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Hard disk drive management takes on a life of its own

by on November 28, 2012

In the old days, when information was written on tape or hard disk drives (HDD), it tended to stay put. These files could be recalled, copied, transferred, archived or deleted, and at the worst of times they might be stolen or lost, but they were otherwise reliably were they were used to begin with and IT personnel had no reason to think anything to the contrary could occur while they weren’t looking.

Today, public cloud deployments tend to shuffle and scramble information around however they want, which explains why many organizations are shying away from these offerings. Private cloud and virtualized servers offer a little more reliability in terms of data location, but it’s not the same as a solid state solution with tape tracking software or hard disk governance. Even now, businesses know that they should have a solid archival basis of HDD tools and cold-storage drives, just in case the worst happens to their more nebulous resources.

A hard disk shake up
To confuse the IT department even more, though, a revolution in HDD hardware deployments has made its debut, putting information stability in a tizzy. The A to Z of Materials (AZOM) wrote that the University of Texas has developed a new tool that throws solid state storage on its ear, with random reassortment of data blocks, which can then realign themselves through the power of science.

The University discovered a unique copolymerization technique that allows for self-assembly in hard disk drives, drastically increasing the storage capability of these devices. AZOM wrote that the density of these particles allows a terabit of data per square inch of storage capacity, resulting in a system that is almost too unstable to remain intact. In order to balance the risk of binary infractions, these polymer blocks can just jumble themselves around when they aren’t being heated over 200 degrees Celsius.

This is actually great news for HDD management and the backup industry as a whole, InformationWeek wrote, because it means that new ways of using these tools are still being investigated. Some day, even if information is all stored in human DNA and people carry computers as retinal implants, disk drives will still be needed to maintain hard copies of the zettabytes of information being converted every minute, just like companies still need these resources now to maintain cloud stability.

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