4 TB Hard disk by 2011

last updated in Categories Beyond nixCraft, File system, Hardware, Links

Few days back I got 2 x 1 TB hard disks to dump my data and move to another location. Hitachi achieves nanotechnology milestone for quadrupling terabyte hard drive. It further claims 4 terabyte (TB) desktop hard drive (and 1TB laptop hd) by 2011. The hard drive-maker said it has created the world’s smallest disk drive heads — about 2,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Once upon time I was quite happy with 260M hard disk. A terabyte can hold the text of roughly 1 million books, 250 hours of high-definition video, or a quarter million songs.


Now just imagine a simple SATA RAID with 4 such drives that can give you dirt cheap commodity 12TB NAS powered by Linux / FreeNAS software. 🙂 Also watch out for the flash based hard disk. They use less power with good data transfer rate.

=> More information at : Hitachi: 4 terabyte hard drives by 2011


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

42 comment

  1. ME my hard disk is only 800GB WITH INTEL CORE 2 DUO PROCESSOR AND pALIT GEFORCE 9800 GT 2GB VIDIEO CARD^^!!! what is the meaning of (TB)????

  2. When you start working with HD video, it seems like Terabyte drives just aren’t enough. I have four 2 terabyte hard drives inside my Mac Pro, and I have 7 external 1 terabyte hard drives connected to the same computer, totaling 15 terabytes… and they’re all full. If you factor in that all of those files need to be backed up (essentially doubling the amount of space needed), suddenly a 4 terabyte hard drive doesn’t seem all that big. We need a company to start making 250 terabyte drives, or 500 terabyte drives. Can’t wait until we start pumping out Petabyte drives (1000 terabytes). Probably won’t be for another 6 or 7 years though.

    1. You’ve just said the TRUTH !
      sure enough the technology four Petabyte drives exist as “we speack” but
      CAPITALISM doesn’t allow a quantum leap forward period.
      …until one day it can’t be handled physicaly !
      I hope in our lifetime…

      1. i really hope n pray that happens very soon…cuz like u said, 4 tera is not that big for a lot of ppl….

        1. A lot is about 1% of the population. Most people do nothing with their computer except play video games… still…

    2. more then Just a few years i wouldnt hold your breath i would try 10-20 years (just look at timeline from 500Gb HD release to the recent 3TB release) Petabyte drives may not be a drive (as per current Trends) it may be more of a different form factor maybe a biological formfactor? or more so “Flash” Style system based. Harddrives are getting smaller but if i were to predict it would be a server sized device maybe even a cube of 1ftX1ft that would be connected using a single Fiber line or multiple Fibre line style wires/connections. As for cost it all depends on economy and the application for which it would be used. MANY MANY years ahead.
      I hope to look back at this post in 15 years and see if it proves to be accurate :S
      haha what a world it would be…..that is if we dont “end” in 2012 haha now thats jokes.

    3. Damn!!!!! and all my life ive settled for a 20 gig drive , how much would one of these cost 1 thou mabe ill be able to afford that, and your saying its not enough!!!!

    1. Hard drives are essentially the same size they have been for about two decades now. It’s capacity that is important, but reliability is always King (or Queen)

  3. there is a good old “law”, that states that computer performance should double every 18 month. This law is applicable to hard disks as well. So for the same price for which you got 2TB (single hard disk) in 2009, you will get 4TB in 2011 (then 8TB in 2013, 16TB in 2015 etc). In 2023 we will see the first 256TB hard disk.
    That doesnt mean that the technology for 256TB is not available today, but:
    1) The hardware industry prefers steady growth in performance rather than leaps, because it allows them to benefit from a new technology much longer. The people have expectations which will be fulfilled, but in this case the developing companies can stay profitable by not burning their fuel too early.
    2) Hardware must be supported by software and also the software industry needs its time to develop drivers and supporting software that fit the new hard disks. So the current 1TB hard drives are not supported by operating systems older than 10years. Naturally you can imagine that the current software would not be able to handle 256TB. It just needs some developing time and as software is pretty much handwork, you can not easily leap in software development.

    1. The Issue is mainly the cost of the technology. Noone would buy a $1000000 disk when you can achieve the same with multiple $100 disks.

