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Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit

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Walter Soyka
Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:27:07 pm

Western Digital will now have a nearly 50% share of the hard drive market, and a much better position in the enterprise market.

http://www.wdc.com/en/company/pressroom/releases.aspx?release=ba433e4b-bff8...

Looks like there are now only 4 players in hard drive manufacture.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:22:45 pm

G-Technology: congratulations! You can now use Black Caviars for G-Drives. :)

Alex (DV411)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 8, 2011 at 3:46:33 am

I just finished crying - I don't know why you are so happy. I have had much better success with the Hitachi enterprise ultrastars than the Black Caviars (although both are good). But this can mean that WD can close one of the factories, and only make one or the other (or use same manufacturing techniques in both) - so this can mean WORSE manufacturing (to cut costs, because they have no competition).

And who are the 4 left -
there was
Hitachi
WD
Seagate
Samsung

I never saw a Fujitsu SATA, and Maxtor is Seagate, so now
there are only 3 (and even Lacie stopped using Samsung SATA drives I believe).

Bob Zelin



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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:14:51 am

[Bob Zelin] "I just finished crying - I don't know why you are so happy"

Bob,

I hate making people cry - can I buy you a beer?

If I was comparing enterprise drives to desktop ones, I'd have liked them better too. (Black Caviars aren't the enterprise RE series drives, are they?)

In my personal experience, Hitachi desktop drives were about 20% slower than Black Caviars - but then Hitachis were quite a bit cheaper. Hitachis also had a 15% failure rate - 3 failed out of about 20 drives purchased over the span of 1 year. Black Caviars - 2 out of 40 or 50.

Alex (DV411)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:15:17 am

[Bob Zelin] " I have had much better success with the Hitachi enterprise ultrastars than the Black Caviars (although both are good). But this can mean that WD can close one of the factories, and only make one or the other (or use same manufacturing techniques in both) - so this can mean WORSE manufacturing (to cut costs, because they have no competition)."

Agreed. I don't see how this is good news for us. Competition is good!

My only hope is that WD is serious about acquiring Hitachi's business for their enterprise customers, and will really make efforts to keep quality high. It would actually be a very good strategy -- I'm sure that flash memory and SSD hard drives will cut into WD's consumer and OEM sales dramatically in the next few years. It won't be long until professionals and organizations with large storage needs are the only customers for spinning disks, so this acquisition could be a move to extend their viability.


[Bob Zelin] "And who are the 4 left - there was Hitachi, WD, Seagate, Samsung"

Toshiba is the fourth, but they might only make 2.5" HDDs now.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Ricardo Reyes
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:09:13 am

It's more like only two major players now, WD and Seagate. Who uses Samsung, Fujitsu or Toshiba drives anyways?

I agree with Bob, this is a sad time. Seagate started having alot of issues after they aquired Maxtor a few years back, I hope the same is not said for WD. Will be keeping my fingers crossed!

Ricardo Reyes
Areca Technologies - US Channel
CineRAID Systems


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Ricardo Reyes
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:31:43 am

[Alex Geroulaitis] "G-Technology: congratulations! You can now use Black Caviars for G-Drive"
[Bob Zelin] "I have had much better success with the Hitachi enterprise ultrastars than the Black Caviars (although both are good"

Black Caviars in a RAID environment...really? You are aware that these are "desktop" drives? When an error is found on a desktop hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. The Black Caviars don't support TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which is available only in there RE series (enterprise level drive), eliminating the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array.

From experience, 90% of failures or issues I see always involve "desktop" drives.

Ricardo Reyes
Areca Technologies - US Channel
CineRAID Systems




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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 11, 2011 at 9:11:49 am

[Ricardo Reyes] "Black Caviars in a RAID environment...really?"

I don't think I said anything about RAID. I did mention G-Drives. G-Tech eS and higher series do use Hitachi enterprise drives - but not G-RAIDs, AFAIK.

That said, I find that Black Caviars are generally highly regarded, including for mainstream (not enterprise) RAID applications, and are rarely marked offline by enterprise-class RAID controllers.

I totally get that enterprise class drives optimized for RAID applications are better than desktop ones for nearly any type of RAID. That said, small biz and solo clients will usually choose desktop drives for smaller (8-bay or less) arrays even with the full understanding of the risks and differences.

[Ricardo Reyes] "The Black Caviars don't support TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which is available only in there RE series (enterprise level drive), eliminating the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array."

Thank you, very useful info.

Alex (DV411)


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Jeff Franklin
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:05:33 pm

So what brand and model of drives are best for creating an internal stripe in a Mac Pro? Or better yet, what characteristics should we look for in a drive for this application? What size buffer etc?


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: Western Digital acquires Hitachi's HDD business unit
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:10:05 pm

7200rpm, the larger the buffer size the better - if you can spring for the enterprise class drives (70-100% more money) - go for them.

In my own limited testing, I found that 2TB Black Caviars were the fastest and the most reliable among desktop drives - at 140MB/s r/w rates individually, with fast benchmarks in various RAID levels as well.

Alex (DV411)


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