Over the years the need for more storage has exploded. I have seen systems with 750GB drive packed with pictures, MP3s and movies not to mention actual work files. It has become borderline ridiculous. Still we need to have better access to more space to store our stuff. To help with this many companies have begun manufacturing network attached storage devices. These are multi-drive products that can be connected to a home or small business network and used as a central spot for file storage. We have covered a couple of them and have a few more to show you in the future. The problem with many of these is that to keep costs down they are often shipped without drives. Many think that they can just buy a bunch of drives of the same size and throw them in. That does not always work though; we have run into a few cases where the NAS device did not work with a single range of drives or need a certain firmware revision to work with the drives. It becomes a frustrating game of finding the right drives to work with your NAS and also to get the best performance out of it. To help with this Western Digital have come up with a line of disk drives that are designed specifically to work with NAS devices. These are their new WD Red Drives. The WD Red Drives will come in 1-3TB sizes and should fall into line between the WD Green and Black Drives in terms of performance and price. Western Digital has sent us three of their WD Red 2TB drives for us to try out in two of the NAS devices we have here, so let’s see how they do.
We have another network storage device in our labs; the Thecus N2800. This is a 2-bay NAS with dual network controllers, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and eSATA connectivity. We have tinkered around with some of Thecus’ products before and found that they usually are looking at getting you solid performance, but you are not going to get a ton of frills with them. This is not to say they do not have their own feature set that is worth talking about, but that in the past we have found them to be very straight forward products. Good performance, good price and they will do what you need them to. We have been told that this has changed at Theucus and they are moving in the direction of adding in a wider feature set with their NAS Products. So let’s take a look and see if there has been any improvement.
In the world of computer enclosures things can get boring pretty fast; after all how much can you do with a box? For too many companies the way to differentiate their products is to put in a window and extra LEDs and call it a day. There is little that is new to be perfectly honest with you. However, every now and then something comes out that does stand out from the crowd. We have seen it before with some very unique designs and concepts. One company that has done a fairly good job at keeping things interesting is Cooler Master and in particular their CMStorm line. While at CES this year (2012) we were shown a case that caught our eye and imagination. It was the CMStorm Stryker. We called it the Storm Trooper, not only for its connections to the CMStorm Trooper, but also because it reminded me of the Strom Troopers from Star Wars. We have one of these in our lab now and well… let’s dive in to see what you get and how well it performs.
There is RAID and then there is RAID!. Well IBM has the latter that is a conglomerate of 200,000 disk drives combined together to make up a 120 Petabyte (not to be confused with Pedabite which has to do with chewing on feet) drive array. IBM built this to accumulate data for weather simulations. We imagine that these would be more than answering what the temp will be on Monday but will likely be for long-term forecast models and of course everyone favorite; global warming.
The array is going to an as yet unnamed client of IBM’s but IBM did say that one day (in the far far future maybe) cloud systems would all have similar storage arrays. For those interested this is not a giant JBOD or even RAID 50 array. This is something new called GPFS that allows the system to almost self-heal. If a single disk begins to fail the system can move the data slowly to a ready spare without the normal rebuild times you expect from other arrays. It can also spread files across multiple disks allow extremely fast read/write/index times.
I wonder if I can put something like this together in the garage…
Dsicuss in our Forum
The Cloud is something that we have not been supportive of for a long time and for many reasons. You see the same companies that warn us, on almost a daily basis, how dangerous the internet is are now asking us to trust them with our data and personal information. At the same time the number of breaches happing to internet based companies is skyrocketing. It simply does not seem to make sense to put trust in these cloud services for them money they want when they (almost all of them) cannot keep them safe or secure from malicious individuals. However there is a growing “need” to stay connected and access our own data from anywhere, well there is a solution and it is one that lets you keep your data; The Private Cloud.
CES 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada – During our time on the show floor we stopped by a company called Rocstor. If you have not heard of them, then you should check them out. They manufacture external drives. Now, that is not a big deal if the drive in question is just a normal drive. However the products we saw at the Rocstor booth were anything but ordinary.
The company Western Digital demonstrated the operation of a hard disk based on HARM (heat -assisted magnetic recording) technology at the China International Forum held in Shanghai.
Solyindra a cylindrical solar panel factory, known because of a visit by President Barack Obama in 2010 promoting renewable energy businesses, has been taken over by Seagate. Even though the factory was not operating after an accident where one of the solar-panel makers imploded last year, Seagate is willing to make a deal for it. After Obama's visit they received a $535 million loan for construction of a new compound in Fremont, but that was not enough to avoid bankruptcy due to drastic solar panel price decrease worldwide.
The HDD shortage has been a big story almost since the day the flooding started in Thailand. Initially it appeared that Western Digital was the hardest hit and the ones that would bear the brunt of the damage as not only were they the only company to have their factories completely submerged during the worst of the flooding, but they also lost a legal battle with Seagate and had to pay up over 300 Million Dollars to cover damages. Things were looking very bleak for them, but many other companies found themselves in trouble as the supply of key parts were affected.
Scientists at the University of Oregon State University have found a way to use high-frequency sound to increase the density of magnetic storage. The technology, called Acoustic Assisted Magnetic Recording (AAMR), allows stretching of magnetic media, to allow storage of large amounts of data.