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"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 3rd 18, 09:23 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Lynn McGuire[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 118
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/heliu...failure-rates/

"In November 2013, the first commercially available helium-filled hard
drive was introduced by HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary. The 6 TB
drive was not only unique in being helium-filled, it was for the moment,
the highest capacity hard drive available. Fast forward a little over 4
years later and 12 TB helium-filled drives are readily available, 14 TB
drives can be found, and 16 TB helium-filled drives are arriving soon."

Interesting. I do wonder about 5 and 10 years out.

Lynn
  #2  
Old May 4th 18, 02:50 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,267
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Lynn McGuire wrote:

"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/heliu...failure-rates/

"In November 2013, the first commercially available helium-filled hard
drive was introduced by HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary. The 6 TB
drive was not only unique in being helium-filled, it was for the moment,
the highest capacity hard drive available. Fast forward a little over 4
years later and 12 TB helium-filled drives are readily available, 14 TB
drives can be found, and 16 TB helium-filled drives are arriving soon."

Interesting. I do wonder about 5 and 10 years out.


Seems they should be comparing apples to apples by comparing the HGST
helium-filled drives to air-filled WDC drives where both are
manufactured at the same plant since WDC has multiple [co]manufacturing
plants). Different brands would just expose failure rates by brand
which could swamp any difference in survival rates between helium and
air filled drives. Are the Seagates listed in the table made at the
same plant (not just by the brand)?

Since heat is the bane of most electronics, and with helium-filled
drives running at cooler temperatures, the expectation is that those
will have longer survival rates. This is implied in the article by the
mention of Drive Days (which is much shorter for helium-filled drives
than for air-filled drives).

While the data is interesting for enterprise deployments where there are
thousands and thousands of drives, it means little to the end user.
Either the failure rate is going to be zero or 100%. Only the number of
days that helium survives longer than air-filled might have some value,
but I suspect the difference will be a few days or couple weeks AFTER
YEARS of continual use - which will be of little value to the consumer
due to the much higher cost of helium-filled drives.

HGST 10TB air-filled drive: $320 sale ($400 non-sale)
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822146148)

HGST 10TB helium-filled drive: $428
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA25V58C1045)

Without any evidence showing helium drives actually survive longer than
air-filled drives -- and under typical consumer use (which means daily
power cycling) -- there isn't much impetus to buy helium when sales on
air-filled gives a large price break.

Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25 years.

https://phys.org/news/2010-08-world-...ze-winner.html
(dated back in August 2010)
"There is no chemical means of manufacturing helium. What we have was
created in the extremely slow radioactive alpha decay occuring in
rocks."

So if the mechanical drive industry moves to helium, depletion is
exascerbated. What are they going to use after the helium is gone? Go
back to air? Obviously, or find another non-renewing gas that they can
deplete.
  #3  
Old May 4th 18, 08:31 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Lynn McGuire[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 118
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On 5/3/2018 8:50 PM, VanguardLH wrote:
Lynn McGuire wrote:

"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/heliu...failure-rates/

"In November 2013, the first commercially available helium-filled hard
drive was introduced by HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary. The 6 TB
drive was not only unique in being helium-filled, it was for the moment,
the highest capacity hard drive available. Fast forward a little over 4
years later and 12 TB helium-filled drives are readily available, 14 TB
drives can be found, and 16 TB helium-filled drives are arriving soon."

Interesting. I do wonder about 5 and 10 years out.


Seems they should be comparing apples to apples by comparing the HGST
helium-filled drives to air-filled WDC drives where both are
manufactured at the same plant since WDC has multiple [co]manufacturing
plants). Different brands would just expose failure rates by brand
which could swamp any difference in survival rates between helium and
air filled drives. Are the Seagates listed in the table made at the
same plant (not just by the brand)?

Since heat is the bane of most electronics, and with helium-filled
drives running at cooler temperatures, the expectation is that those
will have longer survival rates. This is implied in the article by the
mention of Drive Days (which is much shorter for helium-filled drives
than for air-filled drives).

While the data is interesting for enterprise deployments where there are
thousands and thousands of drives, it means little to the end user.
Either the failure rate is going to be zero or 100%. Only the number of
days that helium survives longer than air-filled might have some value,
but I suspect the difference will be a few days or couple weeks AFTER
YEARS of continual use - which will be of little value to the consumer
due to the much higher cost of helium-filled drives.

