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Vol. 7 No. 7 September 2008

Small disks, big specs

Disk drives are getting faster, smaller and can hold more data. And the price per GB continues to drop. The hard disk drive is suddenly hot. The technology, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2006 and has been the mainstay of enterprise storage for decades, is now on the cusp of big changes that will affect enterprise storage for years to come. "Two things make hard disk a big deal right now: serial-attached SCSI [SAS] and the shift to the 2.5-inch form factor," says Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), Boulder, CO. But those are just the most apparent changes that are percolating. Some of the changes aren't new, like the steady increase in the capacities of hard disk drives (HDDs), which continue to grow by approximately 40% a year. But other developments like the 6Gb/sec speed of the new SAS interface may prove game changing, especially when it migrates from the drive itself to the storage array. Still others like encryption on the disk, the potential to spin disks up and down to conserve ...

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Features in this issue

  • Ask the Experts: RTOs and RPOs

    Is there a standard ratio between RTOs and RPOs, or are they independent of each other?

  • CDP in depth

    Continuous data protection (CDP) technology is now a viable alternative to traditional backup software and storage system-based replication software. But CDP products can vary significantly, especially in the context of different storage architectures. Depending on specific environments, companies may have to evaluate very different criteria before settling on a CDP product.

  • The lure of open-source backup programs

Columns in this issue