Seagate: 60 TB hard drive possible with new tech

If you thought that having a 3 TB hard drive in your PC would give you a lot of storage space, Seagate says that you haven't seen anything yet. The hard drive maker announced this week it has come up with a way to pack even more data on a drive platter that could in the future see hard drives with as much as 60 TB of space.

Seagate says that it achieved a way to fit as much as 1 terabit of storage capacity per square inch using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. Seagate says that is 55 percent higher than the limit for normal commercial hard drives. At the moment, those drives can hold a maximum of 620 gigabits per square inch.

3.5 inch hard drives currently have a 3 TB limit, while the smaller 2.5 inch hard drives, typically used for notebooks, have a limit of 1 TB. The new HAMR technology will allow Seagate to create 3.5 inch hard drives with 6 TB of space. 2.5 inch hard drives could be expanded to hold 2 TB using HAMR. Seagate plans to launch the first such HAMR-based drives "later this decade".

Seagate is also looking to the far future with its HAMR tech, stating:

The technology offers a scale of capacity growth never before possible, with a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch – 30 TB to 60 TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10 TB to 20 TB for 2.5-inch drives.

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BTW, this HAMR tech may be a moot point if HP delivers on the memristor storage they have been talking about. They are talking potentially 1petabit/cm^3. HP has Flash and HDD technology in its crosshairs and is aiming to take both of them out in the short term and in the long term, they hope to replace SDRAM with massive ammounts of on-die memristor RAM. Apparently they have quite a few of the flash memory manufacturers in licensing talks and have said they are looking at releasing some first gen storage devices sometime late next year.

I have yet to have a Seagate hdd fail within warranty. I have had drives from WD fail days out of the box. I have seen other people with the opposite problem. Honestly, HDDs are inherently prone to failure, primarily from poor quality PSUs that come in every off the shelf computer. A vast majority of the HDD failures I have seen are controller failures and usually they are after some sort of power anomaly that a good quality PSU can help prevent from causing any damage. As they say... crap in, crap out. You wouldn't feed your car crappy gas, why would you feed your computer crappy power. I don't have a personal vendetta against any manufacturer, I just choose not to buy WD drives because I run RAID arrays and don't want to spend an arm an a leg to get their RE drives because they crippled the rest in this respect. I currently have 2xSeagate 7200.12 500GB in a RAID0 array, 1 WD Studio FW800 for backup, and a 1TB Seagate 7200.12 I use for miscellaneous crap. I also backup my most important files online because I am not naive enough to think that I will never have a natural disaster that will wipe out all of my electronics. Some call me paranoid, I don't care, I'd rather pay a little bit extra to know that I have a very low risk of total data loss.

rafter109 said,
I have yet to have a Seagate hdd fail within warranty. I have had drives from WD fail days out of the box. I have seen other people with the opposite problem. Honestly, HDDs are inherently prone to failure, primarily from poor quality PSUs that come in every off the shelf computer. A vast majority of the HDD failures I have seen are controller failures and usually they are after some sort of power anomaly that a good quality PSU can help prevent from causing any damage. As they say... crap in, crap out. You wouldn't feed your car crappy gas, why would you feed your computer crappy power. I don't have a personal vendetta against any manufacturer, I just choose not to buy WD drives because I run RAID arrays and don't want to spend an arm an a leg to get their RE drives because they crippled the rest in this respect. I currently have 2xSeagate 7200.12 500GB in a RAID0 array, 1 WD Studio FW800 for backup, and a 1TB Seagate 7200.12 I use for miscellaneous crap. I also backup my most important files online because I am not naive enough to think that I will never have a natural disaster that will wipe out all of my electronics. Some call me paranoid, I don't care, I'd rather pay a little bit extra to know that I have a very low risk of total data loss.

I just use their standard HDD's in raid0 never had one fail yet although I'm not using a dedicated PCI/PCIe raid controller card just the onboard SATAII or the Marvell 88SE6121 Serial ATA II Host Controller

*fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap* uuuhhh yea keep talking dirty mmmm *fap fap fap fap* 100mb connection plus 60tbs of space? uhhh you dirty girl mmmm *fap fap fap fap* whats your mother board wearing... mmm

I am sure WD is working on new twch or maybe they will license it from Seagate. I think having 10TB per slot in my 4 bay Media Sonic would rock for htpc purposes.

I hope someone comes up with a quicker method to format 60TB drives. A Windows installation would take a couple of days to fully format that sucker.

There's no need to completely wipe the drive, quick format gets the job done and the drive will automatically assign spare space if it detects defective sectors + smart reports them.

