The Densest Digits
Higher Capacities And Lower Pricing – A Boon for Data Storage
With new tech, hard drive capacities are increasing and storage costs are lowering. Both Toshiba’s 5TB and HGST’s 6TB hard drives had a limited market release in February 2014. Since then more manufacturers introduced similar products leading to a welcomed downward shift in mechanical storage cost.
Not to be beaten to the punch again, Seagate (in keeping with their previous announcements) supplied 8TB hard drives to select enterprise customers for testing with an expected general market release this quarter. And Seagate’s CEO Steve Luczo pledged 10TB drives available by or before the middle of 2015, with a target of 20TB drives by 2020.
These newest drives can offer much higher capacities (greater areal densities) thanks to technological developments. Seagate’s heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) process uses a laser to preheat a drive platter location before storing data (changing the magnetic polarity.) Seagate’s Luczo indicated limited production of the 8 & 10TB hard drives would maintain higher pricing, though Seagate will likely continue to respond to market pressures.
The new developments in storage technology are welcomed news. As the availability of larger capacity hard drives and hybrid drives (mechanical drives combined with smaller NAND caching Solid State Drives) increases, storage pricing should continue to drop through next year.