STORAGE REPORT MID 2021

western-digital-wd15eads
WD15EADS 4K sectors

The studio now has four of the Seagate ST8000DM004 8TB disks. The older pair ST4000DM004. So far one of the ST8000DM004 and one of the ST4000DM004 had to be full erased to recover from errors. No damage to data was noted but it appears that the logic is not powerful enough to handle moving folders galore.

The Corsair Obsidian 750D is equipped with three disk cages to afford a staggering amount of storage. A Synology 8 disk NAS sells for over $1000 with no disks install. The Corsair chassis mitigates the need for the NAS.

In 2019, the Toshiba MG07ACA12TE helium chass disk found its way into the rig. The 12TB capacity is enormous compared to the ST4000DM004 and ST8000DM004 shingled disks. The Toshiba MG07ACA12TE disk also substantially faster being a conventional perpendicular class disk.

With the MG07ACA12TE, four of ST8000DM004 and a pair of ST4000DM004 disks, the Corsair Obsidian 750D is far beyond the expectations of the original design.

The older ST2000DM006 along with the ancient WD1600BEVS which still works are also installed, After 12 years the disk has failed leaving me with one remaining WD1600BEVS to act as an available spare.

One of the ancient WD1600BEVS disks failed with a drive not ready error. This has been a spare disk and no consequential loss of data as the disk was obsolete.

This year Samsung finally introduced their 980 PRO in the 2TB capacity. This SSD now hosts Windows while the Intel 665p 2TB now is in the second slot as secondary NVMe storage..

iTunes media library now has a dedicated ST8000DM004 disk. Apple has some 60 million songs which would require some 2PB of storage to handle them all in Apple Lossless format. At present 2PB takes several rows of dense storage servers using the latest 18TB disks. 2PB today is actually a comparative small storage system.

Power on hours is comparatively low with all of the new hard disks. With frequent capacity increments smaller disks are retired comparatively fast. Running disks to destruction may take a decade as hard disks are designed for a long service life. 8,760 hours in a year so several disks have more than 2 years of ongoing operation, mostly 24/7 in practice.

The earliest of the 8TB disks are also above 10,000 power on hours. Both of the ST4000DM004 are now over 13,000 power on hours. The smaller disks have proportionally more power on hours. The venerable WD15EADS has been a survivor,

OBSIDIAN 750D CAGE CONTENTS

CAGE LOCATIONDISK INSTALLEDPOWER ON HOURS
M.2 Slot 1Samsung 980 PRO 2TB1,268
M.2 Slot 2Intel 665p 2TB8,100
Cage 1: ADT01ACA3006,382
Cage 1: BST8000DM00411,810
Cage 1: CST8000DM004 6,631
Cage 2: AST8000DM004 1,005
Cage 2: BST8000DM004 100
Cage 2: CST4000DM00417,746
Cage 3: AST4000DM004 13,370
Cage 3: BST2000DM00613,849
Cage 3: CWD15EADS11,545

The Corsair Obsidian 750D affords more disks than the venerable old Cooler Master HAF 932. The top most cages actually locks to the DVD bay cage to secure them leaving room galore for video cards galore. Larger capacity disks have been accumulated and in time even larger disks will come down in price.

Synology DS1817 NAS

Still for several years the studio made do with several comparatively small hard disks. Now with substantially larger disks the pressure on storage is reduced. The old period of 500GB disks were less problematic as games were not as larger as they are now. The Seagate ST3000DM001 was reputed to have a high failure rate but the one disk in the studio has survived. The Toshiba DT01ACA300 has less use on it due to its more recent procurement.

BACKBLAZE

SSD and HDD Lifetime AFR by Year

Backblaze posted a chart showing AFR for hard disks and SSD from 2014 onwards. Obviously after 4 years it is reasonable to expect that a pool of hard disks will start to show some failures. Hard disks are generally designed for long service life. With a 5% decay in the pool the array will need extensive maintenance.

Swapping out all of the disks in a larger data center is standard practice as redundancy extends to the server level. Racks and racks of hard disks can make up a 10PB storage pool witch needs some maintenance. Cartons of hard disks are typically kept on hand to replace failed disks.

Most hard disk servers are mounted on rails to make it easy to swap out hard disks etc. Sometimes when new capacity disks come to the market a data center may replace the entire pool of hard disks. A decade ago a supercomputer may have a 5PB storage system but today’s supercomputer can look at installing 20PB or more storage for less capital cost. Lustre has been updated to handle even larger storage pools.

Earlier I recall joking with Seagate about the cost for an 18EB storage appliance. I observed that the cost for such storage was not not as outlandish as it was when AMD64 launched.

2TB USB STICKS

In total five 2TB USB sticks were ordered. The first order only delivered one instead of the two ordered. The second order is still undelivered as it was shipped via surface, A third order for a different model came via SpeedPak which came more quickly. The fist stick was functional at 15 MB/s flat write speeds. Unfortunately it stopped working after some two weeks. The vendor refunded my money. The second 2TB stick was a different capped design. It is not as consistent in writes and testing File History was met with write errors. The vendor offered to refund.

The box of USB sticks has now accumulated several hundred of them. The last USB roundup was done a long time ago and it never garnered much attention.

RANSOMWARE

Ransomware has been a growing problem. 2020 saw growth of about five times the attacks in 2019. And the first quarter of 2021 saw the largest ransom ever demanded hit $50 million when the REvil/Sodinokibi crime syndicate attacked PC manufacturer Acer in March followed by another $50 million demand against Apple supplier Quanta in April. In recent weeks, an attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. shut down the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, and hackers leaked thousands of sensitive documents after targeting the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Government agencies around the world advise against cooperating with cybercriminals. In fact, it can be illegal. Nonetheless, many organizations still comply with demands, often without reporting incidents for fear of the impact on their reputations or the risk of data exposure. Coveware, a ransomware recovery firm, reported a more than 3,000% increase in average ransom payments to $220,298 since Q3 2018 ($5,973).

COLD STORAGE

Old USB hard disk cases can be repurposed with SATA SSD which are most costly but they are also more capacious, SSD can last maybe 12 months without power so a rotation is best to keep the media from becoming stale.

Industry experts estimate that data is growing at approximately 30% annually and could generate as much as 175 ZB by 2025. Though not all data sets needs to be analyzed right away, they still be important to keep. That’s where cold storage comes in. Cold storage retains any data that is not actively in use. Data can be stored in archives — or “cold” — lower cost, infrequently accessed storage tiers as opposed to live, “hot” production data, such as financial transactions that need to be accessed immediately.

LTO-8 Tape is less expensive than HDDs, but has much higher data access latency so it is a good option for cold data storage. If the value of data is related to the ability to access and mine it, there’s an order of magnitude difference between storing it on disk versus tape. Tape drives are expensive at $3000 each and tapes are less expensive. LTO-9 has been slow to come to market.

Optical storage for a consumer is the BD drive and low cost 50GB dual layer discs. BD50 can backup personal data and discs can last for years cold. Work on optical suggests bigger capacity is likely. When television moves to 8K resolution the BD disc will need more than 4 layers to cope.

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