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Seagate’s first shingled hard drives now shipping: 8TB for just $260

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http://www.extremetech.com/computing/195543-seagates-first-shingled-hard-drives-now-shipping-8tb-for-just-260

 

Seagate’s first shingled hard drives now shipping: 8TB for just $260

 

By Sebastian Anthony on December 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

 

 

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Seagate, using its new shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology to cram more data into fewer platters, is preparing to launch an 8TB hard drive priced at just $260. For that low-low price (just over 3 cents per gig!) you get a three-year warranty and very low power consumption — but certainly not performance. This 8TB drive is all about long-term storage and backups — pair it with a new SSD like the Samsung 850 Pro or 850 Evo and you’d have a very flexible, cost-effective storage setup.

 

First, the speeds and feeds. This is a new range of hard drives that Seagate refers to as Archive HDD, where performance is eschewed in favor of reliability and power efficiency. There will be 8TB, 6TB, and 5TB models, and they’ll all come in Standard and Secure flavors (the Secure drives have a hardware encryption chip). The drives all spin at 5,900 RPM and have a 128MB cache, with an average read/write throughput of 150MB/sec (190MB/sec max). There’s a three-year warranty, and a fairly high MTBF (mean time between failures) of 800,000 hours.

 

 

The cheap and cheerful 8TB Archive HDD — model number ST8000AS0002, in case you were wondering — is only possible because of Seagate’s use of shingled magnetic recording. While all three of the big players (Western Digital, HGST, Seagate) have been sampling SMR in small quantities, I think the Archive HDD range will be the first commercial use of the technology. SMR is a technique that increases areal density, but reduces performance (compared to “conventional” perpendicular magnetic recording, anyway). For more on how SMR works, watch the video above or read our detailed explainer.

 

seagate-smr-vs-conventional-hard-drive-writing.jpg

 

Ultimately, SMR allows Seagate to cram 1.33 terabytes onto a single platter — up from a pre-SMR areal density limit of around 1TB per platter. This means that Seagate can hit 8TB with just six platters, as opposed to seven or eight — which in turn reduces production costs, energy consumption, noise, vibration, temperature… you get the idea. The only issue is that you lose performance — but considering hard drives haven’t been about performance for a while now, that’s not really a big issue. The other option, which was pursued by Hitachi (now Western Digital-HGST), is to fill drives with helium, which achieves most of the same goals by reducing wind resistance around the platters — but so far, WD/HGST hasn’t managed to get its helium-filled drives down to a price that consumers can afford.

 

As you’ve probably surprised, an 8TB drive for $260 is pretty impressive in terms of cost-per-gigabyte — 3.25 cents per gig, to be exact. As it stands, the cheapest 6TB drives on Amazon or Newegg are around $280 — or about 4.5 cents per gig. And to think, I was worried that SSD/NAND flash density was going to overtake good ol’ hard drives!

 

As of the time of publishing, it seems Seagate’s Archive HDDs are currently being shipped to retailers. Amazon has some drives coming in stock on January 7, 2015 — and in fact, it will sell you a 20-pack of the drives for $5,336 ($267 each), if you wish. There are European retailers that will soon have stock in, priced at around €250. It looks like Seagate is targeting an official launch in January.

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And in my setup this would be 184 TB in single array... instead of 113 TB in two... and cost $5,980... hmmmm....

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... 184 TB in single array...

 

Definitely a NICE number !!

 

Amazing that we can now have that much storage in a single case  :)

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... 184 TB in single array...

 

Definitely a NICE number !!

 

Amazing that we can now have that much storage in a single case  :)

 

Yep.. almost 0.2 petabytes... two more like this and I'll be able to take my work home...  ;D

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Not ideal for a parity drive though

 

Agree, but you don't have much choice if you're using 8TB drives.    I'd definitely want a large cache drive in a system using these drives, so there was plenty of space to cache ALL of the writes I may ever do in a day.    With that, the speed of the writes to the protected array isn't all that important.

