Shingled Magnetic Recording HDD’s

The latest generation of hard disk drives released by the main manufacturers has seen capacities increase to 8TB and 10TB, aimed at the archive and enterprise server market. To achieve this advance the drives utilise a new technique called shingle magnetic recording, whereby the tracks are overlapped. This capacity increase comes at a cost, causing data transfer rates to be lower than the previous generation making them unsuitable for general use.

The shingled recording method in which adjacent tracks are overlapped requires entire 4kB blocks to be written as a whole to avoid damaging data. This however reduces the overall data transfer speed that the technology is capable of. For general use this will have a significant impact upon write transfer speeds. These drives should therefore be used as near line data storage or in large scale data centres, where the individual write speeds are not of the highest priority.

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