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Western Digital shuts down factory for hard drives, opens one for SSDs

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    I am surprised.

    Surely there is more than enough demand for mainframes/co-lo/DR/cloud and of course companies like Google to store data?

    Hate to sound like someone who prefers vinyl over mp3s, but platter drives over silicon must be cheaper for datacentres around the world?

    tap tap tap...Are we really at the point where the cost of running a datacentre is so high that more expensive silicon drives are better than platter?
     
  3. k3vst3r

    k3vst3r Ancient Guru

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    Probably just reducing supply, so prices of HDD climb, basically don't want make HDD's when price is just about breaking even. Not sure when it's forecast, but writing is on the wall for HDD as long term NAND flash chips going replace spinners for same price per GB of storage. Believe Samsung upto 96 layers now for their NAND chips? more layers per chip means price per chip is going down whilst storage per chip is climbing.
     
  4. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Maybe they detected systematic cause for slow decline in demand for HDDs while SSDs are on rise?
     

  5. Kaarme

    Kaarme Maha Guru

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    Lots of people, government offices, and businesses ought to be satisfied with only an SSD in their PCs, and maybe a single spinning HD in addition to it only when more space is required. Laptops will soon be a totally dead market for the traditional HDDs. So, its only the NAS, data centers/server farms, and some crumbs from the desktop PC market. It's a twilight business, even if the sun is setting really slowly.
     
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  6. Ricepudding

    Ricepudding Master Guru

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    Arent HDD's basically dead already on laptops, from what i see any new models made in the last couple of years either come with an SSD or an m.2 drive. Most people would be happy with a single SSD on their drives, they only need it for some documents, windows and music, 250gb or even 500gb is more than enough for the normal user. Gamers might need a bit more if they play lots of games at once, this is the last place you see people get HDD's for storage reasons.

    Though i am sure i am not the only one who has switched over to purely SSD and m.2 drives in their system. Agree with the last bit though, its basically data centres who are left buying this for 99% of cases, if SSD falls down close enough to the £/$ per GB then they would switch in a heartbeat since SSD's are more reliable not to mention faster and last longer. I've yet to have a single SSD fail on me, and from the tests ive seen most of these should last well over 10 years and newer models even longer
     
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  7. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    Of course there is more demand for HDD in that type of environment. For now.
    They aren't shutting down their only manufacturing plant though. Instead of having maybe 5 that produce standard HDD now they have 4 (I don't know how many they really have but surely it can't be just 1)

    SSD's are still way to expensive for that type of environment.
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    It's important to keep in mind that prices are very different for enterprise hardware. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing the price:capacity ratio when comparing HDDs to SSDs is narrowing too much for HDDs to remain a better option. Consider the long-term expenses involved in HDDs vs SSDs:
    * HDDs tend to generate more heat. Heat is due to friction. Friction causes wear. Wear results in failure.
    * To curb the heat-death issue, you need to keep the drives cool. Keeping up with the coolness (and humidity - dry air is dangerous) is very expensive.
    * Since HDD lifespans are shorter than modern SSDs, they need to be replaced more often. That time spent replacing them isn't free, and if the warranty ran out, the replacement drive isn't free, either.
    * HDDs often take up more space, and weigh more. This makes shipping and positioning them more difficult and time consuming. As I've already alluded to, time is money.
    * HDDs need more electricity to operate.
    * To compete with performance of SSDs, you need faster-spinning drives. The faster the drive, the more expensive it is, the more power it needs, and the hotter it gets. And so the above problems are exacerbated.

    SSDs are reaching a point where their higher price point just isn't enough of a long-term turnoff to companies. Right now the only saving grace of HDDs is how SSDs seem to get exponentially more expensive as you go beyond 1TB.

    So - for stuff like cloud-based mainframes and perhaps some media-based services like Youtube or Soundcloud, I think HDDs are going to remain in use for a long while. For everything else with much more finite or controlled data, I think SSDs are proving to be a better value.


    EDIT:
    On the consumer level, I still feel HDDs are very relevant if you need 1TB or more, at least as a secondary drive to store stuff like media.
     
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  9. Ricepudding

    Ricepudding Master Guru

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    see i question what Media? with streaming becoming a massive thing less and less people are downloading and/or torrenting media now. and with sites like Kodi exodus people are illegally streaming films instead of downloading them. i think the only people on a consumer level that need more than 1TB are gamers, or Media creators if they count, least small ones
     
  10. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    Not surprised. Since they have many other plants they could still do HDDs. Plus they need to get the ball rolling since SSDs are becoming more popular.
     

