Google Wants Less Reliable Hard Disks - InformationWeek

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Google Wants Less Reliable Hard Disks
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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/1/2016 | 3:53:19 PM
Not less reliable; more cost effective
It's not that Google literally wants less reliable disks. It wants more cost effective ones. Let cloud software do for disk drives what it's done for servers. The burden of continuous operation lies in the software, not the hardware. When a device fails, there's already a backup copy of the data and a new copy is created on a healthy device immediately after failure. This allows the use of more cost-efficient hardware. It doesn't have to be non-stop, continuous operations for the longest time manufacturable by man. It can have a built in, shorter life without harm to the overall system.
JohnHarris01
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JohnHarris01,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2016 | 10:03:08 AM
Google's intent still unclear
Accept the fact that there is a requirement of storage space..

Redesigning hard drive in particular for better cloud support on data centers sounds unconvincing

Am doubting google's intent here..

Google is foreseeing something here.. May be they came to know SSD's are not going to become less expensive anytime soon. Or else the most appropriate choice would have been SSD's.

When you have a better technology; why do they want to experiment with traditional hard drive's again..
jslappdc
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jslappdc,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/29/2016 | 12:04:45 PM
Let's use what we have 'better' so we don't have to redesign
"The industry is relatively good at improving GB/$ [gigabytes per dollar], but less so at IOPS/GB [input-output-per-second per gigabyte]"

A better approach than redesigning hard drives is to add the right software intelligence to fully leverage what we already have. DataCore just proved this to the world again.

[JUST THE FACTS]

- DataCore just achieved 1,510,090 SPC-1 IOps

- Did this at a cost of $0.09/SPC-1 IO

- Landed in both top-ten categories for Performance and Price/Performance (never been done before)

- Did this at 99.95 microseconds average response time at 100% load (never been done before)

--Jeffrey Slapp, Datacore Software
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 9:18:38 AM
Re: Pretty intelligent
Taimoor,

What you are saying-Wrt Technology Industry having different parameters and benchmarks (from the Aviation Industry) made sense in a Time of Ample Liquidity & Cheap VC Cash.

Unfortunately today that time is over(atleast for the next 2 years or so)-This is the major factor which is causing all the belt-tightening and Layoffs one sees in Silicon Valley currently.

Going ahead,I forsee the pain getting worse atleast for the next year or so as the Global Recession (starting from China but enveloping most of the West as well)well and truly bites.

In that period;the chances of any Large Industry(like the Semiconductor Industry)pulling off something big like this are next to Zero.

Every year there are thousands of research papers released in the Technology Industry;how many of those are turned into real applications?That number is all set to decline considerably going ahead atleast for those applications which require Huge Gobs of cash.

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 10:19:34 AM
Re: Pretty intelligent
"Look at Manufacturing Goliaths like Boeing and Airbus for instance.Before they even think about building a single new plane(like the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737max) they book thousands of orders just to break-even"

@Ashu001: I think it's not fair to compare the aviation industry with technology. Technology is moving several times faster than any other industry and it has to operate at this pace. The tech giants of this world cannot afford to give the slack that perhaps Airline manufacturers can. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 8:44:46 AM
Re: Pretty intelligent
Taimoor,

Its not always that simple.

We are currently living in a world which places a Greater premium on RoC(Return of Capital) rather than RoI(Return on Investment/Capital).

In such a world,companies have to first demonstrate that they can Profitably setup and run a Business successfully before they get fresh funding-Yes its true even in the much exalted VC-funded space as well now).

Which is why its so important(unless Google choses to underwrite part of the Risk for these companies for retooling their Manufacturing) to see atleast some traction/orders up front.

Look at Manufacturing Goliaths like Boeing and Airbus for instance.Before they even think about building a single new plane(like the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737max) they book thousands of orders just to break-even.

Similar situation also arises in the HDD space(Just that these guys have to sell Millions of HDDs first).

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 9:56:22 AM
Re: Scalability
Taimoor,

Good points raised by you here.

I have no doubt this is precisely how Storage will expand going ahead.

Anything more/less could be asking for too much trouble currently.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 4:01:25 AM
Scalability
Given the pace at which the storage capacity needs to be expanded, I believe the best type of architecture would be one which gives a lot of flexibility and the room to scale as and when needed. The additional storage can be added at the same pace at which the demand goes up and this would prove to be cost effective with little wastage of space. The architecture needs to support easy addition of capacity without having a compromise on the performance. 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 3:57:13 AM
Re: Pretty intelligent
"They want to drive down the cost by shifting the error correcting focus away from the individual hard drives into management software"

@Aroper-VEC: I agree with you and I think this is the right approach to adopt. The idea is to make the software layer highly intelligent that it controls the hardware layer on its own and gives higher flexibility and ease of use. This is similar to the concept of SDN (software defined networking) where the virtual layer conceals the network hardware and cabling.
tzubair
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50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 3:54:22 AM
Re: Pretty intelligent
"Its not easy for these guys to change everything on the whims and fancies of Software Companies-Today Google wants something,Tommorow MSFT wants something else,then Salesforce???"

@Ashu001: I think it makes sense if these companies are driving innovation and bringing about changes. The manufacturers thrive because these companies demand their products so they have to be flexible enough to adopt. In case they fail to do so, someone else will step up and meet the demands. You can't afford to resist change and try to maintain status quo in this fast-paced industry.
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