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IT News Thread, Seagate to buy Samsung hard disc arm? in Other News; Shame, I really like Samsung drives, and after years of being bitten by various manufacturing bugs from the likes of ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Seagate to buy Samsung hard disc arm?

    Shame, I really like Samsung drives, and after years of being bitten by various manufacturing bugs from the likes of Fujiitsu and IBM's Deskstar (Deathstar as they became known) range it was nice to see the remainder of the competition producing solid and reliable drives. Admittedly the Fujitsu fiasco was caused by one of the controller chips not manufacturered by them, but with an ever shrinking range of manufacturers it won't be long before there is no choice at all. A good thing or bad thing I wonder?

    Seagate to buy Samsung's disk drive biz? ? The Register

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    DAZZD88's Avatar
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    Interesting to see that the HDD market has been dominated by very few companies. I personally quite liked the desktar series after Hitachi bought that part of IBM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Considering the ever increasing number of SSD devices being produced, and their reducing prices, it is completely feasible that the hard disk industry will start to contract dramatically within the next 10 years.

    I know I'll be seriously considering SSD devices for any future server purchases, and probably any future desktop purchases too.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Considering the ever increasing number of SSD devices being produced, and their reducing prices, it is completely feasible that the hard disk industry will start to contract dramatically within the next 10 years.

    I know I'll be seriously considering SSD devices for any future server purchases, and probably any future desktop purchases too.
    still handy to have hard drives for storage purposes as they are cheaper, home made SATA NAS type devices, free nas, etc

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    still handy to have hard drives for storage purposes as they are cheaper, home made SATA NAS type devices, free nas, etc
    Cheaper at the moment, yes, but in 5 or 10 years? The price of SSDs drop by 50% in 2 years. So, a 128GB SSD at the moment might be, what, £140? In 2 years, it'll be £70. 1TB SSDs are around £2k at the moment, so in 2 years you could expect them to be £1k. In 10 years it'll be £75... Well, if the trend continues anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    A good thing or bad thing I wonder?
    Less competition is never a good thing for the consumer.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Still handy to have hard drives for storage purposes as they are cheaper
    HDDs will probably be around for a while yet...



    Seagate are betting on hybrid drives being the future. Western Digital also has plans to introduce hybrid drives at some point in the near future.

    Within three to five years every product that Seagate has will have a hybrid option attached to it, including enterprise drives. O'Malley [Seagate's CFO] noted that Seagate really needs to work/partner with the operating system in order to make the hybrid offerings work.
    O'Malley went on to note that the hybrid model will likely show up in gaming systems because of the better performance, in enterprise given the amount of flash that can be placed on it, and will likely be a player in the mobile compute space because of the options that it presents.

    As of right now, Seagate only has a 2.5-inch hybrid drive available that is designed for the tablet market and expects to eventually penetrate the thin notebook market, but is currently being adopted primarily by the gaming industry. (Source)
    During a Seagate conference call, CEO Steve Luczo, said that he doesn't see SSDs as being the future. While that sounds funny coming from the leader of a storage company, remember that Seagate isn't heavily invested in SSD technology as some other companies who have feet deep in flash memory.

    Luzco also said that he owns a previous-generation MacBook Air with an SSD, but he's frustrated at the lack of storage capacity inside the machine. (Source)

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Well, if the trend continues anyway!
    It won't.

    IMFT is on a 15-18 month process cadence, meaning this transition was of course planned for in advance. The first 20nm NAND is being manufactured at the IMFT Fab in Lehi, Utah, which is currently producing 25nm NAND. Some equipment upgrades are necessary to support 20nm. IMFT will also transition its fabs in Manassas, VA and Singapore to 20nm at a later point.