HGST 10TB air-filled drive: $320 sale ($400 non-sale)
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822146148)

HGST 10TB helium-filled drive: $428
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA25V58C1045)

Without any evidence showing helium drives actually survive longer than
air-filled drives -- and under typical consumer use (which means daily
power cycling) -- there isn't much impetus to buy helium when sales on
air-filled gives a large price break.

Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25 years.

https://phys.org/news/2010-08-world-...ze-winner.html
(dated back in August 2010)
"There is no chemical means of manufacturing helium. What we have was
created in the extremely slow radioactive alpha decay occuring in
rocks."

So if the mechanical drive industry moves to helium, depletion is
exascerbated. What are they going to use after the helium is gone? Go
back to air? Obviously, or find another non-renewing gas that they can
deplete.


Vacuum seems to be the obvious next step. But there are heat removal
problems in vacuum.

And I am concerned about how long the helium want to stay in the drive.
Will these drives all die after five years ?

Lynn


  #4  
Old May 5th 18, 05:06 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,267
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Lynn McGuire wrote:

On 5/3/2018 8:50 PM, VanguardLH wrote:
Lynn McGuire wrote:

"The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/heliu...failure-rates/

"In November 2013, the first commercially available helium-filled hard
drive was introduced by HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary. The 6 TB
drive was not only unique in being helium-filled, it was for the moment,
the highest capacity hard drive available. Fast forward a little over 4
years later and 12 TB helium-filled drives are readily available, 14 TB
drives can be found, and 16 TB helium-filled drives are arriving soon."

Interesting. I do wonder about 5 and 10 years out.


Seems they should be comparing apples to apples by comparing the HGST
helium-filled drives to air-filled WDC drives where both are
manufactured at the same plant since WDC has multiple [co]manufacturing
plants). Different brands would just expose failure rates by brand
which could swamp any difference in survival rates between helium and
air filled drives. Are the Seagates listed in the table made at the
same plant (not just by the brand)?

Since heat is the bane of most electronics, and with helium-filled
drives running at cooler temperatures, the expectation is that those
will have longer survival rates. This is implied in the article by the
mention of Drive Days (which is much shorter for helium-filled drives
than for air-filled drives).

While the data is interesting for enterprise deployments where there are
thousands and thousands of drives, it means little to the end user.
Either the failure rate is going to be zero or 100%. Only the number of
days that helium survives longer than air-filled might have some value,
but I suspect the difference will be a few days or couple weeks AFTER
YEARS of continual use - which will be of little value to the consumer
due to the much higher cost of helium-filled drives.

HGST 10TB air-filled drive: $320 sale ($400 non-sale)
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822146148)

HGST 10TB helium-filled drive: $428
(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA25V58C1045)

Without any evidence showing helium drives actually survive longer than
air-filled drives -- and under typical consumer use (which means daily
power cycling) -- there isn't much impetus to buy helium when sales on
air-filled gives a large price break.

Helium is a LIMITED resource. Depletion is estimated in about 25 years.

https://phys.org/news/2010-08-world-...ze-winner.html
(dated back in August 2010)
"There is no chemical means of manufacturing helium. What we have was
created in the extremely slow radioactive alpha decay occuring in
rocks."

So if the mechanical drive industry moves to helium, depletion is
exascerbated. What are they going to use after the helium is gone? Go
back to air? Obviously, or find another non-renewing gas that they can
deplete.


Vacuum seems to be the obvious next step. But there are heat removal
problems in vacuum.

And I am concerned about how long the helium want to stay in the drive.
Will these drives all die after five years ?


Heat transfer in a vacuum works via radiation. Thermal transfer via
radiation is faster and suffers no attenuation than for conductive
transfer through a medium.

Think about it: if thermal transfer (radiation) were not possible
through a vacuum, this would be a very cold planet. None of the sun's
heat would reach us.