 

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There are ways! I have a RAID card that allows me to combine the capacities of two physical drives into a RAID0 volume that unRaid sees as a single large drive. With 2 4T drives, I could create a high performance 8T drive to use as parity.

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There are ways! I have a RAID card that allows me to combine the capacities of two physical drives into a RAID0 volume that unRaid sees as a single large drive. With 2 4T drives, I could create a high performance 8T drive to use as parity.

 

Or throw in a Raid 0 & Raid 1 setup of 2 6TB drives to have 8TB Parity Drive and 2TB of Raid-1 protected Cache Drive, or remix for 10TB Parity Drive and 1TB of Raid-1 Cache Drive.

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Or throw in a Raid 0 & Raid 1 setup of 2 6TB drives to have 8TB Parity Drive and 2TB of Raid-1 protected Cache Drive, or remix for 10TB Parity Drive and 1TB of Raid-1 Cache Drive.

 

RAID 0 parity? I guess you are not on the list asking for an additional parity drive (ala RAID-DP).

 

 

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Or throw in a Raid 0 & Raid 1 setup of 2 6TB drives to have 8TB Parity Drive and 2TB of Raid-1 protected Cache Drive, or remix for 10TB Parity Drive and 1TB of Raid-1 Cache Drive.

 

RAID 0 parity? I guess you are not on the list asking for an additional parity drive (ala RAID-DP).

 

I'm talking about Hardware-Raid setup that some unRAID Moderators seem to be using.

 

Even with that sort of a RAID setup for the parity drive, you'd still benefit from a second parity scheme/drive.

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Or throw in a Raid 0 & Raid 1 setup of 2 6TB drives to have 8TB Parity Drive and 2TB of Raid-1 protected Cache Drive, or remix for 10TB Parity Drive and 1TB of Raid-1 Cache Drive.

 

RAID 0 parity? I guess you are not on the list asking for an additional parity drive (ala RAID-DP).

 

I'm talking about Hardware-Raid setup that some unRAID Moderators seem to be using.

 

Even with that sort of a RAID setup for the parity drive, you'd still benefit from a second parity scheme/drive.

 

Not only moderators...  ;)

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Simple fact is if the array drives are all SMR drives, having a fast parity drive (i.e. RAID-0 with a pair of 4TB units) isn't of much benefit, since writes are still going to be limited to the time for the 2 I/O's needed on the data drive.    It WOULD help if your system is typically doing 2 or more simultaneous writes, but in most cases that's not the case.

 

... and it's all moot if you have a cache drive, since the write speeds from a user perspective are then the speed of the cache drive (which is likely limited by network speed) and have no real bearing to the actual array write timings.

 

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Simple fact is if the array drives are all SMR drives, having a fast parity drive (i.e. RAID-0 with a pair of 4TB units) isn't of much benefit, since writes are still going to be limited to the time for the 2 I/O's needed on the data drive.    It WOULD help if your system is typically doing 2 or more simultaneous writes, but in most cases that's not the case.

Presumably the parity drive will have plenty more read/writes. Would reliability on one of these be a concern, or is that moot also? (I have no idea)

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Presumably the parity drive will have plenty more read/writes. Would reliability on one of these be a concern, or is that moot also? (I have no idea)

I'm sure garycase will answer, but let me share my thoughts too.

 

I don't really think that the parity reliability matters much. Or that individual data drive reliability matters much.

 

See, in case of catastrophic failure (alien spacecraft crashes into your garage where your server is... was... or your wife decided that your spend way too much time babying the collection and came with an iron cast frying pan to where your server is.. was...) your are losing data no matter how reliable your parity is... was.

 

In case of "normal" single drive failure - so what? That's the beauty of unRAID - shut down, replace the drive, rebuild, move on. Some people keep spare drive ready for this purpose - I used to do this, too. Not anymore. We are still in the Moore's law domain, maybe closing to the end of it, but still in. So - don't buy anything electronic "for future use". When and if a drive fails - go to nearest brick-n-mortar, pay extra fifty bucks for retail purchase with no discount, but have it immediately. It will probably still be cheaper than the spare you've bought a year ago.

