Western Digital Formats Hard Disk Drive Factory as Demand Spins Down

Megalith

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Western Digital is closing its hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya due to declining demand for HDDs. While two manufacturing plants will remain in Bang Pa-In and Prachinburi, the company is increasing its focus on NAND flash with a new, second SSD facility in Penang.

The data technology industry is undergoing substantial change. This market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDD applications. The change has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs. Consequently, Western Digital plans to expand SSD manufacturing in Penang.
 

Danny Dawg

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It will be interesting to see if SSDs suffer the same fate as HDDs when it floods over there or if they are more immune to it.
 

auntjemima

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I would think it would save them a fair chunk of cash as well. Probably costly to make each spinner compared to a fab of ssd chips.
 

Uvaman2

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Ya, even if it's only sata3 speeds, I want a 6tb ssd for about the same price as a spinner..
Yep.. so far they been aggressive with making ssd very fast... I am hoping too they toss some attention to capacity and further durability even at the cost of speed.
 
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Jim Kim

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I wonder if they will ever be inexpensive enough to kick spinners out of my system for hood?
People have been doing that for a while. I have built several systems using a 250-500 gb NVME with a 1 tb ssd.
It's just money.
 

BloodyIron

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Actually I want MORE WD REDs. The problem is the cost per TB has been stuck for YEARS despite increasing capacity. So people like me just hold off until they start actually trying to compete on price again.

And I'm talking about like, I want to buy 4-16 or more drives, but that shit is too expensive right now.

WD REDs are the best balance between enterprise reliability and SATA cost savings for storage arrays.
 

Hornet

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Moving forward, I could see WD phasing out their consumer level drives such as Blue, Black, and 2.5" drives. These market segment will eventually be dominated by SSD as they get cheaper.

HDD will probably still be around for large storage application such as home NAS and enterprise storage.
 

shspvr

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The real problem is the cost per TB capacity like I was final able to upgrade some 2 and 3TB to 4TB as cost just started dropping low $100 mark, So people like me and min other just hold off until they start actually start coming down take look at 6TB there are way to high.
If SSD keep dropping in price someday I be about afford 2TB at $100 but I think we are a long way off for that to happen at lease 3 to 5 year may when 128 layer 3D nand get here that will happen
 
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Actually I want MORE WD REDs. The problem is the cost per TB has been stuck for YEARS despite increasing capacity. So people like me just hold off until they start actually trying to compete on price again.

And I'm talking about like, I want to buy 4-16 or more drives, but that shit is too expensive right now.

WD REDs are the best balance between enterprise reliability and SATA cost savings for storage arrays.
what do you think about seagate iron wolf series? the price is now similar to that of wd reds.

anyway for pc it makes sense you have an ssd (os), and maybe even a secondary ssd (because games these days can hit 30gb+ per game), and your third drive would be one big fat 4tb (best bang for bucks with lots of storage space).

The hdd is for big cheap storage (compared to ssd) for stuff that is not very latency sensitive like videos, music, pictures etc. It's better to put that stuff on hdd.

As for NAS you just get the NAS hdds. Some models have SSD also but mostly for installation of Vms or caching. Or if you want, to install the NAS OS directly on.

But in all situations HDDs is still there because of the reason i pointed out.

So i doubt demand is the issue, more like they want to maintain their current profit margins and not lower hdds prices, especially 4tb to be even cheaper. When will they phase out 1-3tb, and move 4tb, 6tb, 8tb, 12tb etc down the rung in terms of prices? seems they refuse to and it's been like this for a while now.
 

THRESHIN

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i feel like this is a move to keep prices up...i've personally been waiting for a drop in the 8 or 10 TB range. i love SSDs same as the next geek, but they can't compete with the spinners for capacity and cost. if you don't care about speed and want large capacity, HDD is the way to go right now.

SSD will change that one day. this isn't that day.
 

Neapolitan6th

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Man I'd be sad to see HDDs go. I hope they will be able to fully exploit the potential of HDD tech before the inevitable adoption of SSDs.

I hope to see them market multi-actuator tech thus increasing HDD speed. I wonder what the best speeds we could ever see?

Also, I wonder what the highest desity drives we could ever see would be? HAMR, MAMR, etc...

There's just something to love about the mechanical nature of it all. (Failure rate included)

Its just amazing to me that a technology that is now so old can still be innovated on.

Some other similar thoughts:
-What will the zenith of silicon fabricating be? How to improve past 5nm? Can the their still be a clockspeed push?
 

