IBM has raised the bar in hard drive technology with a new family of hard drives that also
incorporating technology that protects against temperature variation and vibration.
The 10,000 RPM Ultrastar 72ZX -- at 73 Gigabytes (GB) capacity -- is part of a new superfast
family of server hard drives which includes the 10,000 RPM, Ultrastar 36LZX and the 7,200 RPM,
Ultrastar 36LP, which each store 36 GB.
The 72ZX, which IBM claims as the world's highest capacity drive for the time being,
is about the size of a paperback novel. The 72ZX and the 36LZX drives are also claimed to
store the most bits per square inch -- 7.04 billion -- of any server-class hard drive.
This higher density contributes to higher storage capacity.
With the new drives, IBM also announced a new and exclusive technology called Active Damping,
which protects against temperature variation and vibration, improving performance and reliability.
It contributes to higher mechanical (servo) performance and helps the drives withstand
temperature variation and vibration. Vibration tends to have significant effects on RAID
(Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks) arrays where multiple drives are used.
Just a few weeks before the announcement of the 72ZX, IBM had established a new computer
data storage record of 35.3 billion data bits per square inch on a magnetic hard disk,
a breakthrough expected to lead to disk drives that can store 3X more information
than previously possible. Just last month, IBM began shipping the Enterprise Storage Server, which
stores up to 11 terabytes, arguably the highest-capacity storage subsystem in the industry.
Said Scott Silfvast, founder and chief product officer of a manufacturer of audio mixing,
recording and converter products, Euphonix: "These Ultrastar drives will achieve the speed and
capacity that professional sound recording requires. In addition, they (should) demonstrate...
reliability at those performance levels."
The new Ultrastar drives can be used for audio, video, graphics, animation, databases,
projects involving large intranets and the Internet, servers supporting on-line banking and
credit card transaction processing, digital video editing, digital documentation,
imaging, data mining and other storage-intensive applications.
The new Ultrastar drives also support a 1-Gbit -- and for the first time a 2-Gbit --
Fibre Channel interface, which doubles the speed of today's fibre channel and can contribute
to higher performance. The drives support an updated version of the Ultra160 SCSI interface called
Ultra160+. For the first time, IBM drives will feature Packetization and Quick Arbitrate Select (QAS).
Packetization allows SCSI commands to be transferred bundled in data packets at the full SCSI data
bus speed. QAS allows for more efficient drive operation by reducing arbitration time.
With packetization and QAS, the drives incorporate the five features of Ultra-3 SCSI
specifications. The other three are Double Transition Clocking, Cyclical Redundancy
Check (CRC) and Domain Validation.
The newly announced Ultrastar drives also include several proven technologies
including power save and standby modes, glass disk platters, the load/unload
mechanism, giant magnetoresistive (GMR) recording heads and Drive Temperature
Indicator Processor technology or Drive-TIP. Combined, these technologies help
increase reliability and performance, decrease power usage, and monitor the
temperature of the drive.
The 36LP and 36LZX drives will start shipping in limited quantities this quarter.
The Ultrastar 72ZX will ship in first quarter of the next millenium.
More information at http://www.ibm.com/harddrive.