling me this is something new, like the tape death trend has been confirmed by Netcraft?

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (2)

lsllll (830002) | about 2 months ago | (#47762121)

I don't think it's necessarily geared towards the old geezer crowd, although I would be one of those. There are instances when tape is still the way to go. For long retention periods (less than the life of the tape), nothing beats tape. Once it's done and shipped to offsite storage, it doesn't generate heat, doesn't burn electricity, doesn't take any room in the data center, and is offsite.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (4, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 months ago | (#47762143)

They still sell tape drives? Must be marketed toward the old geezer crowd or something.

They're cost effective if you're storing a LOT of data and you don't need to regularly access it.

An LTO-6 drive costs about $2500, and it stores 2.5TB of data on a $50 tape. That is about half the price of a comparable hard drive. If you have more than 100TB of data to store then tape becomes cheaper (that is, the savings for the tapes exceeds the cost of the drive). Tape is also a bit less fragile during transport/etc, and likely more reliable than optical media unless you buy the expensive stuff (which certainly isn't any cheaper than tape).

Doing anything with those kinds of data volumes is always going to be slow, whether you're talking drives/tapes/etc. So, if you need rapid recovery or have a lot of turnover then strategies like replication to a live remote site is going to be necessary, and tape will never give you a great recovery time. It is better for retention for "just in case" scenarios or legal reasons - where recovery time isn't as important as just having the ability to recover at all.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (5, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 months ago | (#47762265)

An LTO-6 drive costs about $2500, and it stores 2.5TB of data on a $50 tape. That is about half the price of a comparable hard drive. If you have more than 100TB of data to store then tape becomes cheaper (that is, the savings for the tapes exceeds the cost of the drive). Tape is also a bit less fragile during transport/etc, and likely more reliable than optical media unless you buy the expensive stuff (which certainly isn't any cheaper than tape).

The advantage of tape has always been it's nigh-indestructibility. Spinning drives in comparison are pretty vulnerable.

Tapes has a crapload of drawbacks, write speed, read speed, the fact it's sequential (random access is painful) but it remains popular because you can drop it, smash it, submerge and then freeze it and all you have to do is roll the tape into a new case. Disks have a bad tendency to fail over time where as tape is a lot more reliable.

If you want to back up a lot of data for a short time (sub six months) then disk is good, if you want to back up data for a long time (years) and know that it will be recoverable in 5 to 7 years, then use tape.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about 2 months ago | (#47762295)

Tapes has a crapload of drawbacks, write speed, read speed, the fact it's sequential (random access is painful) but it remains popular because you can drop it, smash it, submerge and then freeze it and all you have to do is roll the tape into a new case.

Maybe they have fixed it, but I heard some old stories about dropping tapes corrupting them.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47762403)

That was true about a decade ago. Since then, the companies have been able to come up with a much better glue to hold the bits to the tape.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47762521)

Dropping hard drives tends to destroy them too, but that doesn't rule them out. Basically if you fling tapes around, you're doing it wrong. Have a care.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47762505)

"Always" is a fighting word :-)

I was there for the touted Exabyte revolution. 2 GB on a digital-8 cartridge sounds puny now but it was revolutionary then. Except for one thing. The reliability and lifetime of the drives was piss poor. OK, two things. The recorded data on tape was very marginal as well.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 months ago | (#47762361)

"Enterprise" is not just the subject of that poster on the wall in your mom's basement.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47762357)

No. At least not one that makes sense for storing one or two copies of a consumer hard drive. And you're stuck with a huge investment in one generation of tapes, unlike HDDs where you can gradually buy bigger and better drives. I'd rather see hard drives get cheaper and tape not than nothing getting cheaper at all. What's the real practical downsides to HDDs for the average person anyway? They're standard and can be hooked up to any computer (real fun if your tape drive dies on you or is lost/stolen). They're random access. Without a tape robot it's not more convenient. Without a environmental controlled tape vault I wouldn't trust their longevity claims.

