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Hard drives face the future

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Faster and bigger hard drives are essential in today’s digital world. KALVIN SUBBADU believes 2014 will see the rise of dual drives that fuse solid state drives with large hard drives.

There can be no doubt that hard drives are essential in today’s digital world, and demand for even more storage capacity is driving technological innovation that provide more space, more speed and greater efficiency. Hard disk drive (HDD) vendors are constantly seeking new ways of diversifying their offerings, out-performing the competition and catering to the demand of users. New technologies are constantly under development, and 2014 will see the rise of a new category of product: the dual drive, a unique storage innovation that fuses a 2.5-inch 120 GB solid state drive (SSD) with a 1 TB hard disk drive (HDD) to offer a powerful dual drive solution.

Designed for enthusiasts, creative professionals, gamers and PC builders, these dual drives allows users to enjoy the best of both worlds with SSD performance and high capacity storage in a no-compromise package. Users will benefit from improved overall drive capacity, performance, and reliability, and the flexibility to choose how and where their data is stored. Utilising the benefits of both flash and magnetic disks, dual drives offload data usage from the SSD to the HDD, which increases endurance and life of the SSD.

Regular hard disk drives (HDD), while they have adapted to provide ever-more capacity, remain slow to start up, particularly in comparison with (SSD) which deliver practically instantaneous start-up. However, since pure SSD storage is expensive per Gigabyte (GB) in relation to HDD, converting completely to SSD is not an option for the majority of users. Dual drives on the other hand enable users to take advantage of the speed of SSD for critical applications and data, with the storage capacity of a standard hard drive, at an affordable price.

Dual drive technology is not just an innovation but also a value proposition, it allows systems with single bay to integrate both a SSD and a HDD, it offers customisation so the user has control of what data to put on the SSD vs. HDD, it offers full-size SSD performance and capacity which is different to solid state hybrid drives and it’s easy to use as there is no caching driver or complex system install, unlike in solid state hybrid drives. The added value of this new technology will impact the channel with its affordable price-tag as well as tech savvy end users who will now for the first time be able to enter the SSD world for a fraction of the cost for the ultimate upgrade experience.

The hard drive industry is under constant demand to innovate, adapt and deliver new technologies to meet changing user requirements. As capacities become larger and speeds increase, drives become hotter faster and require more efficient cooling in order to retain adequate lifespans. The year 2014 will no doubt see much innovation in this space as well, with manufacturers investigating new ways of cooling drives along with the ever present need for greater capacity and greater speed, which dual drives and new innovations in future will strive to meet.

* Kalvin Subbadu is the Sales Manager at WD South Africa

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