DrScouse said,
I dont want size, I went better performance!

Sure ive heard that before somewhere....

True... I think SSD is the way forward. They just need to increase capacities, reduce costs, and increase lifespan! I don't think mechanical disks will have a future when they crack those areas!

@ ThaCrip I've still got a twenty yr old Seagate 545MB (MegaByte) HDD that runs aswell today as it did when I first bought it I also have a couple of Quantum Big Foot HDDs 3.2GB which run fine (noisy as hell but run fine)

the problem is todays electronic devices are made to fail within a certain period of time thus enforcing consumption

Athlonite said,
@ ThaCrip I've still got a twenty yr old Seagate 545MB (MegaByte) HDD that runs aswell today as it did when I first bought it I also have a couple of Quantum Big Foot HDDs 3.2GB which run fine (noisy as hell but run fine)

the problem is todays electronic devices are made to fail within a certain period of time thus enforcing consumption

YES!! Quantum bigfoots!! boy they were BIG!!

If we factor in the laser technology for HDD's, the adding salt and this HAMR we could get SSD (or close) speed drives with 200TB on them

Win!

Athlonite said,
@ ThaCrip I've still got a twenty yr old Seagate 545MB (MegaByte) HDD that runs aswell today as it did when I first bought it I also have a couple of Quantum Big Foot HDDs 3.2GB which run fine (noisy as hell but run fine)

the problem is todays electronic devices are made to fail within a certain period of time thus enforcing consumption

Oh geez. I thought the last guy talking about 80GB drives was comical but this is just plain freakin' funny!! Where do you use a 545MB or a 3.2GB drive? Most modern Linux installs are bumping up against those sizes and any Windows install past Windows 98 would be pushing it (or past it) too. IIRC the base install for Win 98 plus base drivers is around 350mb. And seriously, are you that cheap? Or just a glutton for punishment? There are *very* few reasons why I could see still using such old hardware (and the related old software which is probably the only thing that'll fit).

Tim Dawg said,
Oh geez. I thought the last guy talking about 80GB drives was comical but this is just plain freakin' funny!! Where do you use a 545MB or a 3.2GB drive? Most modern Linux installs are bumping up against those sizes and any Windows install past Windows 98 would be pushing it (or past it) too. IIRC the base install for Win 98 plus base drivers is around 350mb. And seriously, are you that cheap? Or just a glutton for punishment? There are *very* few reasons why I could see still using such old hardware (and the related old software which is probably the only thing that'll fit).

Windows 3.1 requires ~10MB and Windows 95 about 50 MB. 545MB HDD could work with Windows 3.1 pretty well, as well a 3.2 HDD with Windows 95.

Auzeras said,

YES!! Quantum bigfoots!! boy they were BIG!!

If we factor in the laser technology for HDD's, the adding salt and this HAMR we could get SSD (or close) speed drives with 200TB on them

Win!

I had 20GB

yottabytewizard said,

Windows 3.1 requires ~10MB and Windows 95 about 50 MB. 545MB HDD could work with Windows 3.1 pretty well, as well a 3.2 HDD with Windows 95.

Precisely the 545MB HDD has win 3.11+DOS 6.22 on it and the 3.2GB has win95 OSR2.5 on it I also have an very old 100MB Quantum Plus HardCard II which plugs into an 16 bit ISA bus slot which still to this day works as good as it did when first made circa 1990 oh and a Quantum Fireball EX 4.2GB with win98SE and an 50MB Western Digital Conner all these old school HDD's all work perfectly fine to this day something that can't be said for any HDD manufactured after about 2003/4 where we see capacities starting to really skyrocket

Athlonite said,

Precisely the 545MB HDD has win 3.11+DOS 6.22 on it and the 3.2GB has win95 OSR2.5 on it I also have an very old 100MB Quantum Plus HardCard II which plugs into an 16 bit ISA bus slot which still to this day works as good as it did when first made circa 1990 oh and a Quantum Fireball EX 4.2GB with win98SE and an 50MB Western Digital Conner all these old school HDD's all work perfectly fine to this day something that can't be said for any HDD manufactured after about 2003/4 where we see capacities starting to really skyrocket

I have a 5 MB hard drive in my IBM XT, one of those huge full height 5.25" deals that sound like an airline engine powering up. It still works perfectly, no bad sectors and all of my files are still good.

while 60TB sounds GREAT, but i can imagine that would SUCK losing that much data all at once from a drive failure. because as the drives seem to increase in size at a much higher rate lately we need a way to ensure they are fairly reliable to where you should be able to count on most hard drives lasting AT LEAST 5 years and hopefully around 10-ish especially if your paying any higher $$$ for them.

my main PC, which runs pretty much 24/7, which i had since March 2006, the WD 250GB hard drive (which is the boot drive) is still going strong and it's 6 years old right about now.

p.s. but then again i have generally had good luck on hard drives as i only had one fail on me which was a 40GB IBM drive and that was roughly 9 years ago when it failed as it was replaced under warranty with a 80GB Seagate which is still going good to this day but that system don't see a ton of use though since i got my current PC in March 2006.

