Google’s technology has reached a point where they have to take all the light bulbs out of shared data centres and equip technicians with ‘helmet lights’ to keep their infrastructure solutions a secret.
Long have I pondered how they initially got passed the data storage hurdle during their early years.
As an SEO, I’d LOVE to have the sort of storage to keep all my data on-hand in a giant database that’s constantly refreshing and crawling for new info. Due to the cost of HDDs I’ll have to keep running Google queries or head over to sites like Majestic where the data runs deep and fast.
At one point I even hypothesized that Google had a smart-load system that could bring storage medium (magnetic disc platters/DVDr discs) on-line quickly from a very fast storage mechanism. So while all my recent email is stored on fast access media, and when I do a search for old mail that search is running from an index, when I go to open some old mail, that delay you get is from the loader fetching the offline storage.
I doubt that any of the ideas I had were even close to the real secret, heck Google probably just had a very friendly storage deal with a major manufacturer until they were able to start making their own solutions. Yes, Google makes a lot of it’s own hardware now, and a custom built storage solution would not be shocking to me at all.
Remember about 2 years ago when REALLY big drives started becoming cheap and common? Remember when it suddenly became impossible to find a drive with less than 320GB of storage? That was roughly the time that PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology hit mainstream hard disk manufacturers.
PMR drives were not only bigger (the single plater size was suddenly 320GB+) but at the same rotational speeds (~7200RPM) they were also faster, lighter, and cheaper. The instant these drives came to market I took the time to memorize the model #s of drives with the new tech so as to avoid buying the outgoing/older drives.
Enter HAMR: heat-assisted magnetic recording
Today Seagate announced significant forward progress with HAMR drives:
“one terabit per square inch”
In 2007 Seagate’s own estimates on PMR were that the density would peak at 1Tb/inch², a goal they have only now hit with HAMR. In fact in 2007 when Seagate was actively researching HAMR technology they were estimating a peak density of 5Tb/inch²!
What does all this really mean? In August of 2011 Seagate was boasting of a .722Tb/inch² capacity which resulted in 3TB hard disk models hitting the market.
Seagate claims the recent stride in density should ‘nearly double’ the capacity of current drives. If this all pans out I am putting a 6TB HDD on my wish list for XMas this year.
Don’t forget about our Beanstalk Minecraft Map Contest, now with ~$300 worth of prizes going into the competition it’s better than ever!
I’ll try to get some demo videos on-line this week for inspiration, and until then, good luck!