    For consumers there’s an obvious win. We need smaller transistor geometries to reduce the cost of NAND, which ultimately reduces the cost of SSDs. The days of 50% annual price reductions are over however, expect to see a conservative 20 - 30% drop in price for SSDs that use 20nm NAND over 25nm NAND. (Source)
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    1TB SSDs are around £2k at the moment, so in 2 years you could expect them to be £1k.
    600GB SSDs only cost £700 ($1070), so you could get 1.2TBs for a lot less than £2k today (assuming you don't mind having two drives instead of one).

    While there are a huge number of companies who sell SSDs (OCZ, Corsair, Patriot, OWC, Kingston etc.), most of them are still at the mercy of a few NAND flash manufacturers (Intel, Micron, Toshiba, Samsung, SanDisk). Within 10 years, I expect we will see further consolidation and thus less competition in this sector too.

    With flash memory being the main component of an SSD there isn't a lot of room to compete on price for the smaller players like OCZ and Corsair. Intel on the other-hand makes a very nice profit on their SSDs since they produce both the NAND and the controllers.

    It's still early in the 25nm ramp, but the 25nm Intel SSD 320 is cheaper than the 34nm Intel SSD 510. The only issue is that OCZ is very competitive with its pricing as well and compared to the Vertex 2, Intel's SSD 320 isn't really any cheaper. Intel likes to maintain its 65% profit margins so even though it makes the NAND and the controller in the 320, we're unlikely to see these drives drop below competitive pricing. (Source)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Saw a few 2tb PCI Express cards that have SSD Flash on them with a 1.4 gbs read and similar write performance but cost a whole wodge of dosh

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    SSDs still have the issue around the maximum number of writes before they break so HDs might still be better for long term storage at the moment? Granted it's a lot better now and I read something on my Intel X-25 that it would take 30 odd years at full pelt to wear them out but not sure how much of that is marketing over real-world experience?

    Certainly SSD is brilliant for performance, the X25 is my system drive at home and gives the kind of speed increase you'd expect from a new PC

    As for the buyout, quite disappointing Samsung are selling up really. They've been my brand of choice for ages now, usually with WD not far behind. Seagate never tended to be on the radar for me, may have been down to price as much as anything. As for the other manufacturers, wouldn't touch Fujitsu, Maxtor or the Deathstars with a very long bargepole after experiencing their build quality on machines people used to bring to me. It's one of the first things that always goes on any PC quote I do... "NO MAXTOR DRIVES"

    Edit: only just realised Seagate bought out Maxtor... that would probably be why I never went near them
    Last edited by gshaw; 18th April 2011 at 02:50 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    It won't.
    I don't agree with that analysis. As demand increases, so will costs reduce. Much like CPU manufacturers and RAM manufacturers, they continue on with their increases in spec and reductions in price.

    600GB SSDs only cost £700 ($1070), so you could get 1.2TBs for a lot less than £2k today (assuming you don't mind having two drives instead of one).
    I was referring to a single device. If you go down the multi device route, why not go for 8 128GB SSDs, that'd only be £1120...

    While there are a huge number of companies who sell SSDs (OCZ, Corsair, Patriot, OWC, Kingston etc.), most of them are still at the mercy of a few NAND flash manufacturers (Intel, Micron, Toshiba, Samsung, SanDisk). Within 10 years, I expect we will see further consolidation and thus less competition in this sector too.

    With flash memory being the main component of an SSD there isn't a lot of room to compete on price for the smaller players like OCZ and Corsair. Intel on the other-hand makes a very nice profit on their SSDs since they produce both the NAND and the controllers.
    We'll see. New technologies are appearing all the time, such as memristors and quantum storage ideas now being bandied about.

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    SSDs still have the issue around the maximum number of writes before they break so HDs might still be better for long term storage at the moment? Granted it's a lot better now and I read something on my Intel X-25 that it would take 30 odd years at full pelt to wear them out but not sure how much of that is marketing over real-world experience?

