Saturday, March 11, 2017

From 20MB to 10TB in one lifetime

What you see above is Marcus' latest hard disk upgrade.  Whilst I am not the only person to be using this technology I can but wonder how many other people [in the world] have and use in the same house disks all the way from 20 Mega Bytes to 10 Tera Bytes.

Now this is a tall claim and so I will provide some photographic proof.  But first the digression

Cost Justification
Prices relate to best prices I can find in Switzerland at time of writing March 2017

4TB Hitachi Basic   180CHF  (45CHF/ TB)
4TB Hitachi Enterprise 240CHF (60CHF/TB)
8TB Seagate Archive        290 CHF  (36 CHF/TB)
10TB Seagate Barracuda   470 CHF  (47 CHF/TB)

44MB IBM MFM Format 400GBP  (11,000,000 CHF/ TB)

The 10TB Barracuda's are almost Enterprise Grade and cheaper than my current Hitachi Enterprise disks per TB.  So I'm almost saving money (assuming I can sell the 4TB :-)

Backup Strategy

To be detailed more precisely in a future article, but our refined and we believe unbreakable Backup strategy is Original and 3 copies.  And to summarise, it works like this

01 Our Computers hold Original Data
02 All Household Original Computers Backup to a Local Network Attached Storage (NAS) == Local Backup
03 Periodically Local Computers use USB 3.1 Docks to backup to Seagate Archive 8TB disk(s) == Offsite Storage
04 NAS backs up to Amazon Cloud via our Infinitely fast Internet Connection

And The Paranoia

Even with the above redundant backup strategy losing 10TB of data would be more than just inconvenient.  Therefore before bringing this 10TB disk online I expect to do the following testing

- Full surface testing
- Performance and Stress testing
- SMART verification
- Performance evaluation for NTFS ReFS and Storage Space Volumes
- Copy and Copy verification

The picture above shows a catastrophic Storage Space problem I had after only 24 hours.  Hmmm.

And Speeds
I'm testing my new 2017 workstation right now.  Part of the astonishing 2 GigaBytes per second disk transfer rate is using the Barracuda Pro Drives (about 150MBytes per second).

My 1984 IBM, MFM Drives in my Cromemco computers using the STDC Hard Disk controller get transfer speeds of about 100KBytes per second.

So the 2017 Seagate Disk is 1500 times quicker than the 1984 IBM
The 2017 Hybrid Config is upto 20,000 times quicker than the 1984 IBM Disk.

In what other areas of life have we seen such performance increases in the last 30 years?  Do tell me.

Some Pictures
So back to the plot,  here are pictures of my old  (1984),  pretty old (1988) and latest (2017) hard disks.  All working and tested.  Of course

From the left my IBM 44MB MFM disk,   my Miniscibe 8245 20MB disk, and the Seagate Barracuda Pro 10TB disk.

I have over 20 Vintage disks and when not in actual use they are kept in hermetically sealed bags in a temperature stable environment.  Disks of these age need to be treated with respect rather like fine wine.

 Miniscribe 8245 from 1988

 IBM MFM approx 1984.   My first purchased hard disk was 5MB so this 44MB disk at only about 400 GBP was seen as quite a bargain at the time,  although this was the then cost of a second hand car.

400 GBP per 44MB is about  11,000,000,  11 Million Swiss Franc per TB.  I am not kidding.

The numerical price I paid for the 10TB drive in 2017 is comparable the cost of the 44MB MFM disk I paid in about 1984. Now, that is progress. I comment that a lifetimes spending on computers has rendered me a happy but poorer man.