2018 and Beyond: The Future of Hard Drives

Technology has been progressive for hard drives and the newest technology has been essential in making it a trend in data storage. It has advanced to a level where storage has increased and become smaller in physical size. They started with being able to only store a few low-resolution photos. Latest versions store varied kinds of data of upto 12 Terabytes. Western Digital has announced that with the help of new technology, they have developed a hard drive (HDD) which is capable of storing ultra-high capacity of up to 40TB.

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Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR): It is an energy-assisted technology that uses a microwave field to record data and not sacrifice the unreliability that HDDs come with. Storage has been beneficial to companies since it fits large amounts of data in a limited space. Even though the technology has progressed, it comes with some setbacks.

Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording: This was the most recent breakthrough. This technology imbibes a laser into its read/write part of the HDD. The laser gives the head a more powerful boost and is expected to store more data and a much faster pace and more reliably. HAMR is expensive. The addition of the laser technology has complicated the manufacturing of these drives and it has quickly become evident that HDDs with HAMR are less reliable than their options. Recovery companies noticed an unfortunate trend in recovery requests for HAMR technology rendering MAMR as a cheaper and a more reliable technology.

According to CRN, Western Digital, a pioneer in the storage industry is placing its hopes on MAMR. It has been their main focus for quite some time. MAMR has a 100-time better data writing lifetime than HAMR. The demand for high capacity spinning hard drives is definitely growing for certain use cases. While client PCs and smaller servers are more and more likely to use SSDs other than spinning drives, customers in the sciences and high-performance computing fields are storing the kind of capacities that keep spinning disks in demand. There is clearly a need for storage solutions to go forward with the spinning drives. Intel tells us their analysts are looking at big data, artificial intelligence and high performance computing, all of which require a lot of analysis and crunching of big data And a lot of that is stored on rotating data.

Based on future projections, hard drives will always move towards accommodating more digital data into smaller physical spaces. It is more surprising that HDDs are making a comeback in the era of SSDs. It is hard to imagine users who would want upto 40TB of storage. Large data centres would be helpful if they use higher capacity storage options along with the added benefit of reliability. Although, no hard drive is immune from the potential of failure due to physical or internal damage, resulting in loss of data. As for now, it is not uncommon for us to recover thousands of documents, files and photographs for clients. But there is development going into recovering millions of them and maybe even more