  11. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    There are plenty of people who still prefer, or even need local storage (especially those who want higher-quality content). I'm not sure where you're from, but most rural areas don't have access to internet fast enough for streaming, or at least it isn't cheap. Countries like Romania are an odd exception.
     
  12. sammarbella

    sammarbella Ancient Guru

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    I am not going full SSD anytime soon; SSD prices are still too high for (poor) data hoarders like me.

    It's perfect for my laptop but my desktop PC and specially the NAS/HTPC need a lot of storage.

    NAS: 1 SSD for OS/apps and 1 SSD for recordings, 7 HDDs (+40 TB) for media.
     
  13. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    we will always need HDDs in some way, tape is still being used as long term storage because its super longevity or something, SSDs in my experience may seem indestructible but they just fail for no apparent reason with no warning and no way of recovering data, compare that to HDDs, I would never use an HDD again for anything but long term storage, things i absolutely dont want to lose, even though I have piles of "dead" HDDs, I could still add or pull data from them somehow, while the 2 SSDs that have failed me wont even show up on bios
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  14. RzrTrek

    RzrTrek Ancient Guru

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    There's no future for mechanical storage devices and I will be happy to see them gone.
     
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Tapes are really only used for archiving purposes, and, in mainframes that still have one of those crazy expensive automated tape libraries. Otherwise, they're not really used anymore.
    To my understanding, the failure rate of SSDs hasn't been a problem since 2012. It was due to firmware and manufacturing issues that have long since been resolved in newer models. So putting exceptions aside, HDDs don't have a predictable lifespan like SSDs do. If you absolutely don't want to lose something, putting your trust in something that could die without notice is risky. Both HDDs and flash-storage devices (including USB drives) have places to recover data if some other part of the drive failed. Though, it definitely is easier to repair a dead HDD on your own (still risky and difficult, though).
     

  16. waltc3

    waltc3 Master Guru

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    Oh, there is plenty of demand for large-capacity hard drives, atm. But the problem is that the HDD market is cutthroat whereas the SSD market is still relatively profitable on a per-GB basis. I just bought a new 4TB Seagate Barricuda 5400 rpm, 256-MB cache hard drive for the astounding price of $92 plus tax--via Amazon. Even 1TB HDDs have dropped in price 10% or more in the last year or so, simply because HDD demand has been so soft. I think that the future is definitely SSD based, as soon as it becomes possible to manufacture them in multi-terabyte sizes for a cost very close to large-capacity HDDs today. I think there are a few more tricks in-store for the HDD market yet, but the end for the market will come when it is possible to do big SS drives at current big-drive HDD pricing, imo. SSD technology is advancing very quickly.
     
  17. slyphnier

    slyphnier Master Guru

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    well most WD hdd come from thailand plant/factory anyway

    do u guys getting wd hdd come malaysia often ?
    malaysia factory more like producing 2/10 batch of wd hdd to me

    then again WD also own HGST factory in china

    also such as backblaze (based their publication) seems prefer hitachi / seagate over WD in their datacenter
     
  18. Venix

    Venix Master Guru

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    Hdd's will stay with us for few more decades but their demand will decline more and more ... wd have to produce ssd's else they will become the 2020's blockbuster!
     
  19. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah with me my DSL provider could only offer me 25Mbps down and 1.5 Up putrid speeds compared to other providers. With me I would prefer local storage because it's more reliable than streaming especially with games. I have to switch to Comcast in order to get faster speeds.
    Not true because it will still cost the average consumer more money to get an SSD with the same amount of storage than standard mechanical drive. You can get a 2TB drive on Amazon for 50-100 bucks depending on the brand and type of hard drive it is. ex( WD caviar Black, Blue etc, and SSHD) an the cheapest 2TB SSD is around $300 bucks.
    Tapes are rarely used any more maybe by some businesses that still have a Tape back up system but other than that it is rare. Well SSDs are getting better and better over time and also the SSDs that failed are the ones that had poor buggy firmware on them as mentioned and that was a while back as well.
     
  20. RzrTrek

    RzrTrek Ancient Guru

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    I much rather pay five times as much for my SSD than have my 1TB HDD fail after less than 1 year of use.
     

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