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In Major Cloud Expansion, Google To Open 12 More Data Centers 42

Mickeycaskill writes: Google is to open 12 new data centers in the latest stage of a bitter war with rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. The first two facilities to open will be in Oregon and Tokyo, both of which will open next year. The rest will follow in 2017. Google says the new locations will allow customers to run applications closer to home, boosting latency, and of course benefiting from any local data protection laws. At present, Google has just four cloud regions, meaning this expansion will quadruple its sphere of influence. "With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance," said Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud's product manager. Two bits says those were not his exact words.
Data Storage

Study Finds That Humidity Has More Effect On Drive Failures Than Temperature (rackcdn.com) 85

AmiMoJo writes: A study by Rutgers University and Microsoft has found that hard drives are more prone to failure due to high levels of humidity [PDF] than high temperature. With a view to 'free cooling' data centres (using low external air temperature for cooling to save power), the paper notes that humidity related malfunctions of the driver controller / adapter are the dominant cause of drive failure. The good news is that while the researchers found that high relative humidity was a significant factor in drive failures, "[S]oftware availability techniques can mask them and enable freecooled operation, resulting in significantly lower infrastructure and energy costs that far outweigh the cost of the extra component failures."
Data Storage

Facebook Preps Its Infrastructure For a Virtual Reality Future (datacenterfrontier.com) 53

1sockchuck writes: Facebook is building a new generation of open hardware, part of its vision for powerful data centers that will use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to deliver experiences over the Internet. At the Open Compute Summit, Facebook shared details of its work to integrate more SSDs, GPUs, NVM and a "Just a Bunch of Flash" storage sled to accelerate its infrastructure. The company's infrastructure ambitions are also powered by CEO Mark Zuckerberg's embrace of virtual reality, reflected in the $2 billion acquisition of VR pioneer Oculus. "Over the next decade, we're going to build experiences that rely more on technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "These will require a lot more computing power."
Data Storage

Raspberry Pi Gets Affordable, Power Efficient 314GB Hard Drive On Pi Day 144

Mickeycaskill writes: Western Digital has released a had drive optimized for the Raspberry Pi. The 314GB drive, released on Pi Day (3/14), costs $31.42 for a limited time and promises to be more reliable, power efficient and easier to use with the computer than other storage. The company, which also has a 1TB drive, says the unit has been designed to coordinate with the Pi's own power systems in order to minimize energy use without affecting the maximum data transfer rate on a USB connection. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the new drive will stimulate the development of storage-hungry projects.
Data Storage

Thanks For the Memories: Touring the Awesome Random Access of Old (hackaday.com) 89

szczys writes: The RAM we use today is truly amazing in all respects: performance, reliability, price; all have been optimized to the point you can consider memory a solved problem. Equally fascinating is the meandering path that we've taken over the last half century to get here. Drums, tubes, mercury delay lines, dekatrons, and core memory. They're still as interesting as the day electrons first ran through their circuits. Perhaps most amazing is the cost and complexity, both of which make you wonder how they ever manage to be used in production machines. But here's the clincher: despite being difficult and costly to manufacture, they were all very reliable.
Data Storage

There's No End In Sight For Data Storage Capacity (computerworld.com) 107

Lucas123 writes: Several key technologies are coming to market in the next three years that will ensure data storage will not only keep up with but exceed demand. Heat-assisted magnetic recording and bit-patterned media promise to increase hard drive capacity initially by 40% and later by 10-fold, or as Seagate's marketing proclaims: 20TB hard drives by 2020. At the same time, resistive RAM technologies, such as Intel/Micron's 3D XPoint, promise storage-class memory that's 1,000 times faster and more resilient than today's NAND flash, but it will be expensive — at first. Meanwhile, NAND flash makers have created roadmaps for 3D NAND technology that will grow to more than 100 layers in the next two to three generations, increasing performance and capacity while ultimately lowering costs to that of hard drives."Very soon flash will be cheaper than rotating media," said Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory at SanDisk.
Data Storage

Seagate Debuts World's Fastest NVMe SSD With 10GBps Throughput (hothardware.com) 66

MojoKid writes: Seagate has just unveiled what it is calling "the world's fastest SSD," and the performance differential between it and the next closest competitive offering is significant, if their claims are true. The SSD, which Seagate today announced is in "production-ready" form employs the NVMe protocol to help it achieve breakneck speeds. So just how fast is it? Seagate says that the new SSD is capable of 10GB/sec of throughput when used in 16-lane PCIe slots. Seagate notes that this is 4GB/sec faster than the next-fastest competing SSD solution. The company is also working on a second, lower-performing variant that works in 8-lane PCIe slots and has a throughput of 6.7GB/sec. Seagate sees the second model as a more cost-effect SSD for businesses that want a high performing SSD, but want to keep costs and power consumption under control. Seagate isn't ready yet to discuss pricing for its blazing fast SSDs, and oddly haven't disclosed a model name either, but it does say that general availability for its customers will open up during the summer.
Data Storage

Samsung Ships 15.38TB SSD With Up To 1,200MBps Performance (computerworld.com) 103

Lucas123 writes: Samsung announced it is now shipping the world's highest capacity 2.5-in SSD, the 15.38TB PM1633a. The new SSD uses a 12Gbps SAS interface and is being marketed for use in enterprise-class storage systems where IT managers can fit twice as many of the drives in a standard 19-inch, 2U rack compared to an equivalent 3.5-inch drive. The PM1633a sports random read/write speeds of up to 200,000 and 32,000 IOPS, respectively. It delivers sequential read/write speeds of up to 1,200MBps, the company said. The SSD can sustain one full drive write (15.38TB) per day, every day over its life, which Samsung claims is two to ten times more data than typical SATA SSDs based on planar MLC and TLC NAND flash technologies. The SSD is based on Samsung's 48-layer V-NAND (3D NAND) technology, which also uses 3-bit MLC flash. Also at Hot Hardware
Data Storage