That's funny. I haven't used a 80GB in many years let alone today. I realize there are plenty of scenarios where 80GB will suffice but then you miss out on all of the advancements in interface technology.

ThaCrip said,
while 60TB sounds GREAT, but i can imagine that would SUCK losing that much data all at once from a drive failure. because as the drives seem to increase in size at a much higher rate lately we need a way to ensure they are fairly reliable to where you should be able to count on most hard drives lasting AT LEAST 5 years .....

ReFS.

Or, Storage Spaces for now.

ThaCrip said,
while 60TB sounds GREAT, but i can imagine that would SUCK losing that much data all at once from a drive failure.

People keep saying this no matter how big drives get. When 1GB hard drives came out it was the same thing, about how losing a gigabyte of data at once would be the end of the world. That is why you have more than one drive as a backup, that way you don't lose anything. Doesn't matter if it's a 60GB hard drive or 60TB.

remixedcat said,
Nah... work on making SSDs better

Improving one line of technology doesn't reduce the efforts on improving another - also whilst SSDs are fast and all, "old" platter drives are still amazingly useful for storage - especially audio, video and otherwise - let's not forget, these advances also make the drives faster.

Assigning more people doesn't necessarily mean better results.

The GoFlex external backup drives are NOT the types of drive they are referring to. They're talking about internal disk drives like the Barracuda (desktop) and Momentus (laptop) drives.

Nas said,
The GoFlex external backup drives are NOT the types of drive they are referring to. They're talking about internal disk drives like the Barracuda (desktop) and Momentus (laptop) drives.

Can't you remove the enclosure (voiding the warranty) and then go from there?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Can't you remove the enclosure (voiding the warranty) and then go from there?

GS:mac

Why yes you can, and you don't void the warranty only the casing warranty. The drives inside have there own warranty off the serial on the drive.

Then again, its not the only mistake in the article. "3.5 inch hard drives currently have a 3 TB limit," Funny enough I have a 4TB 3'5 Seagate sitting inside my case right now.

_aLfa_ said,
They are talking about the hard-disk platters...
Each hard drive has more than 1 platter.
Then the part about 3.5in drives doesn't make sense... they haven't made 3TB platters. I'm seeing as of Nov 2011, a 1TB platter was the biggest.

Daniel_Pooh said,
later this decade? just release it now u ******s!

they really don't have that much time to make this technology relevant, as there are already few better technologies in development, that don't use mechanics (which tend to fail over time).

I ain't buying any storage device that has an expiration date, the laser used with this technology has a very short life span compared to a normal harddrive (and the same applies to SSDs.... but oh well, many say that they are meant for speed)

Arceles said,
I ain't buying any storage device that has an expiration date, the laser used with this technology has a very short life span compared to a normal harddrive (and the same applies to SSDs.... but oh well, many say that they are meant for speed)

ssds will eventually "die" but will still be readable. Only the writing has a life-span.

Except I've seen several (verified) posts where SSDs have died, literally - without the ability to recover any of the data on them.

Teething issues with new technology perhaps but still, an issue.

MiukuMac said,
Except I've seen several (verified) posts where SSDs have died, literally - without the ability to recover any of the data on them.

Teething issues with new technology perhaps but still, an issue.


Yupp.

As it stands now I'd not trust them any further than OS & application partitions.

All work drive needs stay covered with a HDD as for now.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Yupp.

As it stands now I'd not trust them any further than OS & application partitions.

All work drive needs stay covered with a HDD as for now.

GS:mac

Exactly, I would never trust an SSD with anything important. I've had so many flash drives die, I don't see an SSD being any different. Hopefully the technology will improve but for right now I'd sooner trust my data to a floppy disk.

Doesn't matter how big they are when they won't warranty them beyond 5 years at least. They could increase cost a little if they would add a higher warranty AND all you to send in a crashed drive for them to recover data in a clean room for you and send it back on a disk with the replacement drive.

sava700 said,
Doesn't matter how big they are when they won't warranty them beyond 5 years at least. They could increase cost a little if they would add a higher warranty AND all you to send in a crashed drive for them to recover data in a clean room for you and send it back on a disk with the replacement drive.

