6TB Helium drives

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Sep 26, 2013
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Wow, I wasn't even aware that something like this was in the works.
Will be interesting to see the price on these things.
Nevertheless, it will still be useful and sought after.
Even with a high price tag, I'm sure large businesses will make use of these high capacity drives.
 

Jayllo

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Oct 19, 2005
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man, makes me wish I was in college again on the local file sharing network.

the amount of stuff to download.

Mmmmm..
 

mwroobel

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Nearest thing I've found is they were only released to resellers, Dell, HP, ect...

You might not see them available retail for some time. All available inventory right now is going first to government/cloud/high density storage installs with direct contracts. Next will be new servers with high storage/rackunit packages and then, finally when enough are available they will first trickle down as upgrade drives for enterprise and then much much later for end user retail sale.
 

drescherjm

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BTW, I saw a mention about these on a zfsonlinux group. These are now for sale at a few vendors including an amazon seller for over $800 US each.
 

DejaWiz

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$800 each...I'm not surprised. Niche product using an almost extinct element. I'll wait for the 6-8TB 7200RPM non-helium drives to come along for less than half this price.
 

thomaslfessler

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800/each they dropped price use to be 2K

2k? :eek::eek: That must have been when they were selling 100% of their output capacity to the NSA.. HAHA... All of those phone calls and text messages need to be stored somewhere. Now that's our government putting tax dollars to work. ;)
 

okashira

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You guys are funny.

From an engineering standpoint, hydrogen is a far better choice then helium. I am sure they will silently switch to / just hydrogen from the get go.

Helium looks better for marketing reasons. People are scared of hydrogen.
 

dasaint

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Spinning HD + Hydrogen + Air + HD head Crash.


We Need Mythbusters!
 

Red Squirrel

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You guys are funny.

From an engineering standpoint, hydrogen is a far better choice then helium. I am sure they will silently switch to / just hydrogen from the get go.

Helium looks better for marketing reasons. People are scared of hydrogen.

Yeah hydrogen would make a lot more sense and lower the manufacturing cost. The little amount that it would take for a drive would make a little pop sound if it did ignite, no more than that. Internally even if the head malfunctioned and created a spark condition, if there's no oxygen nothing would happen.

Hydrogen expands fast when it's released too, making a small amount of it hard to ignite.

Though helium is more fun because it will make all your music sound funny.
 

dasaint

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Why havent we gotten to that phase of Crystal Storage or whatever it is Kryptonians and Star Trek PPL Used :p
 

JoeComp

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From an engineering standpoint, hydrogen is a far better choice then helium.

Why do you say that? Have you studied all the issues? How does the leak rate of a hermetic sealed HDD compare with H2 vs. He? How about the issues with H2 being more reactive than inert He, will there be any adverse chemical reactions over the years?
 
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Crosshairs

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$800 each...I'm not surprised. Niche product using an almost extinct element. I'll wait for the 6-8TB 7200RPM non-helium drives to come along for less than half this price.


I dont know about extinct, but buying pure Helium is damn expensive...the balloon grade is still relatively cheap, but anything without oxygen added is way up there in cost.

Currently pure Helium is $0.85 per cubic foot which sucks when your filling 100 Cubic foot tanks to about 70% capacity ...
 

GeneO

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That's never happening. It's constantly being produced through natural radioactive decay (uranium 238 for example). Alpha particles are essentially just a helium nucleus.

Maybe not extinct, but It is being consumed much faster than it is produced. Once it is tapped out it will be for a long time.

I don't think the amount of helium even millions of disk drives use will make much of a difference.
 

GeorgeHR

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I dont know about extinct, but buying pure Helium is damn expensive...the balloon grade is still relatively cheap, but anything without oxygen added is way up there in cost.

Currently pure Helium is $0.85 per cubic foot which sucks when your filling 100 Cubic foot tanks to about 70% capacity ...

But it is only a couple pennies for each hard drive. So cheap.
 

CaptNumbNutz

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Why bother putting helium or any gas in there at all? Why not vacuum seal them like manufacturers do with canned food?

There would be zero friction from spinning disks so the only heat generated would be from the motor or electronics. They also wouldn't have to deal with expensive helium.
 

Liger88

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Why bother putting helium or any gas in there at all? Why not vacuum seal them like manufacturers do with canned food?

There would be zero friction from spinning disks so the only heat generated would be from the motor or electronics. They also wouldn't have to deal with expensive helium.



LOL IIRC the air provides cooling and helium does all this better and then some, although very limited natural supplies in the world of the gas. Without air I or some kind of gas I don't think hard drives would function correctly as is without heat becoming a real issue.
 

Sycraft

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Why bother putting helium or any gas in there at all? Why not vacuum seal them like manufacturers do with canned food?

There would be zero friction from spinning disks so the only heat generated would be from the motor or electronics. They also wouldn't have to deal with expensive helium.

Because the drive heads literally float on a gas cushion, generated by the spinning. Remove the gas, they'd crash in to the platters.
 

R3MF

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is there a date when these drives (and/or the seagate SMR drives), will be available to joe consumer?
 

Liger88

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is there a date when these drives (and/or the seagate SMR drives), will be available to joe consumer?


