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(All Things D)   "Fark everything, we're doing seven platters" he said with a squeaky voice   (allthingsd.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Western Digital, petabytes, abundant element, Huawei, energy consumption, Nuclear Physics  
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2611 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Nov 2013 at 12:00 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-11-04 11:30:16 AM  
www.startrekguide.dk

But Cap'n she can only handle three platters!  The stern's large shallow dish has been battered by the Romulans and the bow's tray is already bending under the weight of crudité and finger foods...and we're only halfway through pre-dinner cocktails!
 
2013-11-04 11:57:30 AM  
Great Onion reference, subby.

I am surprised that they can get this good of a seal, especially using helium. It leaks right through solid rubber balloons after a while.
 
2013-11-04 12:13:40 PM  
It'll be interesting to see how those drives hold up in the long term. Coming up with a sealing technique suitable for helium isn't a cakewalk.
 
2013-11-04 12:17:15 PM  

Fubegra: It'll be interesting to see how those drives hold up in the long term. Coming up with a sealing technique suitable for helium isn't a cakewalk.


Really? Hmmmm, I've never heard of this.
 
2013-11-04 12:18:19 PM  
This doesn't work nearly as well for Fark threads as the "Get Perpendicular" campaign did. Now there was a technology worth its weight in comedy gold.
 
2013-11-04 12:22:07 PM  

Fubegra: It'll be interesting to see how those drives hold up in the long term. Coming up with a sealing technique suitable for helium isn't a cakewalk.


The seal only has to last as long as the warranty.
 
2013-11-04 12:25:44 PM  
That last paragraph is...wow. That is some clumsy writing.
 
2013-11-04 12:34:27 PM  
It may be the second most abundant element in the universe, but I recall reading about how there's a finite supply of it on earth, and it's pretty hard to "mine" it.
 
2013-11-04 12:37:50 PM  
If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.
 
2013-11-04 12:40:54 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.


Because the marketing pukes say helium can be used to justify a substantial increase in the cost of the hardware.
 
2013-11-04 12:40:59 PM  

tripleseven: It may be the second most abundant element in the universe, but I recall reading about how there's a finite supply of it on earth, and it's pretty hard to "mine" it.


The US actually has it in fairly large quantities, and you can produce it as a byproduct of natural gas mining.
 
2013-11-04 12:41:34 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.


The drive heads require a cushion of air to ride on otherwise they crash into the platters. There is also the problem of heat, with nothing to conduct it away the drives would overheat. I imagine it would also be much more difficult to maintain a vacuum.
 
2013-11-04 12:43:27 PM  
Netflix is trying them out in its movie-streaming infrastructure.

IIRC, Netflix streaming uses Amazon's infrastructure as their back end. So wouldn't it really be Amazon trying it out?
 
2013-11-04 12:46:59 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.


That was my exact thought. A vacuum would be even more frictionless.
 
2013-11-04 12:51:07 PM  

FunkyBlue: Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.

That was my exact thought. A vacuum would be even more frictionless.


Hard drives are too dependent on the principles of aerodynamics. You can substitute another fluid for air (helium, in this case) and have it still work, though you have to change the numbers somewhat. But if you take out all the fluid to make a vacuum, the aerodynamic tricks don't work anymore, and you have to rethink the entire storage medium.
 
2013-11-04 12:56:15 PM  

Millennium: FunkyBlue: Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.

That was my exact thought. A vacuum would be even more frictionless.

Hard drives are too dependent on the principles of aerodynamics. You can substitute another fluid for air (helium, in this case) and have it still work, though you have to change the numbers somewhat. But if you take out all the fluid to make a vacuum, the aerodynamic tricks don't work anymore, and you have to rethink the entire storage medium.


Plus, a hard drive with an interior vacuum would require a stronger outer shell to withstand the pressure of the outside air. That means adding more material, which adds both material cost and weight (which affects shipping costs).
 
2013-11-04 01:02:43 PM  

Hand Banana: Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.

The drive heads require a cushion of air to ride on otherwise they crash into the platters. There is also the problem of heat, with nothing to conduct it away the drives would overheat. I imagine it would also be much more difficult to maintain a vacuum.


I believe you have hit on the problem with the cooling issues. That makes sense. Thanks.
 
2013-11-04 01:04:18 PM  

Cybernetic: Netflix is trying them out in its movie-streaming infrastructure.

