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2018 and Beyond: The Future of Hard Drives

2018 and Beyond: The Future of Hard Drives

Hard drives have grown significantly in recent years and new technology ushers in the newest trends in data storage. While hard drives have gotten smaller in physical size, they can store more data than previously imaginable. Early hard drives stored only enough data for a low resolution image. Newer versions boast up to 12 terabyte models. Western Digital has recently announced plans to develop a hard disk drive (HDD) with ultra-high capacity storage of up to 40 terabytes, made possible by a new technology.

Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording, or MAMR, is an energy-assisted technology that leverages the power of a microwave field to record data without sacrificing the previously problematic reliability of HDDs of the past. The storage gains of MAMR have been incremental as companies aim to fit more data into a smaller space. While steady progress continues, it hasn’t been without its setbacks.

Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording, or HAMR, was last year’s innovative breakthrough. HAMR built a laser into the read/write heads of HDDs. The laser gave these heads a power boost, which was expected to allow them to store more data at a quick pace and more reliably. HAMR, however, was expensive. The addition of the laser technology complicated manufacturing. It quickly became apparent that HDDs with HAMR were also far less reliable than their counterparts. Data recovery companies, including Secure Data Recovery, noted an unfortunate trend in recovery requests for HDDs manufactured with HAMR technology. MAMR technology has rendered HAMR technology somewhat useless as it’s both cheaper and easier to implement.

What’s next?

Based on history and projections, hard drives will continue the trend of packing larger capacities into smaller physical spaces. Perhaps more surprising though is the return of HDDs in a market with increasing competition from Solid State Drives (SSD). It’s hard to imagine many personal users who would need or use up to 40 terabytes of storage. Large data storage centers could definitely utilize higher capacity storage options with the added benefit of reliability. No hard drive, however, is immune from the potential of failure due to physical or internal damage. Right now, it’s not uncommon for us to recover thousands of priceless documents, files, and photographs for clients. In the future, we’ll be ready to recover millions and maybe more. We share knowledge like this in hopes that our customers and the Secure Data community protect and preserve their data, we know that data loss can happen to any drive, any person, and any time. We’re here for your recovery needs 24/7, 365 days a year.

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