Personally I think the ideal consumer backup solution is three hard drives, one offline next to your computer and one online hooked up via high speed Internet. Anything that nukes your files can't get to your offline copy even if the online copy is hacked or accidentally sync'd, anything that destroys all local copies like theft or a fire can't get to your online copy. One drive goes bad and you should still have two good copies though RAID1 on your main computer would be nice, just to avoid the downtime.

And for what it's worth, most consumer data isn't really worth backing up as they're just a cache to the Internet. I just checked and my total personal stuff (photos, videos, documents, source code, whatever) is 370GB, while I got 10TB+ of other things. And a lot of that which goes under personal is actually "backed up" in that friends or family got copies too, so strictly speaking I could do with even less. I actually see they have 512GB thumb drives now (at insane prices), actually my whole backup could fit in that now.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47762401)

For smaller offices, I prefer rdiff-backup over rsnapshot (but both work well) combined with USB drives instead of tape drives.

Clients backup to a central server, each client has its own mount point and own file system (limits the possible damage if a backup client goes crazy since this is a push system). Inside that mount point, they create as many rdiff-backup directories as they need to.

Once per day the server checks the file system for a particular backup client (iterates through them in a random ordering), snapshots the logical volume (using LVM), then uses the read-only snapshot to rsync all of the content to the USB drive(s).

The nice part about this is that it can also easily send those backups offsite using rsync. The other nice part about rdiff-backup is that metadata (ownership, permissions, ACLs) get stored in regular files and you can store rdiff-backup directories on any file system without losing that information.

Once a week, someone at the office swaps the drives attached to the cables and takes the latest set home. I recommend at least (3) sets of drives, with a goal of getting of (10) sets.

The drives are easily encrypted with LUKS, you can use udev to attach/detach a block device under /dev/mapper with a LUKS keyfile stored in /root/something. Combine that with autofs to automatically mount the USB drives at a predictable point on the file system.

Downside is that it does take 20-30 minutes to setup a new USB backup drive. You have to format it with LUKS, set the passphrase, then attach the keyfile to it. Plus add the udev rules and autofs rules. But that time is worth it because even if someone loses a backup drive, the content is encrypted.

The udev/autofs tricks made it pretty easy for someone non-technical to swap out the drives every few days or every week.

If you use rdiff-backup - make sure you put /tmp on a SSD or dedicated 15k RPM spindle. When using the rdiff-backup verify commands, it has to create/read a lot of files in /tmp. We have a 300GB RAID-1 SSD pair on the server dedicated to the /tmp directory, which speeds up rdiff-backup a lot.

Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about 2 months ago | (#47762601)

I haven't used rdiff-backup, but I used to use rsnapshot (actually a homebrew equivalent to it) -- was backing up several hosts to a central one. But I really missed having all the backup metadata in a database, where I could do simple SQL queries to find out file patterns were taking up the most space (this helps you tune your include/exclude list). Also, trying to replicate a rsnapshot volume that had a bunch of hard links (each day's backup's common files were hard linked to the previous days' files) -- this made for some very slow copying, unless I did a raw image copy (30 systems, with 10 daily, 6 weekly, and 12 monthly backup each made for a lot of file inode entries). That's why I wrote Snebu, so for each file that doesn't change between backups, only one gets stored. And references between backup sets are handled in the DB (sqlite3 based) instead of via hard links in the filesystem. Oh, and files are also compressed (lzop compatible format), which is something that rsnapshot didn't give me.

My favorite feature, that I'm testing out now (should be in the next version once it is stable and I hammer out the UI issues) is the ability to have a shadow copy of the backup DB that you stick on a thumb drive. This allows you to make incremental backups of your laptop to the shadow copy and sync it back to the main backup later on. Other features coming include external plugin modules to support moving / copying older backup sets to independent volumes, and potentially tape changers and cloud storage too (however these will all be secondary storage locations, the primary will be local storage).

Progress (5, Funny)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47762107)

Just like before I can lose entire tv series when the disk fails. But now it's the HD version of the series I will lose. That's called progress.

Re:Progress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762131)

they are cheap, buy 2

Re:Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762175)

Cheap you say? Well hell, I'll buy ten! That should get me about a month!

Re:Progress (1)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47762559)

Hurry before the next flood in Thailand, where most of the major hard disk factories in the world are conveniently located nearby each other (hence the price surge of 2011).