ZLoth

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I'm old enough to remember when I thought it was cool that I got a 300 MB hard drive (not GB) for around $300. And, that was to replace a 105MB hard drive. Now, on my UberBoxen, I had a 1TB SSD as a main drive (those cost around $200 as of this writing) and a 256GB SSD as a scratch drive (those cost starting around $60). And, that 256GB SSD was a hand-me-down.

Quite frankly, anything under 1TB in size is going to be SSD-based now, while anything over 1TB is going to be HD based simply because of the price points. Sure, you can get a 4TB SSD drive, but are you willing to pay over $1,000 for one? I don't think so. It is also much easier to ship a SSD verses a hard drive. I have received brand new SSDs shipped in a padded envelope. Try shipping a hard drive in a padded envelope.

Heck, even my FreeNAS box has a m.2 SSD drive as the boot device, although the reason behind that has nothing to do with boot speeds and everything to do with a free m.2 slot on the motherboard and the desire to use all eight SATA ports for hard drives. I will admit that I am longing for larger NAS drives to replace my eight 5TB drives, but considering that I am only using 49% of my available capacity, that's still a few years off.
 

auntjemima

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Small HDD days are gone... most people will now take a 256 GB ssd as their OS drive over a 1TB. HDD demands only exist for large capacity, like 4TB and more...
Agreed. I have a few 2TB drives sitting around with no need. I'll probably end up making them into some sort of project.
 
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ZLoth

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i feel like this is a move to keep prices up...i've personally been waiting for a drop in the 8 or 10 TB range. i love SSDs same as the next geek, but they can't compete with the spinners for capacity and cost. if you don't care about speed and want large capacity, HDD is the way to go right now.

SSD will change that one day. this isn't that day.
As of this writing, NewEgg lists a 4TB SSD drive starting at $1,060, while a 4TB NAS drive starts at around $119. A 10TB NAS drive will run you around $320, while a 12TB NAS drive will run you $408.

Do I even have 4TB of data that requires the fast storage of a SSD? No. The slow storage of a HD is just fine, and is even good enough for the smooth playback of videos as a media server. Also, I don't think that SSDs are good enough for archival storage at this time.
 

MickeyBailey

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I would think it would save them a fair chunk of cash as well. Probably costly to make each spinner compared to a fab of ssd chips.
Uh, then why are 12TB HDD's prices about the same as that of 2TB SSD's?

Yep.. so far they been aggressive with making ssd very fast... I am hoping too they toss some attention to capacity and further durability even at the cost of speed.
Look at the workload rating of HDD's - the Seagate IronWolf 12TB is rated for .04 DWPD (not a typo, ~500GB/day). TLC endurance is fine. QLC endurance would push it for write heavy use cases but then use TLC drives.

i feel like this is a move to keep prices up...i've personally been waiting for a drop in the 8 or 10 TB range. i love SSDs same as the next geek, but they can't compete with the spinners for capacity and cost. if you don't care about speed and want large capacity, HDD is the way to go right now.

SSD will change that one day. this isn't that day.
yes, this is cutting supply due to decreasing demand - which is odd because we're in the data economy now and there's more data to store than we know what to do with. I think this means they foresee higher layer counts with QLC cannibalizing the HDD market. 96L QLC has twice the bit density of 64L TLC, so "theoretically" those drives should be half the price of current 64L TLC drives with much, much lower failure rates and significantly less power usage than HDDs.

I'm old enough to remember when I thought it was cool that I got a 300 MB hard drive (not GB) for around $300. And, that was to replace a 105MB hard drive. Now, on my UberBoxen, I had a 1TB SSD as a main drive (those cost around $200 as of this writing) and a 256GB SSD as a scratch drive (those cost starting around $60). And, that 256GB SSD was a hand-me-down.

Quite frankly, anything under 1TB in size is going to be SSD-based now, while anything over 1TB is going to be HD based simply because of the price points. Sure, you can get a 4TB SSD drive, but are you willing to pay over $1,000 for one? I don't think so. It is also much easier to ship a SSD verses a hard drive. I have received brand new SSDs shipped in a padded envelope. Try shipping a hard drive in a padded envelope.

Heck, even my FreeNAS box has a m.2 SSD drive as the boot device, although the reason behind that has nothing to do with boot speeds and everything to do with a free m.2 slot on the motherboard and the desire to use all eight SATA ports for hard drives. I will admit that I am longing for larger NAS drives to replace my eight 5TB drives, but considering that I am only using 49% of my available capacity, that's still a few years off.
My first HDD was a Toshiba UltraWide SCSI 4GB in spring of 1997 for $700.

Also, I don't think that SSDs are good enough for archival storage at this time.
Please explain.
 

DrLobotomy

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I don't miss cassette tape storage, nor do I miss floppy disk storage and I sure won't miss clankety hard drive storage.
 

