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Put to the Test: The Incredibly Shrinking Hard Drive

Less Space, More Data

Moving toward smaller hard drives makes good business sense. A recent IDC study shows that in larger cities, data-center floor space costs $500 to $1,000 per square foot. To minimize the need for sprawling data centers, companies must start looking at smaller, more efficient ways to use their available space. Seagate's Savvio drives are leading the next revolution in enterprise data storage.

Today, more than 1.5 million TB (1.5 exabytes) of information are produced and stored worldwide each year, according to a recent study by the University of California-Berkeley School of Information Management and Systems, titled "How Much Information?" That figure is projected to grow more than 55 percent every year. A typical rackmount enclosure for 3.5-inch drives holds up to 15 drives and takes up 3U of rack space. By comparison, you can fit 30 2.5-inch drives into an enclosure that requires only 2U. A standard 44U rack stocked with 2.5-inch drives can hold 48 TB of data, compared with only 15 TB when the larger drives are used. That equates to 660 individual drives in a single rack versus the 210 drives currently possible.

Conventional servers and blade servers alike can use the 2.5-inch hard drives. Now, 1U servers can be configured with up to six hard drives, rather than just two, to expand local storage capacity and make options like RAID 5 feasible. Compared with mirrored drives, such expanded RAID options boost reliability without sacrificing half the server's storage capacity.

SeaGate's Savvio

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