Friday, July 30, 2021

IBM Wants to Shake Industry, Not Hard Drive

In a move aimed at re-staking its claim in the high-end hard drive market,
IBM Tuesday unveiled a new industrial-strength server hard
disk drive.

The Ultrastar 146Z10 debuts IBM’s new anti-vibration technology called
Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS), which seeks to improve performance in
large disk arrays.

Vibration has become a serious obstacle to performance as the rotational
speeds of drives have continued to increase. This problem is compounded in
large disk arrays, where multiple drives are stacked on one another. While
anti-vibration mounts for the arrays address part of the problem, RVS seeks
to rectify the problem in the drive itself.

IBM’s new system compensates by identifying the direction and intensity of
the vibration and canceling out the deleterious effects of the vibration.
IBM is the first to implement the technology for mass production.

The drive also features advanced software for disk drive intelligence and
self-analysis; antiferromagnetically-coupled media (AKA “pixie dust”) for
temperature and data stability; and sophisticated read/write component
designs for high-speed recording and data access.

This is the first major drive release since IBM and Hitachi merged
their hard disk drive operations
into a standalone joint venture in
April of this year. The release of the Ultrastar 146Z10 follows the
division’s plan to recapture the disk market by focusing on research and
technological innovation

“We have the utmost confidence that the Ultrastar 146Z10 will give customers
what they need and break the strides of our competitors,” said Doug Grose,
general manager, IBM Storage Technology Division.

The company, through its partnership with Hitachi, is trying to battle back
from a fall in market share in the server hard drive market over the last 3
years.

According to research firm IDC, Big Blue’s share fell from 37
percent in 1999 to just 10 percent in the first quarter of 2002. Seagate
currently dominates the market with a 57 percent market share, followed by
Fujitsu, who boasts a 24 percent share.

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