Ethernet Cloud

Hard drive manufacturers design drives that will perform well for their largest customers, or sets of customers.  This is why “classes” of drives exist.

Design Expectations:

The information below is a high-level set of expectations the drive manufacturers have when designing, testing and selling “Ethernet Cloud” drives.

  • Power On Hours
  • Write / Read Ratio
  • Block Sizes
  • Seek Profile
  • Cloud Storage
  • 24 hrs/7 days (8760 POH)
  • 35/65
  • Random
  • 90% Random / 10% Sequential

Design Details:

The “cloud,” as an application and specific market for hard drive manufacturers to serve, remains driven by the huge “internet related” companies’ need for massive storage farms. The market pressures on cost to build, feed and maintain these massive banks of data is driving innovation in every component of the technology supply chain.  Hard drive manufacturers have responded with an all-new drive type for cloud applications – what we are calling the “Ethernet Cloud” class drive. Essentially, what this does is allow each and every drive to speak IP, directly, making each drive capable of becoming an independent node on the network. This is a work in progress and it will be interesting to see how it is adopted and where it will play.  The hard drive manufacturers are participating in technology development consortiums to speed adoption of this potentially game-changing technology.

The table below is an excerpt from the HDSTOR Drive Comparison Table, which shows features (or lack thereof) of the different classes of drives, as well as relative performance, reliability and cost.

  • Production Screening?
  • Rated for 24/7 Use?
  • Fixed Shaft Spindle?
  • RV Feed Forward Sensors?
  • Time Limited Retry Tables?
  • Ethernet Cloud
  • NO
  • YES
  • NO
  • SOME
  • YES
  • Workload Rating
  • Firmware Tuning
  • Performance Capabilities
  • Reliability Ratings
  • Cost
  • Ethernet Cloud
  • HIGH
  • Random Access/ RAID
  • TBD