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11... [nytimes.com]

From the article:
“Surely one of the inevitable impacts of this is that never again will so much be concentrated in so few places,” said John Monroe, an expert on storage devices at Gartner, a technology research firm.

Yeah, sure.

Re:Progress (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 months ago | (#47762203)

if you're trusting a drive, "you're not doing it right(tm)"

Re:Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762283)

If the drive is huge and making a backup takes forever, you might be less inclined to keep a backup and more inclined to hope it doesn't fail.

Re:Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762397)

Incremental backups....

Re:Progress (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47762513)

If the drive is huge and making a backup takes forever, you might be less inclined to keep a backup and more inclined to hope it doesn't fail.

Long gone are the days when you had to sit back and not do anything on your system, waiting patiently while the data was backed up, so as make sure everything would keep up, and not to interrupt the tape/CD-R/etc.

When my system is being rsync'd to the backup drive, the only thing I notice is a small lag when I click on a file, and a HDD LED that's blinking like it's trying to signal me that the Russians are invading.

Re:Progress (2)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47762605)

I use various cloud providers to backup important stuff.

But I would expect that a hard drive for which I pay $120 would last at least a year. Of course we live in a world where failure is expected in computer hardware so the blame is on me for not rsync'ing 6 seasons of Nash Bridges and 3 seasons of Airwolf.

Re:Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762533)

Only if you are stupid.

Re:Progress (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47762409)

I archive all my stuff directly at Netflix.

Re:Progress (1)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47762527)

The day Netflix offers The Wire and the Star Wars movies I may consider doing the same. Until then they are my $8/month source for bad British or Swedish series, although they are becoming quite a good source for bollywood movies too.

I'm not kidding. Recently I had the opportunity to watch the puzzling movie Besharam on Netflix. The scene with the exploding car at the beginning got me hooked but the highlight of the movie is definitely this dynamic duo of Indian guys dressed in aluminium foil who dance like Michael Jackson on what sounds like Korean pop played on a 8-bit Casio keyboard.

See for yourself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
(notice the frequent zooms on the main guy's crotch)

THANK YOU NETFLIX

Re:Progress (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47762493)

Just like before I can lose entire tv series when the disk fails.

Buy two.

If you're worried about the drive failing, a RAID-1 setup will take care of it, while doubling read speeds and halving seek times.

If you're worried about user error or other accidents, have one offline in an external caddy, and just periodically power it up and rsync all the new data to it.

I've been doing the later religiously for the past 10 years, upgrading my external drive every time I upgrade my internal drives. In all that time, not one hard drive has suddenly failed on me, instead bigger drives drop in price and become too tempting to ignore, so old drives go in the trash. But besides being insurance that my many years of acquiring content won't poof into smoke and leave me at square one, feeling like a crippled baby learning how to walk again, the external drive has been extremely useful in making my hard drive upgrades, and OS upgrades, a much simpler operation.

It's just so damn incredibly cheap and easy to keep a reasonably up-to-date backup of EVERYTHING you have, that I can't believe people would choose not to do so. The prices on "cloud" storage are astronomical by comparison.

Dedupe technology might be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762157)

I wonder how many of these multi-TB hard drives are clogged with customer schemes like VMWare images for the last six releases of some application, times four different target operating systems. There's probably 80-90 percent redundancy that could be stripped right off the top.

It's hard to dedupe ciphertext (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47762183)

But how would the host detect the redundancy if the guest operating systems use full disk encryption? The cipher modes they use are specifically designed to hide whether a sector is a duplicate of another sector.

Get Perpendicular! (1)

Idou (572394) | about 2 months ago | (#47762173)

Get Perpendicular! [youtube.com]

Re:Get Perpendicular! (1)

ionymous (1216224) | about 2 months ago | (#47762201)

"super-cali-what?"

"Check me out! I'm dancin! I'm dancin!"

I still quote those occasionally and my family thinks I'm weird.

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these suckers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762225)

All them pr0nz lawdy

Lotsa Pr0n HDs (0)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 2 months ago | (#47762235)

FTA: "Now that we download TV shows, movies, music, video games, books, and other, shall we say, forms of entertainment,"

Don't beat around the bush (pun not intended).... you mean PORN!