      1. Dear Carbone,

        please understand that every technology costs the same. What you talk about is cost of production. Cost of production mainly depends on economies of scale, that means that if a company wants to introduce a 256TB hard disk then they would set a price low enough in order to gain so much production that their costs will match the target cost. Now comes the trick the same is true for the 2TB hard disk, from a commercial point of view there is no difference.
        However what is point of introducing a 256 TB hard disk too early? No technology is an island. If there is no operating system that can handle this amount of data then there is no point. If there is no file format which can use the larger amount to store more data then there is no point. That is why technology evolves gradually rather than in jumps. The past has often shown that technology when it was introduced too early. Sony can sing many songs of this fact, so can Apple.

        1. You’re wrong. It’s not a closed system. It’d depend on infrastructure and technology that is not there yet, their suppliers would depend on infrastructure and technology that is not there yet as well, etc. It’s just plain ignorance thinkimg that we could have had hundreds of terabytes. Simply they don’t have the money to concentrate their effort on overcomming all the issues of 256TB disks (which would take years anyway) only to sell them for $150. Even excluding all the thermal issues and such our current way of manufacturing HDDs can’t get us beyond 16TB or so. New technology will be introduced – HAMR – which wasn’t possible more than 5 years ago because we didn’t have the laser technology to achieve it and even then they needed time to master it, also the necessary technology wasn’t cheap, now it is becoming more viable. Once again, it’s not a closed system.

          1. That’s basically what I am saying , isn’t it. I pointed out that no technology is an island and now you say the same. Before you argumentend with price so I answered based on commercial arguments. Nobody is arguing about technology, is he? It is clear to all of us that (i repeat myself) no technology is an island.

          2. You guys do know that some operating systems do already support hard disk volumes in the ballpark of 256 terabytes. Pretty much all the major linux distros could use such a hard disk tomorrow if they released one.

      2. Before the hard drive plants in Thailand floated away (bad business model to concentrate production in one very dangerous location–they should have some in North America and Europe) you could purchase a 2TB drive for well under $100. So you can have nearly 8TB of capacity for the price of a single 4TB drive. Mathematics is a wonderful thing.

  4. Do you know that Linux is used mainly in server machines ?

    Servers are certainly a good market but just a fracture of the private computer market. Would you invest heavily to mass produce devices which can only be used in servers or would you rather wait until you can tap the private customer market? As long as the windows machines and the apple machines can’t use it there is no point in churning out 256 TB hard disks.

    1. There is nothing theoretically stopping Windows and Macs from supporting Exabytes of data in one disk. HFS+ supports 8 EiB in one volume, and NTFS supports 16 EiB. EXT4’s max is around 1 EiB.

      Don’t forget that Microsoft and Apple make server OSes that are based on the same code your home OS is based on, and servers will need to be able to deal with databases that are larger than your theoretical 256 TB drive.

      1. Except that with Windows it takes about a decade to format a 1TB drive. Serious computer users have been migrating to Linux for years.

  5. Wow that is amazing. I wonder when we will get to the point that we have so much space that we cant use it all, it must happen sooner or later.

  6. just saw this after realising that they have done exactly what they predicted almost four years earlier. WOW

  7. Hey,
    I think all discussion about the 16 Tb to 256 Tb are worthless. Coz Technology is just not increasing size & capacity but also changing.
    Im also using 1Tb & now a days 3Tb is lanched , but this doesnt mean extending upto 250Tb, More new techniques like DNA Computing, Flash Storage, Nano Technology, Cloud Operating System & many more are on verge of getting out.
    If any of these & so like gets out, then hard disks will get totally vanished.

    Also One major problem is u have to upgrade ur bios for using too much memory( I think 2.19Tb) Else ur computer cant detect it, so cant vary multiple disks at this stage.

  8. wrong, i have 3.9 terabytes and i did not need to upgrade my bios what so ever.. htough my mobo is quite new so maybe its already got the ability to support ….
    if so what is the max fir upgradebios

  9. I have heard about it somewhere. Im not sure about it, Its just guess 🙂 But their is something Limit
    Also I want to notice you that Fat file system does not support file size over 4 GB, Also the data bus in computer can keep addresses upto a limit (may be 2^20)

  10. haha i literally have 15TB’s in my home i run a small buissness and also have a thirst for documentarys and movies i was at work (im an ATT Uverse TEch Support agent) talking to a coworker and i mentioned my plans on buying 16 TB’s for back up my buddys eyeball nearly fell out and was like 16TBs? why the hell would you need that i told him why as i was going to back up my current information hes like so your going to have 30 some terrabytes in your home thats overkill. i asked him if he was only using a 10Gb harddrive he laughed and said no i have one 2TB for all my stuff. i asked him what would you do if you lost it all…he said hed shit abrick. i told him id shit 2 thats why im backin up.

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