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Vol. 2 No. 5 July 2003

Drive Vendors Think Small

Starting as early as next year, disk drives based on a 2.5-inch form factor will be the drive of choice for performance-hungry environments. Seagate says it will announce its new small form factor (SFF) drive this fall, which will have a spin speed of 10K rmps and areal density on par with today's 15K disk drives. But because so many more drives can be squeezed into a given rack space, these drives deliver a performance density of 240% over 10K 3.5-inch models. Performance density refers to the number of IOPS you can achieve within a given physical space. For example, consider a standard 3U rack that houses 14 drives today--with SFF drives, you'll be able to put 30 drives in 2U, says Brian Kraus, Seagate senior marketing manager. In addition, smaller drives draw about 40% less power than their 3.5-inch counterparts, and therefore generate less heat. It stands to reason, therefore, that "these will be the drives of choice in environments where high-end performance and space are the driving metrics," Kraus says. Dropping disk ...

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