Sources close to Seagate roadmaps have leaked the potential of a 3TB SAS drive being released this year.

The quest for storage is almost a never ending saga.  Dubbed the Constellation-ES, the replacement for the Seagate Barracuda-ES, the drive is expected to arrive later this year with a 7200 RPM rotation speed, and a 6Gbit/s SAS interface.  A 1TB version of the 2.5" Barracuda-ES is also expected to arrive around the mid year point.

A 3TB drive would suggest an increase in maximum platter size, from the current 500GB limit.  If you remember back that far, the increase in density was due to a change in bit alignment, from horizontal to vertical, to counter the superparamagnetic effect.  Hitachi made an excellent and funny flash animation to describe the technology.  The feeling is that the increase in platter size is an extension of that technology, rather than a new physical property being exploited.

Depending on how quickly these new hard drives hit the enterprise sector, we could see consumer 3TB hard drives by the end of the year as a positive estimate.  However, 17GB/$ ($175 a unit) or a price comparable to current 2TB hard drives would be required for consumer market acceptance.  Whether people require 3TB is another matter - video editors, professional photographers, or just for storing your movie and blu-ray collection are possibilities.

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  • n3rrd - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    RAID1 is more reliable than a single drive, and much more reliable than all your data spread across a RAID0 array but it isn't a substitute for a proper back up. In a system failure (controller goes crazy, power supply fails) the chances are that, if one drive dies, both drives die. Your data is pooched. True, RAID1 will protect against a single drive failure, but there are situations where both will fail together.

    Even with a RAID1 array you should still be backing up to something outside of that particular system periodically.
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    I've got over 20 HDDs in my home. Close to ten as back up drives. RAID is not a backup solution. Yes, you can hope that your array is repairable, but that is not really backup. Now, if you have a server and you value uptime or have a photo/video editing machine that needs to load very large files then yes, there is a place for RAID.

    Anyways, no matter the size, I have a identical sized backup drive. If one drive fails I don't want to lose my data. My dream is to have a third set stored offsite, but I can't afford the amount of storage I desire anyways. I would love me some 3TB goodness. My video collection grows all the time. I would rather currently have 8 data drives in my file server (9 if you include the OS drive). I'd much rather have 4 or 6 of these monsters and for me that means a total of 8-10 with backups. Ouch goes my wallet!
  • coyote2 - Saturday, May 15, 2010 - link

    "no matter the size, I have a identical sized backup drive"

    actually, I have a significantly larger drive to back up a data drive (to allow for daily backup of incremental changes, covering a healthy period of time).

    which is PRECISELY why I eagerly await larger drives; when 3TB drives arrive, my 2TB drives get to be data drives instead of backup destination drives.
  • LuxZg - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Last few hours comments aren't working for me.. I either get logged off or get an error "sorry.." something from site.. Is it fixed?
  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    One of the biggest changes will be the requirement to use GUID partition table above 2TB sizes. Bye-bye XP.
  • Nutzo - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Looks like a good backup drive.
    I could backup all the data on all my systems at home on a single 3Tb drive. (assuming some compression)

    Currently I only backup the critial data, and not information (like video) than can be re-created or downloaded. It's be nice to actually have an image of everything on 1 drive.
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Not sure how these drives will work since bios these days cannot boot from drivers that's larger than 2TB.
    You will need a EFI support bios as well as a 64bit OS.

    So look like they can only be used for storage purposes.

    There was a article on this somewhere in here.
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    and this little flash animation is the reason it is still a NEED in web devices, like the iphone/ipad and new smartphones. could we live without it? sure! but they are so damn funny!
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    "Whether people require 3TB is another matter - video editors, professional photographers, or just for storing your movie and blu-ray collection are possibilities."

    Lol lets translate that to non politically-correct jargon: “Whether people require 3TB is another matter – porn, mp3, and warez hoarders, or for running bitorrent seeding boxes, and storing pirated Blu-ray/DVD collections are of immediate uses…”

    That said… I’m so tired of this metered technology reporting; OF COURSE people need as much space as their dollars can buy! Every year there’s these BS talks about “omg the limits of mechanical storage,” Ummm do you THINK that a multi-mill/billion dollar corp hasn’t LONG estimated the limits of their capacity to improve upon storage technology? The corporations already KNOW the limits; thus they have to give their PR and marketing departments something to talk to US about. Strike that, they need to have something to worry us about, thus creating hype and fear so that people will run out and get more drives, bc “you never know” when “suddenly” the limitations will be reached and then they’ll kindly announce it to everyone, “hey all we’re sorry, but we’ve simply run out of ideas for increasing capacity… so now we’re BUNDLING drives for you!” Haha really, think about it… they’ve already determined just how much space they can deliver (metered out over years and years, while they scramble for advancements in tech), we just don’t know about it. A hacked/leaked internal email addressing this issue would be a very interesting read…

    There’s NEVER “enough” storage space, when talking about backups. I mirror EVERYTHING I get with RAID-1 and off site storage; yes it’s a major PITA and $$$, BUT… after losing 2x750GB drives simultaneously (WHILE MAKING BACKUPS OMFG WTF?!) I vowed never again to be that upset and literally sick over losing years and years of irreplaceable data! Folks PLEASE have off site-backups, the day you have to pop that back up out of its external enclosure and into your rig with in minutes of “the clicks of death,” you’ll thank yourself a million times over… Vs the day you LOSE that drive and don’t have a back up = I pray you don’t smash something of value, or injure yourself from flailing about in sheer rage (been-there-done-that haha :-/ )…! As a best-practice rule, I always buy drives in pairs; it’s foolish to have more data than you can mirror… I’d like to see a BFRD (Big Fscking Reliable Drive) approach with more platters etc… I could care less about all the comparisons, access times, wattages, noise etc… blah blah, I want a drive series that’s ALL about RELIABILITY, SPACE and avg-transfer speeds. Who cares about access-rah-rah; these days it’s all about storage space.
  • dac7nco - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    A 2+TB drive VERY rugged, much slower drive would suit my needs well. I don't care if it doubles transfer times; hell - for backups, I wouldn't care if it was a 5.25" drive with large platters on a miniature shock pallet.


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