BloodyIron

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Seagate is dead to me. They still have an unacceptable failure rate, and it's just not worth spending the money on a brand that time and time again can't come close to WD RED or HGST in reliability. My data, and time dealing with failures, is more important than any slight savings I could see from using Seagate anything.

The prices are stuck because it's price collusion/signalling. Just like RAM. EU and other markets just need to fucking act already and take them to court, because it's getting stupid.

what do you think about seagate iron wolf series? the price is now similar to that of wd reds.

anyway for pc it makes sense you have an ssd (os), and maybe even a secondary ssd (because games these days can hit 30gb+ per game), and your third drive would be one big fat 4tb (best bang for bucks with lots of storage space).

The hdd is for big cheap storage (compared to ssd) for stuff that is not very latency sensitive like videos, music, pictures etc. It's better to put that stuff on hdd.

As for NAS you just get the NAS hdds. Some models have SSD also but mostly for installation of Vms or caching. Or if you want, to install the NAS OS directly on.

But in all situations HDDs is still there because of the reason i pointed out.

So i doubt demand is the issue, more like they want to maintain their current profit margins and not lower hdds prices, especially 4tb to be even cheaper. When will they phase out 1-3tb, and move 4tb, 6tb, 8tb, 12tb etc down the rung in terms of prices? seems they refuse to and it's been like this for a while now.
 

Trimlock

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Actually I want MORE WD REDs. The problem is the cost per TB has been stuck for YEARS despite increasing capacity. So people like me just hold off until they start actually trying to compete on price again.

And I'm talking about like, I want to buy 4-16 or more drives, but that shit is too expensive right now.

WD REDs are the best balance between enterprise reliability and SATA cost savings for storage arrays.
Plus there is something about managing those d steel bodied items.
 

nutzo

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Most certainly since spinning disks can't keep up with the storage density of SSDs.
And SSD's can't keep up with the cost per GB of spinners.

Intel S4500 3.8TB server SSD, $1,386
WD Gold 4TB enterprise 7200 RPM, $174

Even low cost server SSD's are still 8 times the cost of a server level spinner.

If you are running a write intensive workload like SQL, then the gap is much bigger.
An Intel S4600 1.9TB runs $1,185 - half the size, so almost twice the cost per TB
 

nutzo

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Looked at the cost of tape drives lately? HDDs are cheaper. In fact, if you sit down and crunch the numbers you'll find per unit of data HDDs are the cheapest thing going right now.
Guess you are not dealing with backing up 35-40TB each weekend, or keeping several weeks of backups off-site.
Also, tape is generally faster than a USB drive.

We are currently using LTO-6 tapes, which give us about 4TB per tape with compression.
I'll be upgrading to LTO-7 soon, because dealing with 10 tapes each week gets to be a hassle.

An LTO-6 tape runs about $25. with about 2.6TB uncompressed data.
4 tapes gives you 10.4 TB for around $100

A WD red 5400 drive runs $324 (I wouldn't trust my backups to a consumer level drive USB drive, as they likely wouldn't last a year)

4 copies on tape = $400
4 copies on drives = $1,296


I couldn't imaging trying to keep track of dozens of hard drives.

Only way I'd consider backing up to disk, is if it fit on a single external drive.
 

Ripskin

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HDD's still serve a purpose in longer term storage needs and good capacity for cheap (depending on the kind of drive). I would love to get 8 more Red's to upgrade my NAS but $$$.
 

THRESHIN

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Guess you are not dealing with backing up 35-40TB each weekend, or keeping several weeks of backups off-site.
Also, tape is generally faster than a USB drive.

We are currently using LTO-6 tapes, which give us about 4TB per tape with compression.
I'll be upgrading to LTO-7 soon, because dealing with 10 tapes each week gets to be a hassle.

An LTO-6 tape runs about $25. with about 2.6TB uncompressed data.
4 tapes gives you 10.4 TB for around $100

A WD red 5400 drive runs $324 (I wouldn't trust my backups to a consumer level drive USB drive, as they likely wouldn't last a year)

4 copies on tape = $400
4 copies on drives = $1,296


I couldn't imaging trying to keep track of dozens of hard drives.

Only way I'd consider backing up to disk, is if it fit on a single external drive.
You're right, I don't backup that much data every weekend. Neither do most home users.

You forgot to factor in something rather important when comparing prices. The cost of the tape drive itself. Currently, cheapest one I can find on Amazon is about $2600 CAD.

That buys a lot of HDDs. This might just be why tape drives have been reserved for business/enterprise purposes.

I'm not too sure where you're going with this other than 'you're wrong! Tape is cheaper!'
 