Disks this size should be measured in Pr0ns, not TB.
Just sayin'

Re:Lotsa Pr0n HDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762257)

What about per 25 Simpsons seasons?

Re:Lotsa Pr0n HDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762311)

What about per 25 Simpsons seasons?

Whatever happened to good old standard measurements? You know, Libraries of Congresses?

Re:Lotsa Pr0n HDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762269)

FTA: "Now that we download TV shows, movies, music, video games, books, and other, shall we say, forms of entertainment,"

Don't beat around the bush (pun not intended).... you mean PORN!

Disks this size should be measured in Pr0ns, not TB.
Just sayin'

So how large is this drive then? Is this an 8 pr0n drive or what will the conversation rate be? Considering that they now release "4k" clips (or so I heard ....) this might not last as long as one would think.

What does this mean for the data center? (1)

troll -1 (956834) | about 2 months ago | (#47762253)

Why hasn't the price of data centers come way down with new storage technology? For example, why not keep a few terabytes of offline storage in your desk drawer instead of paying $$$ for tapes? If tapes are more reliable then what level of duplication is needed for disks to be as reliable? This combined with the multiplier effects of no_AC_necessary solid-state ... why not big data center in small closet? If the data center is inefficient, why is it still around? Latin me that, my trinity scholard.

ugh (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47762261)

I just had my third 1tarabyte+ hard drive fail tonight. I remember when hard drives DIDNT fail. It wasn't even a think I thought could happen. It's nice they can get them so large now, but I don't want that much in one place. I'd rather have several smaller drivers raided waiting for the inevitable.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762327)

I remember when hard drives DIDNT fail.

You must have dreamed it. There wasn't ever a time when hard drives didn't fail.

Re:ugh (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 months ago | (#47762383)

When did hard drives not fail? I've had failures since the early 90s, when they were in the 200 MB range.

Re:ugh (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 2 months ago | (#47762399)

You can still raid several larger drives. The advantage: you can have full mirroring, and large storage space. I welcome the technological advancement, but still I've only occupied 50% of my 1.5 TB HDD, and I must note that I've copies of the kernel source, and mozilla-central.

Re:ugh (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47762501)

I remember when hard drives DIDNT fail.

No you don't. HDDs have failed as long as HDDs have existed, and the failure rate has declined over the years. Today's HDDs are more reliable than ever before.

Seagate failures (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47762263)

So I have multiple servers in different locations all using 3TB external USB3 Seagate drives (powered by AC adapter). At least 12 in total, one for each server used for BMR backups. In less than a year, ALL DRIVES FAILED!!! Either they started out with bad blocks and progressively got worse, or just died.

Seagate, never again! The article below doesn't show just how bad Seagate drives are when used every day.

http://www.pcworld.com/article... [pcworld.com]

Re:Seagate failures (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 2 months ago | (#47762347)

I've had bad luck with using USB drives for backup in general. Two seagates and two Toshiba drives died before I got a synology unit. It's been rock solid so far.

Re:Seagate failures (0)

s3cr3to (2822665) | about 2 months ago | (#47762419)

Sea-HATE (Seagate) is a nightmare a total loss.
Granted HD fails, but I have a bunch (+11) of seagate HD-crap to prove that this brand need to be banned from earth. (many of them failed after few weeks of use, not months)

I can't write all my frustrations but when I read "8 TB HD from sea-hate" ooh man!, I just wonder who in heaven will trust 8TB of good or bad data to SeaHATE? ... Me? NEVER AGAIN.

SeaHate just make expensive toys for disassemble: good magnets to play and vanity mirror plates.
If this is your thing... buy.

Re:Seagate failures (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762451)

Ive heard the same thing about WD drives...so NEVER AGAIN for WD drives, and NEVER AGAIN for Seagate drives, so now ill only buy......oh shit.

Re:Seagate failures (3, Informative)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 2 months ago | (#47762529)

External 3.5" drives are generally put in junky enclosures with no cooling and iffy controller chips and 1-year warranties. Since 3.5" hard drives are much more sensitive to heat issues then their 2.5" laptop drive cousins, you need active cooling (at least a minimal amount of airflow 24x7 over the drive).