The write speeds are pretty bad from what I've read, so they might not reach the consumer realm before HAMR takes off.
 

R3MF

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cheers both.

lol, $799 is not consumer pricing! :D

are we seriously looking a more than six months before standard consumer products in excess of 4TB are available at retail?
 

drescherjm

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$799 is not consumer pricing!

I considered these for a work upgrade last week however for raidz2 I would want 6 drives at minimum and I only have 1 server that supports > 2TB disks (other servers with older intel sasuc8i based LSI SAS controllers or even older SATA) so that would have been inconvenient at best. Instead I purchased 10 enterprise 2TB SATA drives at ~$175 US each.
 
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odditory

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cheers both.

lol, $799 is not consumer pricing! :D

are we seriously looking a more than six months before standard consumer products in excess of 4TB are available at retail?

5TB have been ready for a while - Seagate I know for a fact and I'm sure WD(HGST)/Toshiba as well. However there are a lot of factors that go into determining the timing of manufacturing and releasing to market. Basically there's no urgency in releasing the higher size drives because they aren't where the sweet spot is in terms of demand. They're not like other products where people are suddenly interested in a flagship product and there's immediate demand. They constantly analyze the figures for 2TB, 3TB, 4TB and see 2TB still outselling them all, with 3TB right behind it, and 4TB dead last. That's obviously a crude oversimplification but is part of the reason for the delay.
 
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Venomous

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With the global supply of helium dwindling to the point of the element becoming extinct, I reeeeeally don't want to see the price tag of these.

According to the energy sector, if fracking for natural gas was given the green light everywhere, the helium shortage would disappear. Seeing as fracking is extremely dangerous for our inground water supply, helium is in a huge shortage and has been since 2010.

I've seen helium go up In pricing over the years as we use it for our kids balloons and stuff for parties. Only last year was it under $40 per 5 gal tank. 2011 I paid $65 for a 5 gal tank. So obviously supply is back up but for how long?
 

picker

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> My biggest worry would be the hermetic seal.

well, if the pressure is the same inside and out there isn't much "push" to get out other than He is lighter than air (78% nitrogen + 21% nasty oxidizing agent) so its low risk, but I won't be buying any used 6T drives from a Denver datacenter :)

what's amazing (and perhaps why the low areal density) is the 512n sectors. WOW!
 

DeathFromBelow

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You guys are funny.

From an engineering standpoint, hydrogen is a far better choice then helium. I am sure they will silently switch to / just hydrogen from the get go.

Helium looks better for marketing reasons. People are scared of hydrogen.

Hydrogen likes to form bonds with metals. They'd have to worry about the platters and other drive components degrading. Hydrogen will also slowly permeate through most containers, both because of its chemical bonding properties and the small size of the atoms. Helium is inert and easier to contain.
 

omniscence

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Hydrogen likes to form bonds with metals. They'd have to worry about the platters and other drive components degrading. Hydrogen will also slowly permeate through most containers, both because of its chemical bonding properties and the small size of the atoms. Helium is inert and easier to contain.

Yes, containing hydrogen is like herding ants. Also it is explosive, and while the amount in a single drive would only lead to a larger poof, a full rack on fire could cause a major explosion. And those drive cases make for nice shrapnels.
 

GeorgeHR

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Yes, containing hydrogen is like herding ants. Also it is explosive, and while the amount in a single drive would only lead to a larger poof, a full rack on fire could cause a major explosion. And those drive cases make for nice shrapnels.

No. Each small poof would happen independant of the others. One would need to take all the hydrogen, add some oxygen, contain it, then explode it to cause any issue.

But hydrogen has other reactive issues.

--

PBS had a piece about the Zeppelins in WW1 and their hydrogen. Very difficult to shoot down. And they did not explode.
 

1010

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5TB have been ready for a while - Seagate I know for a fact and I'm sure WD(HGST)/Toshiba as well. However there are a lot of factors that go into determining the timing of manufacturing and releasing to market. Basically there's no urgency in releasing the higher size drives because they aren't where the sweet spot is in terms of demand. They're not like other products where people are suddenly interested in a flagship product and there's immediate demand. They constantly analyze the figures for 2TB, 3TB, 4TB and see 2TB still outselling them all, with 3TB right behind it, and 4TB dead last. That's obviously a crude oversimplification but is part of the reason for the delay.

It's fair to say that consumer demand for storage is price elastic due to constraints of disposable income. By comparison enterprise purchasing is more price inelastic and tied to business requirements.

Despirte inflation, OEM fail to recognize and or acknowledge that industry consolidation has driven artificial scarcity and collusion amongst players, encouraging a non-competitive environment. Market players would most likely blame continued stagnant conditions and pricing on the 2011 Thai floods, but informed patrons might reach other conclusions. I share your sentiments about crude oversimplifications.

Most of us would probably agree that consumers are purchasing 2TB drives in greater quantities because they are less expensive than 3TB, and 4TB offerings. In 2010 and 2011 (prior to the Thai floods) internal 2TB retail pricing hovered between $60-70. Pulling up retail pricing today (Feb 4, 2014) and 2tb prices on Amazon range between $85-90. If 2TB drives were phased out and replaced by larger capacity drives at lower price points, larger capacities would sell in greater volume.
 
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