Will HAMR Help Seagate Lower Storage Costs?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 20, 2015

Mark Re


As per IDC’s prediction, cloud storage capacity will exceed 7EB in 2014. The forces driving that demand were agile and capex-friendly deployment models. And, it states that by 2015, big data workloads will be one of the fastest-growing contributors to storage in the cloud.

With organizations increasingly adopting technologies like big data, IoT, cloud computing and virtualization, social media, mobility, it has become imperative to plan for a robust data storage infrastructure to attain business efficiencies.

 “Depending on the capacity, enterprises across different verticals including banking, healthcare, education etc. today are pursuing the data storage trends with solutions like hard drives to an Ethernet embedded device-based storage platforms, Seagate CTO Mark Re told CXOToday.

With the government’s initiatives like digital locker in banks and Jan Dhan Yojana, there is an increased emphasis on data storage, data management and analytics.

As the market is on the rise, there is an effort to make storage cost-effective.

In that particular direction, to tap the increased consumer drive market, Seagate is planning to use heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) to lower costs, which should translate into lower prices.

What can we expect from Seagate

Seagate  increasingly investing in laser technologies like HAMR to increase the capacities of its hard drives by five-fold. This will enable to write smaller, more-stable bits onto the magnetic surface of a spinning disk. By using HAMR, that capacity could theoretically increase to 30TB which, today using conventional recording is 6TB for the Seagate’s largest capacity drive, says Mark.

 Along with HAMR and its ability to increase drive density, Seagate is also working on something known as two dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR), which places one more data reader onto a drive’s read/write head.

 Conventional recording technology, known as perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), is able to lay down 750Gbits per square inch on a spinning platter.

 Also, to strengthen the capacity of its 3.5-in data center drives, Seagate has been using PMR along with shingled magnetic recording (SMR), which overlaps data tracks like shingles on a rooftop; SMR has increased bit density on platters by 25% or more, to about 1Tbit per square inch.

To tab the increased consumer drive market, Seagate is likely to use HAMR to lower costs, which should translate into lower prices.

 Seagate has also been investing heavily in hybrid drives, which use a small amount of NAND flash memory as a caching element along with traditional spinning disk storage. The drives come close to SSD performance at a fraction of the price. Re said HAMR technology will also be used to increase capacity in those drives.

What is driving storage in Healthcare and FMCG

“Rhe healthcare sector’s initiative towards e-healthcare has led to the creation of patients’ digital records and services like online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, etc. Eventually it is highly important for the management to emphasize on concretizing the infrastructure to have the data stored effectively and securely,” he says.

Similarly, as the power producers are adopting more smart grid technologies, FMCG industry is using IoT to manage inventory, education sector is implementing e-learning techniques and the government is planning to execute e-sign framework for various government certificates. These will gradually lead to huge creation of data and in turn will require an efficient storage solution to acquire the true benefits of digitization.

“From the media and devices (HDD, Flash) to the enclosures to the management layer to the operating system and file system, Seagate is uniquely positioned to innovate across the full information infrastructure stack,” says Mark.

While aligning its storage-product portfolio with the emerging trends like mobility, cloud, and open-source computing, Seagate is also building on its legacy, extending innovation from the device into the information infrastructure, both on-site and in the cloud.