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Vol. 3 No. 2 April 2004

Future Looks Hazy For Enterprise Drives

Enterprise disk drive manufacturers Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) and Fujitsu flooded the industry with new product announcements recently. Both announced 300GB drives spinning at 10,000 rpms: HGST's UltraStar 10K300 and Fujitsu's MAT300. Fujitsu also introduced a new 15,000 rpm drive, the MAU, which at 147GB has twice the capacity of previous generation 15K drives. Other manufacturers have similar drives on their road maps, says David Reinsel, research manager for disk drives at IDC. But for all this, the future of these drives is far from certain. The 300GB drive, in particular, is probably the largest enterprise drive we'll see for a long time. "Putting more than 300GB on a spindle really opens you up to a lot of risk," says Reinsel, referring to drives' hard error rate--the number of bits a drive can process before experiencing an error. The 15,000 rpm 147GB drive is probably a better fit into existing external storage systems, he says, where they will complement the 15K 36GB and 74GB drives already in use. But ...

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