MickeyBailey

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You're right, I don't backup that much data every weekend. Neither do most home users.

You forgot to factor in something rather important when comparing prices. The cost of the tape drive itself. Currently, cheapest one I can find on Amazon is about $2600 CAD.

That buys a lot of HDDs. This might just be why tape drives have been reserved for business/enterprise purposes.

I'm not too sure where you're going with this other than 'you're wrong! Tape is cheaper!'
That’s sufficient when your point is they’re not. The tape drive is fixed cost and is cheaper than HDDs once you pass a certain volume of backups. Cost isn’t the be all end all for some people and organizations, tape drives are the better medium for offline archives. One can move tape drives and tapes around without fear of destroying the drive as well; HDDs are relatively fragile and if you’ve ever had to deal with data loss with them you should be excited they’re going the way of the dodo.
 

THRESHIN

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That’s sufficient when your point is they’re not. The tape drive is fixed cost and is cheaper than HDDs once you pass a certain volume of backups. Cost isn’t the be all end all for some people and organizations, tape drives are the better medium for offline archives. One can move tape drives and tapes around without fear of destroying the drive as well; HDDs are relatively fragile and if you’ve ever had to deal with data loss with them you should be excited they’re going the way of the dodo.
Yes I believe this has been established, but thanks for the recap. Tapes are great. Nobody is denying this. Extreme large capacity backup, yeah they're great and cheaper the more you have.

This is still not a good option for virtually all home users. I'd imagine there are very few members here even who a tape drive would make any economical sense.

Now that we've beaten the horse firmly, isn't it about time to move on?
 

Brahmzy

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Enterprise Tape is getting a LOT more expensive. LTO8 is out and you’ll will be required to go to it because from now on, there’s no 2-gen backwards compatibility. The only way to LTO9 is from LTO8 - LTO9 drives will only read LTO8 etc. The cost of tape and maintaining tape at scale just got real expensive. Not to mention tapes, drives and libraries are getting more and more expensive with each gen. “Tape is cheap” doesn’t apply anymore. Meanwhile disk-based object storage is becoming more attractive. Which is based on fat spinners.
 

BSmith

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I wonder if they will ever be inexpensive enough to kick spinners out of my system for hood?
How close are they to $20/TB? I just bought 4 more 4TB HD's. That pushes my storage at home over 40TB. I still do not have any SSD's at home. Cannot figure out why I would need any.

Guess you are not dealing with backing up 35-40TB each weekend, or keeping several weeks of backups off-site.
Also, tape is generally faster than a USB drive.

We are currently using LTO-6 tapes, which give us about 4TB per tape with compression.
I'll be upgrading to LTO-7 soon, because dealing with 10 tapes each week gets to be a hassle.

An LTO-6 tape runs about $25. with about 2.6TB uncompressed data.
4 tapes gives you 10.4 TB for around $100

A WD red 5400 drive runs $324 (I wouldn't trust my backups to a consumer level drive USB drive, as they likely wouldn't last a year)

4 copies on tape = $400
4 copies on drives = $1,296


I couldn't imaging trying to keep track of dozens of hard drives.

Only way I'd consider backing up to disk, is if it fit on a single external drive.
We use external HD's for backup. The primary reason is access to any portion of the data is significantly quicker than any tape drive. We run two different backup servers as insurance. The backup servers are running Raid 1 so even if they suffer an HDS failure (and it has happened), I just plug in a new one and keep on trucking.

I can bring up any one of the servers is less than 30 minutes (including time to swap drives, boot drive, and with 4 to 6 TB of data). If I just have a data drive die, then it is less than 10 minutes. No way could I do that with a tape solution.

I spent a lot of time researching the fastest way to get a server up and running from a storage failure and, so far, this is the best I can come up with.

Managing multiple HDD's is no different than managing multiple tapes. I have a spreadsheet with every drive listed. When it was purchased, when it was put into service, and when it is scheduled to be replaced. I have only had one hard drive failure in the last 20 years.
 
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steakman1971

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Seagate is dead to me. They still have an unacceptable failure rate, and it's just not worth spending the money on a brand that time and time again can't come close to WD RED or HGST in reliability. My data, and time dealing with failures, is more important than any slight savings I could see from using Seagate anything.

The prices are stuck because it's price collusion/signalling. Just like RAM. EU and other markets just need to fucking act already and take them to court, because it's getting stupid.
Same here - I've replaced a lot of dead Seagate drives at my house. I've got a stack of them. I will admit I was using these in a NAS and they were the "green" drives not intended for lots of use. I've replaced everyone of the failed drives with a WD Red. Have not had one of these fail yet.
 
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