One external drive enclosure that I've been happy with is a Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2. This is a USB 3.0 unit which can hold up to (4) 3.5" drives in a few different configurations (I use JBOD). Not that expensive, has a fan, and has good performance.

Stick some moderate quality 3.5 drives in it (WD Red, Seagate Enterprise Capacity drives, Hitachi Ultrastars) and it should run fine for a few years. Most of those drives have 3 or 5 year warranties.

(For the 4-drive unit, we write to a different drive each day. And our backups are based on rdiff-backups, so each backup set has the full 53 weeks of change history for the source data.)

Re:Seagate failures (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47762595)

If you bought all of the drives at the same time and they all failed in such a short span, the likely cause is a bad batch, rather than some extraordinarily poor designs on the part of the manufacturer. And while a bad batch does reflect poorly on the manufacturer, the fact is, all of the manufacturers have bad batches from time to time.

At my current ISP's cap... (1)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about 2 months ago | (#47762279)

It would take me 20 months to fill that up.

Re:At my current ISP's cap... (1)

s3cr3to (2822665) | about 2 months ago | (#47762437)

... and less than 20 months to lost your data, remember to backup in another 20TB HD from sea-of-crape.

What's the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762309)

Have you heard about the price for that HDD??

For the 8TB of data you don't really care about! (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47762351)

Considering how awful QC and MTBF have been with Seagate in the past 10 years or so, I really can't think of a good reason to buy this drive.

RAID Rebuilds (1)

coffecup (3032279) | about 2 months ago | (#47762389)

love to see the rebuild time on my RAID stripes.......................zzzzzzzz

Re:RAID Rebuilds (2)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 2 months ago | (#47762523)

That's why there is a feature called Write-intent bitmap [kernel.org] . There is a performance hit, but it's well worth the rebuild time saved if you value your data.

Re:RAID Rebuilds (1)

Etzos (3726819) | about 2 months ago | (#47762581)

I think the OP was talking about a full replace rebuild in which case a write-intent bitmap isn't going to make a difference.

(In case anyone doesn't know and is too lazy to read the linked article above, a write-intent bitmap is for when you pull/reseat a drive or when the computer is improperly shutdown. It basically just copies the changes instead of having to completely rebuild. tl;dr: It's a journal at the RAID level)

Still not on track for 60TB drives by 2016 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762413)

Slashdot ran a story that 60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016 [slashdot.org] based on promises made by Seagate [computerworld.com] .

Rather than a doubling, it seems like hard drives are continuing to go up by 2TB in the first half of the year and an additional 2TB (for a total of 4TB increase) by the second half of the year. So, it seems more likely that in 2015 we will see 10TB and 12TB drives and then in 2016 there will be 14TB and 16TB drives. While a 16TB drive is impressive, it is still only a quarter of the size promised. Also, at a rate increase of 4TB per year, we will be at 30TB by the end of the decade which is still half the 60TB prediction.

While there are some applications which could take advantage of the additional storage space, there are more applications that could take advantage of the improved performance provided by SSD. So the million dollar question seems to be at what price point and density does SSDs have to reach before the industry phases out hard drives? I don't think hard drives can mature fast enough any longer to survive to the end of the decade.

Petabyte drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762455)

I could imagine that they'd have petabyte drives lying around, but they are just saving them for later. I could imagine when we all get bored with 8 terrabyte drives they'll go to 12 terrabytes and then 16, etc. Theoretically, If they had these drives lying around they could go straight to petabyte, but they'd miss out on a lot of upgrade cycles! Stories like this also make me wonder a little bit too: https://xato.net/privacy/dear-nsa-meant-yottabytes/

anyone remember when (4, Interesting)

confused one (671304) | about 2 months ago | (#47762579)

Anyone else remember when 10MB was a decent size disk and 30MB was huge? Man I'm getting old...

FusionHQ 2.0 review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47762597)

It’s really very informative that I wanted ever, thanks for this.

FusionHQ 2.0 review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuR30uw-6Cg

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