    Certainly SSD is brilliant for performance, the X25 is my system drive at home and gives the kind of speed increase you'd expect from a new PC
    The issue of them running out of write cycles and wearing out is not an issue any more. Average SSD devices have anywhere between a 1 and 5 million write cycle limit. This is per every single cell on the device. Add in the over-provisioning, and other technologies involved, and an SSD will last just as long as, if not longer than, a hard disk which has to deal with moving parts! Failure rates, from what I've read are comparable (if not a little lower than) traditional hard disks.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The issue of them running out of write cycles and wearing out is not an issue any more. Average SSD devices have anywhere between a 1 and 5 million write cycle limit. This is per every single cell on the device. Add in the over-provisioning, and other technologies involved, and an SSD will last just as long as, if not longer than, a hard disk which has to deal with moving parts! Failure rates, from what I've read are comparable (if not a little lower than) traditional hard disks.
    Had a feeling that was becoming the case, just a matter of getting the price per GB down to hard drive levels now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    SSDs still have the issue around the maximum number of writes before they break
    As Localzuk mentioned, the limited number of writes isn't an issue at all for most people (even with the new 25nm SSDs or future 20nm SSDs).

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    HDs might still be better for long-term storage at the moment?
    Regarding HDD reliability, this article (PDF) by David Rosenthal of Stanford University is an interesting read (particularly the bit about HDD manufacturers switching to 2.5" disks for the consumer market).

    Ever since Clayton Christensen published The Innovator's Dilemma it has been common knowledge that disk-drive cost per byte halves every two years. So you might argue that you don’t need to know how many copies you need to keep your data safe for the long-term, you just need to know how many you need to keep it safe for the next few years. After that, you can keep more copies.

    In fact, what has been happening is that the capacity at constant cost has been doubling every two years, which isn’t quite the same thing. As long as this exponential grows faster than you generate new data, adding copies through time is a feasible strategy.

    Alas, exponential curves can be deceiving. Moore's law has continued to deliver smaller and smaller transistors. A few years ago, however, it effectively ceased delivering faster and faster CPU clock rates. It turned out that, from a business perspective, there were more important things to spend the extra transistors on than making a single CPU faster. Like putting multiple CPUs on a chip.

    At a recent Library of Congress meeting, Dave Anderson of Seagate warned that something similar is about to happen to hard disks. Technologies — HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) and BPM (bit-patterned media) — are in place to deliver the 2013 disk generation (i.e., a consumer 3.5-inch drive holding 8 TB). But the business case for building it is weak. The cost of the transition to BPM in particular is daunting. Laptops, netbooks, and now tablets are destroying the market for the desktop boxes that 3.5-inch drives go into. And very few consumers fill up the 2009 2-TB disk generation, so what value does having an 8-TB drive add? Let alone the problem of how to back up an 8-TB drive on your desk!

    What is likely to happen — indeed, is already happening — is that the consumer market will transition rather quickly to 2.5-inch drives. This will eliminate the high-capacity $100 3.5-inch drive, since it will no longer be produced in consumer quantities. Consumers will still buy $100 drives, but they will be 2.5 inches and have perhaps one-third the capacity. For a while the $/byte curve will at best flatten, and more likely go up. The problem this poses is that large-scale disk farms are currently built from consumer 3.5-inch drives. The existing players in the market have bet heavily on the exponential cost decrease continuing; if they’re wrong, it will be disruptive.
    With ever increasing HDD capacities, we also won't be able to rely on RAID-6.

    The time to populate a drive is directly relevant for RAID rebuild. As disks in RAID systems take longer to reconstruct, the reliability of the total system decreases due to increased periods running in a degraded state. Today that can be four hours or longer; that could easily grow to days or weeks. RAID-6 grew out of a need for a system more reliable than what RAID-5 could offer. We are approaching a time when RAID-6 is no more reliable than RAID-5 once was. At that point, we will again need to refresh the reliability of RAID, and RAID-7, triple-parity RAID, will become the new standard.

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