News Western Digital Launches Dual-Actuator 20TB Hard Drives

PiranhaTech

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This is making me wonder if motherboards will start coming with SAS ports instead. There's no news for SATA 4.

It's to where, even with the overhead, I wouldn't be surprised if we see USB 4 instead.
 
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atomicWAR

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...Rubs hands greedily...

I just dropped two WD Red 20TB drives in my servers this month and have more upgrades to do over the next couple years. I can't wait for drives like this to increase my speeds. I have in excess of 97TB (formatted space ) over a couple drive pools of 44TB and 43TB respectively on seperate servers for data redundancy (one hot one cold in case of hacks, bitrot and/or system damage). I would love to cut down on the number of smaller drives while increasing my overall capacity. I have some 2-8TB drives that I could use in my wifes rig for local game/file storage when I rebuild hers this spring? I hope. Both enjoying photo/video editing, backing up analog and digital media like VHS/DVD/HDDVD/Bluray/records/CDs/MP3s etc, not to mention our steam game back-ups we can chew through storage space as fast as you give it to us.
 
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atomicWAR

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This is making me wonder if motherboards will start coming with SAS ports instead. There's no news for SATA 4.

It's to where, even with the overhead, I wouldn't be surprised if we see USB 4 instead.

Honestly that would be great in the long term. HDDs are only good for large data pools not worth putting on solid state, back-ups, NAS etc. For most home users HDDs are becoming very niche and those users like myself who do use them would benefit from the switch to SAS though I'd likely make such a transition slowly as these larger drives are not cheap...

When your running 30+ TB data sets that need backing up or recovering those file transfers can literally take days. Anything to speed things along is outstanding if not a reason to upgrade my whole house to 5GB or better networking compared to my mix of 1GB/2.5GB I am running now.
 
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PlaneInTheSky

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This is making me wonder if motherboards will start coming with SAS ports instead. There's no news for SATA 4.

There are U.2 ports on some mobo, but it's mostly servers and high-end workstations that use it.

A shame, because the M.2 standard on consumer PC is an idiotic redneck solution.

I feel like I'm in the dark ages when installing or switching out an M.2 SSD that requires a screwdriver.

U.2 also allows you to install multiple SSD drives on workstation mobo. Which of course you can't do with consumer M.2 mobo, because you would end up with a giant mobo.

That's why you no longer see people experimenting by putting SSD in RAID 4 to get ridiculous speeds, like people did with SATA SSD. You simply can't do that with M.2 SSD, there's no mobo that have 6+ M.2 slots, but there's plenty of workstation solutions with many U.2 slots.

The best selling SSD are still SATA, likely because you can switch them out so easily.

U.2 is SATA 4.0 really, and it is successful on workstations and servers because you can change out a drive in 2 seconds. But apparently they think consumers prefer diving into their case with a screwdriver like an idiot instead of simply plugging something in and out.
 
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Kamen Rider Blade

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U.3 Ports should really replace SATA ports for everybody.
U.3 Ports are:
  • Space Efficient on the MoBo edge ( 1x U.3 Port = 2x Vertical Stacks of SATA Ports via adapter) in terms of how many HDD's can be supported.
  • Supports SATA, SAS, & PCIe through one Universal connector.
  • Less Material to use, gives you more drive connection options and more drives to be connected.
Also, modern SSD's need to start using the 1.8" HDD form factor as "Their new standardized Form Factor".
A 5 mm thick 1.8" HDD, reused as the modern SSD standard & using standard SAS/SATA/nVME over PCIe U.3 connector is perfect IMO.
The PCB area is for a 1.8" HDD form factor is up to 3600 mm² on one side of the PCB.
A 30110 M.2 drive has 3300 mm² on one side of the PCB.
That's MORE than enough PCB real estate for optimal routing.

At 1.8", the form factor is compact enough to slip into your pocket
It's smaller than a pack of Bicycle Playing Cards, slightly larger than a PS2 Memory Card.
Thinner than both of those items at 5 mm thick.

While HDD's should retain the 3½" & 2½" form factors as their primary domain.

Also, it's great for WD to finally step into the Multi-Actuator Arms race.

The race is on to satiate the bandwidths of SATA/SAS/nVME over PCIe.

How many independent actuators can you get to.

Obviously, the ultimate goal is every actuator arm being fully independent, that would be "AWESOME".

The combined throughput of that would be CRAZY HIGH.

Now, they need "Built in RAID 0" at the controller level to make it easily useable for every day consumers.
 
