Seagate’s Vaguely Unsettling Multi-Actuator Drives

Mechanical hard drives are fighting a losing war against flash in most markets. That doesn’t diminish the fact that they are marvels of engineering. The precision needed to add increasing density and platters is truly a remarkable feat of technology. Seagate just upped the technical “wow” quotient by announcing upcoming drives with multiple independent actuators.

Chris Evans does a good job of laying out the theoretical merits (doubled performance), and real world questions (how will queuing work) that the technologies makes possible. Perhaps most interestingly, this feature was added largely at the request of hyperscalers. This isn’t too surprising given the majority of storage bits now goes to these giagantic players. As we covered in our look at SNIA’s work with hyperscalers, they’re increasingly excreting their sway on the storage market.

But most importantly, look at this demo graphic Seagate released with their announcement. There’s something about the visualization that’s vaguely unsettling. Maybe it’s the independent jerky movements. Maybe it’s the lack of music as it slowly pans in. This is a really fascinating move by Seagate, but the video is odd.

Multi Actuator

Chris Evans comments:

Read more at: Seagate Pre-announces Multi-Actuator Drives

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.