Sealed drives are new with helium. Previously the drives were not
sealed. There was a sinter filter that let pressure equalized inside
and outside the drive.

https://www.howtogeek.com/127433/wha...n-hard-drives/

The heads need to fly over the platters. That cannot happen if there is
no gas inside the drive. Vacuum drives would have the heads sliding
across the surface of the platters, like how floppies worked. Heads fly
off the platter to eliminate wear.
  #5  
Old May 5th 18, 05:36 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 35
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On Thu, 3 May 2018 20:50:21 -0500, VanguardLH wrote:

What are they going to use after the helium is gone?


Depends what they can get cheap. They might experiment with another
noble gas--or they might try hydrogen. Then again, solid state storage
might become more practical as the tech improves.
  #6  
Old May 5th 18, 06:11 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
Mark Perkins
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 81
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On Fri, 4 May 2018 23:06:01 -0500, VanguardLH wrote:

The heads need to fly over the platters. That cannot happen if there is
no gas inside the drive. Vacuum drives would have the heads sliding
across the surface of the platters, like how floppies worked. Heads fly
off the platter to eliminate wear.


Magnetic levitation? ;-)

(Easy for me to say since I'm not the one who has to develop the
technology.)

  #7  
Old May 5th 18, 08:24 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,267
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

Mark Perkins wrote:

VanguardLH wrote:

The heads need to fly over the platters. That cannot happen if there is
no gas inside the drive. Vacuum drives would have the heads sliding
across the surface of the platters, like how floppies worked. Heads fly
off the platter to eliminate wear.


Magnetic levitation? ;-)

(Easy for me to say since I'm not the one who has to develop the
technology.)


Not sure the heads would be close enough. Flying height with gas is
just a few nanometers. The drives are not sealed but a cleaned air
mixture is used inside and a sinter filter used to keep out particles
from outside air that might enter the drive. At high altitudes,
pressure drops outside (so air leaves the hard drive), so the air inside
can become too thin to support the minimal flying height.

http://www.dell.com/support/article/...high-altitudes
http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...language=ja_JA

There's probably some physics involved where if the gas molecules are
too few for flying height that there is too much resistance or
turbulence from molecular gas collisions. I suspect they won't ever
approach the atomic radius of molecular oxygen (O2). Atomic size of
nascent oxygen is 60 pm but it immediately bonds to an O2 molecule which
is ~120 pm. Nitrogen's atomic size is 65 pm. Clean room air gets into
the hard disk during manufacture. It is an air mixture. They could use
pure oxygen but you already know the explosive potential of pure oxygen,
plus pure oxygen is toxic. Maybe they went to helium (140 pm) because
the manufacture techs like talking in high-pitched voices.

Anything other than an air mixture means the techs assembling the hard
disk would have to wear breathing appartus, like a bunch of scuba divers
out of water. I was wondering why they didn't use nitrogen instead of
helium. It's because helium is an inert gas. For long-term storage and
to prevent corrosion, parts are stored in environments comprised of
inert gases: helium, neon, argon, krypton, or xenon. Nitrogen is not an
inert gas. However, it takes some extreme scenarios for nitrogen to be
corrosive. For example, to make ammonia requires directing nitrogen and
hydrogen over a hot iron plate. While not inert, dry nitrogen isn't
that active. Liquid nitrogen is used to super-cool high-density chips
(we built 3 mainframes on a 3" die which had to be in liquid nitrogen
when operating). So why not use dry nitrogen with its lower viscosity
and lower atomic size instead of helium? Nitrogen and oxygen are both a
poor conductor of heat. That's why air which is used as an thermal
insulator. See:

https://www.engineersedge.com/heat_t...vity-gases.htm

Helium conducts heat 8 times better than nitrogen or oxygen. Hydrogen
(which is reproducible) is also a good thermal conductor. Remember what
happened to the Hindenburg airship? When the limited supply of helium
gets more rare and its prices soar, we'll probably be seeing hydrogen-
filled hard disks (if rotating magnetic media is still used by then).
  #8  
Old May 6th 18, 02:27 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 154
Default "The Helium Factor and Hard Drive Failure Rates"

On Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 12:36:12 AM UTC+8, wrote:

Depends what they can get cheap. They might experiment with another
noble gas--or they might try hydrogen. Then again, solid state storage
might become more practical as the tech improves.


Hydrogen is small, so leakage is worse than Helium.
 




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