Google-Backed SSD Endurance Research Shows MLC Flash As Reliable As SLC (hothardware.com) 62

MojoKid writes: Even for mainstream users, it's easy to feel the differences between using a PC that has an OS installed on a solid state drive versus a mechanical hard drive. Also, with SSD pricing where it is right now, it's also easy to justify including one in a new configuration for the speed boost. And there's obvious benefit in the enterprise and data center for both performance and durability. As you might expect, Google has chewed through a healthy pile of SSDs in its data centers over the years and the company appears to have been one of the first to deploy SSDs in production at scale. New research results Google is sharing via a joint research project now encompasses SSD use over a six year span at one of Google's data centers. Looking over the results led to some expected and unexpected findings. One of the biggest discoveries is that SLC-based SSDs are not necessarily more reliable than MLC-based drives. This is surprising, as SLC SSDs carry a price premium with the promise of higher durability (specifically in write operations) as one of their selling points. It will come as no surprise that there are trade-offs of both SSDs and mechanical drives, but ultimately, the benefits SSDs offer often far outweigh the benefits of mechanical HDDs.
Data Storage

Google Proposes New Hard Drive Format For Data Centers (thestack.com) 202

An anonymous reader writes: In a new research paper the VP of Infrastructure at Google argues for hard drive manufacturers and data center provisioners to consider revisions to the current 3.5" form-factor in favour of taller, multi-platter form factors — with the possibility of combining the new format with HDDs of smaller circumference which hold less data but have better seek times. Eric Brewer, also a professor at UC Berkeley, writes "The current 3.5" HDD geometry was adopted for historic reasons – its size inherited from the PC floppy disk. An alternative form factor should yield a better TCO overall. Changing the form factor is a long term process that requires a broad discussion, but we believe it should be considered."
Data Storage

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS To Have Official Support For ZFS File System (dustinkirkland.com) 191

LichtSpektren writes: Ubuntu developer Dustin Kirkland has posted on his blog that Canonical plans to officially support the ZFS file system for the next Ubuntu LTS release, 16.04 "Xenial Xerus." The file system, which originates in Solaris UNIX, is renowned for its feature set (Kirkland touts "snapshots, copy-on-write cloning, continuous integrity checking against data corruption, automatic repair, efficient data compression") and its stability. "You'll find zfs.ko automatically built and installed on your Ubuntu systems. No more DKMS-built modules!" N.B. ext4 will still be the default file system due to the unresolved licensing conflict between Linux's GPLv2 and ZFS's CDDL.
Data Storage

Backblaze Dishes On Drive Reliability In their 50k+ Disk Data Center 145

Online backup provider Backblaze runs hard drives from several manufacturers in its data center (56,224, they say, by the end of 2015), and as you'd expect, the company keeps its eye on how well they work. Yesterday they published a stats-heavy look at the performance, and especially the reliability, of all those drives, which makes fun reading, even if you're only running a drive or ten at home. One upshot: they buy a lot of Seagate drives. Why? A relevant observation from our Operations team on the Seagate drives is that they generally signal their impending failure via their SMART stats. Since we monitor several SMART stats, we are often warned of trouble before a pending failure and can take appropriate action. Drive failures from the other manufacturers appear to be less predictable via SMART stats.
Data Storage

Samsung Returns To 2D, Releases 250GB 750 EVO For $75 37

Vigile writes: Even with Samsung pushing forward into 3D NAND with 32-layer technologies used in SSDs like the 850 Pro and the recently released M.2 PCIe NVMe 950 Pro, there is still plenty of traditional 2D planar memory being fabbed on production lines. To utilize that inventory, Samsung is shifting its low-capacity SSDs back to it, announcing the 750 EVO drives today available in 120GB and 250GB capacities. Though based largely on the very popular, but sometimes troubled, 840 EVO specs, the new drives are faster and start with some impressively low prices. The starting MSRP for the 250GB 750 EVO will be just $75.
Data Storage

Nanostructured Glass Could Provide Highly Durable, Deeply Dense Data Storage (phys.org) 118

Namarrgon writes: Using nanostructured glass, scientists from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (position, size, and orientation) digital data by femtosecond laser writing. The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000ÂC and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190ÂC) opening a new era of eternal data archiving.
Data Storage

OCZ Toshiba Breaks 30 Cents Per GB Barrier With New Trion 150 SSD (hothardware.com) 141

MojoKid writes: OCZ's Trion 150 SSD is an update to the company's Trion 100, which was the first drive from OCZ to feature TLC NAND and all in-house, Toshiba-built technology. As its branding suggests, the new Trion 150 kicks things up a notch over the Trion 100, thanks to some cutting-edge Toshiba 15nm NAND flash memory and a tweaked firmware, that combined, offer increased performance and lower cost over its predecessor. In testing, the Trion 150 hits peak reads and writes well north of 500MB/sec like most SATA-based SSDs but the kicker is, at its higher densities, the drive weighs in at about 28 cents per GiB. This equates to street prices of $70 for a 240GB drive, $140 for 480GB and $270 for a 960GB version. It's good to see mainstream solid state storage costs continuing to come down.

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