Posts Tagged hard drive

DataSlide re-invents the Hard Drive

Posted by on Tuesday, 16 June, 2009


UK-based data storage start-up DataSlide has announced potentially revolutionary hard drive technology, and a Partnership Network agreement with Oracle for the Berkeley Data Base to be embedded into the device.

DataSlide’s Hard Rectangular Drive (HRD) does not use read-write heads moving across the recording surface of a spinning hard disk drive (HDD). Instead an ultra-thin, 2-dimensional array of 64 read-write heads, operating in parallel, is positioned above an piezo-electric-driven oscillating rectangular recording surface, and delivers 160,000 random IOPS with a 500MB/sec transfer rate.

For comparison, a STEC ZEUSIOPS SSD, as used by EMC, IBM and others, with up to 320GB capacity, can provide 220MB/sec read bandwidth, 115MB/sec write bandwidth and 45,000 random IOPS. There is no read-write asymmetry, typically found with SSDs, with the HRD because it uses a standard hard disk drive recording medium and not flash memory.

Charles Barnes, DataSlide’s CEO, said: “DataSlide’s Massively Parallel architecture with 64 heads per surface could saturate a 32-lane PCI express bus. The Hard Rectangular Drive has the industry reliability and cost advantages of Hard Disk Drives with superior performance and lower power then Solid State Drives.

“The HRD uses over 60 per cent lower power than HDDs and during idle the media has zero power dissipation making it the green storage winner.”

The technology is also more shock-resistant than hard drives. This could be described as a solid-state drive with none of the well-known NAND flash problems, such as read-write asymmetry and write endurance.

Oracle’s Embedded Global Business Unit stated: “DataSlide provides a high bandwidth, low latency, magnetic storage device whose architecture lends itself to vastly improved database throughput and latency reduction.”

There is a description of the DataSlide technology here (PowerPoint deck pdf). Literally, it is non-revolutionary, using oscillations to move the magnetised bits to and fro underneath the read-write heads so that they can use magnetism value changes at the bit edge just as a read-write head on a spinning hard drive does, but where the recording layer passes continuously under the heads. There is no seek time access delay with the HRD.

The Embedded Global Business Unit at Oracle has an OEM charter and Data Slide meets its requirements by incorporating the Berkeley DB into the actual storage device to make what it calls a ‘smart’ storage device. It says potential applications are many and varied. Examples include TCP/IP-based systems and video applications requiring multiple concurrent streams. The company says media indexing, fast positioning, forward, back, skip, and scene/track operations will have significant performance improvements with its technology.

DataSlide is a privately-held company with locations in the United Kingdom, France and United States. It has affiliations with academia from Carnegie Mellon University/DSSC, and the Universities of Cambridge, Exeter, Sussex, Sheffield and Brighton in the UK, and Paris-Sud in France, and is backed by angel investors. It has a management team with experience from companies such as Seagate, Connor, Quantum, Maxtor and HP.

The technology is proven in a research and prototype sense, and the company emphasises that it uses standards-based mature process technologies from LCD, HDD and semiconductor manufacture. There is no need to design and tool-up a new manufacturing process.

DataSlide is currently in discussion with a number of storage and system OEMs and can provide more details under a non-disclosure agreement. It will be holding private meetings at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency from June 22-25 during the Memcon 2009 conference.

Hard drive migration

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 April, 2009

This is handy if you just got yourself that new xxxTB hard drive.

Firstly, BACKUP!
This is one of the most important things to do, you never know when you may screw something up royally.

Make sure your new hdd and old one are both in the machine.

This is only a basic overview for the purposes of a tutorial. It assumes you dont have multiple partitions for /var or /usr or /boot or any other and that all your data is only one the one partition (basicly the home user not a server).
Be aware that if you have an entirely new system and have gone from IDE to SCSI then you may want/need to recompile your kernel before you do this to support the new drive.

These are the commands you probably want to do. /dev/hdxxx is the destination hard drive.

fdisk /dev/hdxx
– This is to partition the disk

mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hdxx – This is to format it

mkdir /target

mount /dev/hdxx /target – Mounting the new drive.

rsync -a --exclude="/dev" --exclude="/proc" --exclude="/sys" --exclude="/target" / /target/
– this copies your data accross

mkdir /target/{proc,dev,sys}

(Note: you can probably cp -a /dev across)

cp /dev/MAKEDEV /target/dev/ – this file is needed for making device nodes

cd /target/dev

Now you need to make the device links. This is done with a script called MAKEDEV that you just copyed accross.
./MAKEDEV will give you the options you need/want.

./MAKEDEV generic-i386 should do the basic nodes

Now you have to edit a couple of things.
vi /target/etc/fstab
This only really needs to be done if the hard drives are going to change places on the ide chain.
Please do note that Redhat/Fedora uses labels instead of partitions, label your partitions if you wish to continue with this method, alternativly change the label for the actual device name.

vi /etc/lilo also if needed for the same reasons.

Now for the tricky bit, you can copy the masterboot record with something that looks like this
dd bs=512 count=1 if=/dev/hddxx(oldone) of=/dev/hdxx(newone)

However, apon saying this i have found it to break my partitioning before on some hard drives.
So Im more inclined to just reboot and using another linux install disk or floppy to boot.

I find slackware disk excellent as a rescue disk, when it comes up to the lilo screen i just type
Lilo: linux root=/dev/hdxx(new hard drive)

Debian cd can be booted with,
Lilo: rescue root=/dev/hdxx(new hard drive)

etc. Most distros will do it, just read the help.

Reboot with rescue cd and run lilo or dd the MBR (which i find to screw up sometimes)

Then login as root and rerun your lilo or grub onto the new hard drives MBR.
Last-Modified: 2007-03-07 19:38:50