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PiranhaTech

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There are U.2 ports on some mobo, but it's mostly servers and high-end workstations that use it.

A shame, because the M.2 standard on consumer PC is an idiotic redneck solution.

I feel like I'm in the dark ages when installing or switching out an M.2 SSD that requires a screwdriver.

U.2 also allows you to install multiple SSD drives on workstation mobo. Which of course you can't do with consumer M.2 mobo, because you would end up with a giant mobo.

That's why you no longer see people experimenting by putting SSD in RAID 4 to get ridiculous speeds, like people did with SATA SSD. You simply can't do that with M.2 SSD, there's no mobo that have 6+ M.2 slots, but there's plenty of workstation solutions with many U.2 slots.

The best selling SSD are still SATA, likely because you can switch them out so easily.

U.2 is SATA 4.0 really, and it is successful on workstations and servers because you can change out a drive in 2 seconds. But apparently they think consumers prefer diving into their case with a screwdriver like an idiot instead of simply plugging something in and out.
I haven't heard about U.2; I'll have to look it up. I hate M.2 screws. I had to change out my SSD recently and the screw just flew off into who-knows-where and luckily I invested in spare screws.
 
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Kamen Rider Blade

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There are U.2 ports on some mobo, but it's mostly servers and high-end workstations that use it.
U.3 should be the "Universal Standard" that replaces SATA/SAS/nVME over PCIe.
It's the one connector that should rule them all.

A shame, because the M.2 standard on consumer PC is an idiotic redneck solution.
I TOTALLY agree. M.2 was designed for LapTop mobile, not for everyday goofs to mess around with.
Also, the M.2 connector has a "Mating Cycle Rating = 50 Cycles" of Inserting & Removing
The SATA/SAS connector has a "Mating Cycle Rating = 10,000 Cycles" of Inserting & Removing

One is obviously more durable than the other while doing the exact same thing.
It's IDIOTIC to depend on M.2 for everything when it was supposed to be a niche LapTop drive.

I feel like I'm in the dark ages when installing or switching out an M.2 SSD that requires a screwdriver.
I prefer SATA/SAS Backplanes myself, far more user friendly and requires only a proper one time setup.
It offers a FAR better user experience once you have to swap drives for any reason.

U.2 also allows you to install multiple SSD drives on workstation mobo. Which of course you can't do with consumer M.2 mobo, because you would end up with a giant mobo.
U.3 to the rescue, replace the SATA ports on the right edge of the MoBo with U.3.

That's why you no longer see people experimenting by putting SSD in RAID 4 to get ridiculous speeds, like people did with SATA SSD. You simply can't do that with M.2 SSD, there's no mobo that have 6+ M.2 slots, but there's plenty of workstation solutions with many U.2 slots.
There are Add-in cards that can raid together M.2 slots if you really cared about it, but realistically, I'd rather not use those if possible.

The best selling SSD are still SATA, likely because you can switch them out so easily.
Also because the controller & interface for them are dirt cheap.

U.2 is SATA 4.0 really, and it is successful on workstations and servers because you can change out a drive in 2 seconds. But apparently they think consumers prefer diving into their case with a screwdriver like an idiot instead of simply plugging something in and out.
U.3 is the proper successor.
 
Damn, and I just recently put two WD 8TB drives in my rig. I figure that I have 3.128TB of SSD space, 24TB of internal HDD space and 20TB of external HDD space (used for backups only). I won't be looking for anything any time soon but I would have LOVED to get one of these babies.
 
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Eximo

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Too late for U.2, dropped off even high end consumer boards a while back. Unless you looked for used enterprise grade drives, they just weren't needed.

Probably won't see U.3 on consumer either. Maybe it will make it into Threadripper and Sapphire Rapids boards, at least in the OEM space.

M.2 is the way it is because it is cheap, and nothing will replace cheap. Not all boards require screws, the nicer boards have toolless NVME installation. Also, how often you changing these things out?

You can always get a SAS controller or even a U.2 expansion board.
 
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bit_user

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Say, what's "UltraStar" and what happened to their Gold series? UltraStar sounds like it was inherited from IBM - did WDC buy them?

IMO, it's pretty clever to present these as independent drives. This lets the host manage them in a much more natural way.