You'd rely on that?

Good luck, obviously you're brave or stupid or both.
Do backups and don't blame the companies for your mistakes.

GS:mac

I prefer longer warranty periods myself, run my drives in RAID 1 AND backup critical data. Not doing the last two doesn't matter if the warranty is a hundred years and the drive still dies, I agree with that notion. However with a longer warranty the manufacturer is obligated to replace a drive that dies.

sava700 said,
Doesn't matter how big they are when they won't warranty them beyond 5 years at least. They could increase cost a little if they would add a higher warranty AND all you to send in a crashed drive for them to recover data in a clean room for you and send it back on a disk with the replacement drive.
I love when people say this. Honestly, how in the world would you expect any manufacturer to offer clean room data recovery services for every single stinkin' broken drive that comes in the place and still make a buck? You must not have any idea of the costs involved. Then there is the legal liability for the data that they assume. Just how much of a margin do you think is on those drives? If they planned on making any money then a single drive would start off at $1k and go up from there. It would be nice but economics doesn't work that way.

sava700 said,
Doesn't matter how big they are when they won't warranty them beyond 5 years at least. They could increase cost a little if they would add a higher warranty AND all you to send in a crashed drive for them to recover data in a clean room for you and send it back on a disk with the replacement drive.

5 years is a very long warranty for any computer part, why do you expect hard drive manufacturers to provide you with any more than that? They are a business not a charity; learn to back up your data.

ShareShiz said,
cool news. just too bad i will never buy a seagate again.. too high of a failure rate

Hitachi was my only safe haven, but now WD has their dirty hands on them.

Enron said,

Hitachi was my only safe haven, but now WD has their dirty hands on them.

That's interesting; the only Hitachi drive I ever had failed within 2 months, but my Seagates are working great.

devHead said,

That's interesting; the only Hitachi drive I ever had failed within 2 months, but my Seagates are working great.

Everyone has different experiences. Of my six Seagates (all in RAID5, three died in the first year - two within a couple of weeks causing a loss of over 6TB of data.

My 3TB hitachis haven't missed a beat and are still going strong.

ShareShiz said,
cool news. just too bad i will never buy a seagate again.. too high of a failure rate

... Exactly, this is great for servers but not for consumers. More space / storage means more data loss when it fails. A lot more in this case. I think companies should place reliability and security a lot higher than they do now (instead of size).

Fred 69 said,

Everyone has different experiences. Of my six Seagates (all in RAID5, three died in the first year - two within a couple of weeks causing a loss of over 6TB of data.

My 3TB hitachis haven't missed a beat and are still going strong.

Yes, everyone does have different experiences. I have 8 computers here and the newest one is like 5 years old, not to mention how many other computers I've had. I've NEVER had a hard drive failure yet on a single one. Most of them are WD's even.

Cøi said,

... Exactly, this is great for servers but not for consumers. More space / storage means more data loss when it fails. A lot more in this case. I think companies should place reliability and security a lot higher than they do now (instead of size).

I'd go along with that also.

devHead said,

That's interesting; the only Hitachi drive I ever had failed within 2 months, but my Seagates are working great.

I've had very good luck with Seagate as well. WD is the one that always fails on me...

M_Lyons10 said,

I've had very good luck with Seagate as well. WD is the one that always fails on me...

Yet I have bought exclusively WD and they've all been fine.

Enron said,
I hope Seagate can turn around their quality control. They've really gone downhill over the last 5 years.

makes me wonder if it's more of that the hard drives are getting bigger faster than the knowledge on how to properly makes them rises more than anything else.

like i suspect the bigger the drives get the more precise stuff has to get to ensure reliability.

Enron said,
I hope Seagate can turn around their quality control. They've really gone downhill over the last 5 years.

Going on past performance, they'll be releasing a 60tb drive that runs at 300 rpm

dvb2000 said,

Going on past performance, they'll be releasing a 60tb drive that runs at 300 rpm

Data rates on 300 rpm with platters of that density wouldn't be too bad (on sequential reads at least). Certainly good enough for archival purposes.

Enron said,
I hope Seagate can turn around their quality control. They've really gone downhill over the last 5 years.

Agreed, my 2.5in 1tb external is a real piece of junk. If it moves even slightly, it's disconnecting from my laptop. Sucks when you're in the middle of a movie.