IIRC, Netflix streaming uses Amazon's infrastructure as their back end. So wouldn't it really be Amazon trying it out?


They used Akamai at first, now they're rolling out their own CDN network with storage and playback servers at ISP headends and free peering agreements when they can't directly colocate.  www.netflix.com still runs on an Amazon elastic cloud system, but I believe that's all that runs on Amazon.
 
2013-11-04 01:06:56 PM  

tripleseven: It may be the second most abundant element in the universe, but I recall reading about how there's a finite supply of it on earth, and it's pretty hard to "mine" it.


I believe problem was that there was a finite affordable supply and demand is outgrowing "production".
 
2013-11-04 01:25:55 PM  
DarthBart : CDN network

Do they have to enter a PIN Number to enter the facility that hosts the CDN Network? You know, if they want to upgrade the RAM Memory of one of their boxes.
 
2013-11-04 01:44:21 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: Hand Banana: Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.

The drive heads require a cushion of air to ride on otherwise they crash into the platters. There is also the problem of heat, with nothing to conduct it away the drives would overheat. I imagine it would also be much more difficult to maintain a vacuum.

I believe you have hit on the problem with the cooling issues. That makes sense. Thanks.


The heads do also ride on a cushion of air, same principal as a hovercraft. That's the only way they can get them so close without crashing.
 
2013-11-04 03:42:20 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: If the purpose of helium is to reduce drag, then why not just go for a vacuum in the enclosure and eliminate drag altogether? It's not like there is a shortage of ways to draw a near perfect vacuum in modern factories.


Because it's easier to purge with helium than to create a vacuum that's sealed to the extent air wouldn't somehow get back in. And when you get down to it, a perfectly sealed vacuum would eventually fill up with helium as alpha particles find their way in.
 
2013-11-04 04:06:50 PM  

tripleseven: It may be the second most abundant element in the universe, but I recall reading about how there's a finite supply of it on earth, and it's pretty hard to "mine" it.


It is not economically viable to mine helium right now because we have had for decades, an enormous helium surplus in the form of  the strategic helium reserve, which Bush Jr. privatized and is now being sold off for more then the dirt cheap prices congress originally set.

When that reserve is gone, we will mine helium, and it will be as abundant as we need it to be.
 
2013-11-04 05:04:49 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Fubegra: It'll be interesting to see how those drives hold up in the long term. Coming up with a sealing technique suitable for helium isn't a cakewalk.

The seal only has to last as long as the warranty.


Good point - and that's a great way to get a longevity timer into the design. Once enough helium leaks out, it either becomes a brick or it has to be throttled down.

/hope we didn't give them ideas
 
2013-11-04 06:09:56 PM  

fluffy2097: When that reserve is gone, we will mine helium, and it will be as abundant as we need it to be.


Yah but we haven't perfected cloning tech yet, it'll be kinda difficult to keep that base operational with just a kevin spacey robot.
 
2013-11-04 10:39:01 PM  
FTFA: Starting today, it will begin shipping hard drives packed with helium

Yes... in the middle of a helium shortage.  This is frelling GREAT IDEA!

All natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases.  In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system increases.

Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless.  New energy cannot be created and high grade energy is being destroyed.  An economy based on endless growth is...

UNSUSTAINABLE!
 
2013-11-04 10:40:49 PM  
Helium platter? No, I ordered the pu pu platter.
 
2013-11-05 02:32:40 AM  
Instead of bigger drives they should just put everything out in the cloud.
 
2013-11-05 03:45:02 AM  

blue_2501: FTFA: Starting today, it will begin shipping hard drives packed with helium

Yes... in the middle of a helium shortage.  This is frelling GREAT IDEA!

All natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases.  In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system increases.

Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless.  New energy cannot be created and high grade energy is being destroyed.  An economy based on endless growth is...

UNSUSTAINABLE!


The empty space inside a hard drive is very small, a single party balloon could probably fill dozens of these hard drives. When people stop wasting helium on balloons then we can worry about hard drives.
 
2013-11-05 01:19:40 PM  
Hell, helium will leak straight through solid metal if you give it enough time.  I assume that these aren't pressurized though, so it will probably take a while.
 
2013-11-05 01:52:42 PM  
DaCheeze.EXE: Hell, helium will leak straight through solid metal if you give it enough time. I assume that these aren't pressurized though, so it will probably take a while.

Maybe a whole service industry can spring up around recharging these drives with helium :P
 
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