One nagging concern I can't quite shake is the issue of one actuator interfering with another, by the force it exerts on the drive. I guess you could control for this by preventing an actuator from moving while the other is reading or writing. Another idea I had was to add weights that counter-rotate around the same axis, in order to cancel out the movement. But that seems bulky and a bit clunky.
 

bit_user

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Also, modern SSD's need to start using the 1.8" HDD form factor as "Their new standardized Form Factor".
Disagree. The nice thing about 2.5" is that it has plenty of room for lots of NAND chips. That means the ability either to have huge capacities, or use cheap NAND made on older process. It also has more surface area, for keeping cool (can be an issue, with datacenter U.2 drives).

And for desktops & servers, 2.5" is small enough.

At 1.8", the form factor is compact enough to slip into your pocket
That's a non-issue. Nobody should be slipping bare drives into their pockets. It should either be in an antistatic bag or in an external USB enclosure.

Also because the controller & interface for them are dirt cheap.
In the long run, the only real cost advantage SATA SSDs have over M.2 is that they have more PCB space + limited speeds, and therefore can potentially use cheaper NAND.

Otherwise, they suffer from the disadvantage of needing a case. And by this point, I expect entry-level NVMe controllers to be near enough to the cost of SATA controllers.
 
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bit_user

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This is making me wonder if motherboards will start coming with SAS ports instead. There's no news for SATA 4.
There's a 12 Gbps version of SAS. I've seen workstation boards with SAS connectors that (if I'm not mistaken) can also run SATA. I believe the protocols are really very similar.

I had to change out my SSD recently and the screw just flew off into who-knows-where and luckily I invested in spare screws.
I'm sure you'll find it when you replace your mobo, after the missing screw shorts out your current one.
😬

That's what I always worry about, anyway.
 
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Kamen Rider Blade

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Disagree. The nice thing about 2.5" is that it has plenty of room for lots of NAND chips. That means the ability either to have huge capacities, or use cheap NAND made on older process. It also has more surface area, for keeping cool (can be an issue, with datacenter U.2 drives).
For the Data Center SSD's, they can keep using 2.5" drives alongside 1.8" drives.

And for desktops & servers, 2.5" is small enough.
For MainStream consumers, getting smaller is always the end goal, and given 1.8" is that much smaller =D
Smaller = Sexier, especially since SSD's were supposed to become smaller than the HDD form factor, let's make it happen.

That's a non-issue. Nobody should be slipping bare drives into their pockets. It should either be in an antistatic bag or in an external USB enclosure.
We can have a plastic Memory Drive container that surrounds the 1.8" drive, that would solve the issue.

In the long run, the only real cost advantage SATA SSDs have over M.2 is that they have more PCB space + limited speeds, and therefore can potentially use cheaper NAND.
SATA SSD's need to go the way of the dodo, honestly nVME SSD's should take over as the primary SSD interface with SATA relegated to HDD's.

Otherwise, they suffer from the disadvantage of needing a case. And by this point, I expect entry-level NVMe controllers to be near enough to the cost of SATA controllers.
Nothing wrong with a cheapo plastic case that fits in a 1.8" drive like a memory card or have those old school Nintendo Cartridge sleeves.

There are plenty of cheap options to enclose a 1.8" drive.
 
Say, what's "UltraStar" and what happened to their Gold series? UltraStar sounds like it was inherited from IBM - did WDC buy them?
It's from Hitachi (HGST) who was basically the best manufacturer of HDDs after the Maxtor acquisition by Seagate until WD bought them. I assume WD uses their tech on the enterprise side of things as well as keeping the naming.
 

bit_user

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It's from Hitachi (HGST) who was basically the best manufacturer of HDDs
We're going to have to agree to disagree about that. HGST rocked, at least back when they were independent.

after the Maxtor acquisition by Seagate
Maxtor used to be my go-to brand for desktop HDDs, but I seem to recall they had a generation with disastrous reliability that basically ruined the company. That's why they had to be bought.
 

halfcharlie

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M.2 isn't for storage, it's for working drives, how clueless can people be? Complaining about something irrelevant to the use-case. Would love me a few 20TB drives for storage, I had some terrible experiences with Seagate in the past so I avoid them like the plague.
 

bit_user

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M.2 isn't for storage, it's for working drives,
It is, if you have a laptop.

how clueless can people be? Complaining about something irrelevant to the use-case.
Yeah, like how it sucks for cooling... oh, wait. That's a working drive issue, isn't it??

The fact of the matter is that desktop users were a distant 3rd consideration, when they designed the M.2 form factor. That's why it's really not ideal for desktops, in any way.