 

Real danger is two drives fail at the same time. Well, realistically estimating the probability of this, I tend to avoid "batch-buying" (purchasing multiple drives at the same time from the same vendor), and that's about all that can be done about it. Of course, higher reliability of parity (or any other) drive improves your chances against "two-drives failure", but only slightly. Very slightly. Don't forget that MTBF hours is highly statistical number by itself. Real protection is backup, and backup only.

 

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So - don't buy anything electronic "for future use". When and if a drive fails - go to nearest brick-n-mortar, pay extra fifty bucks for retail purchase with no discount, but have it immediately. It will probably still be cheaper than the spare you've bought a year ago.
Problem with that for me is that I have to mail order anything I need anyway so might be a week before I get it.  So I keep spares around when I can so I'm only down a few hours instead of days.  If I had a Fry's/MicroCenter around or if BestBuy/Walmart/etc... had the drive I wanted I could do that. If wanted to take a 12 hour round trip to the nearest MicroCenter I suppose I could do that.  Sucks being in a state where the largest metropolitan area is <=500,000.

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Problem with that for me is that I have to mail order anything I need anyway so might be a week before I get it. 

 

Paying for overnight delivery is still probably cheaper overall than keeping spares -- although I also keep a spare drive always available  :)  [Even the next day isn't nearly as quick as NOW  8) ]

 

 

Sucks being in a state where the largest metropolitan area is <=500,000.

 

Actually I think it'd be nice to completely avoid the large metro hassles  :)

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Presumably the parity drive will have plenty more read/writes. Would reliability on one of these be a concern, or is that moot also? (I have no idea)

 

The parity will have far fewer reads than your data drives ... but will certainly have more writes than any other individual drive.    Reliability is always a factor with any drive, but not really any more so with parity than any other.  I agree with the comment above that it's not something to worry about.

 

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Problem with that for me is that I have to mail order anything I need anyway so might be a week before I get it. 

 

Paying for overnight delivery is still probably cheaper overall than keeping spares -- although I also keep a spare drive always available  :)  [Even the next day isn't nearly as quick as NOW  8) ]

 

 

Sucks being in a state where the largest metropolitan area is <=500,000.

 

Actually I think it'd be nice to completely avoid the large metro hassles  :)

 

You also have to think about pre-clear time.  Yes, I know you need to pre-clear a drive when replacing one, but its a good idea to know that the new drive you are putting in is in good condition.

 

I've got a pre-cleared 4TB drive sitting in its original box.  I may never need it, but its peace of mine.

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Problem with that for me is that I have to mail order anything I need anyway so might be a week before I get it. 

 

Paying for overnight delivery is still probably cheaper overall than keeping spares -- although I also keep a spare drive always available  :)  [Even the next day isn't nearly as quick as NOW  8)

And that would work but for me newegg doesn't always get the order out that day for next day delivery so it would be two days if I ordered in afternoon or evening - when I usually discovered a problem.  My servers are also virtual boxes recording from tuners and they would be down at the same time so I only want hours not two day potential.  Plus as StevenD says I have the spares precleared and ready to insert so don't have an additional week to wait for a 3 cycle preclear on a 6TB drive to wait for.

Sucks being in a state where the largest metropolitan area is <=500,000.

 

Actually I think it'd be nice to completely avoid the large metro hassles  :)

I would like to go back to college days and a town of 25,000 + 25,000 students but it would be nice to have a Fry's or similar within a couple hour drive.

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I do agree it would be cool to have a Fry's nearby (I don't either).

 

And I've had the same experience with Newegg -- their "Next Day" shipping means it'll get there the next day after they ship it ... which is often not the same day you order it, although you can increase the likelihood of that by paying their extra "expedited processing" fee.    I do, as I noted earlier, keep a spare drive always available - which I've already thoroughly tested, so it's ready to just "pop in" should the need arise.

 

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Since we are discussing NewEgg shipping...

 

If you have an AmEx, you can get a FREE ShopRunner membership.  That gives you free TWO day shipping.  Also, Ive probably place 20 NewEgg orders since I signed up, and they have always shipped the same day as my order.

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