Scality reimagines storage as art

by Robin Harris on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017

The fine folks at Scality send out a new year book of photos and – of course – promos. This year caught my attention because, as a fan of modern art, especially those with Cadillacs, they gen’d up a photo of a disk drive displayed like one of the famous Cadillac Ranch cars.

Here’s an still from a video when the Ranch was fairly new.

Here’s the photo that Scality put out:

The StorageMojo take
Drive vendors might not too happy to see their products treated so cavalierly, but it only reflects their iconic status in computing for the last 6 decades. And I like creative marketing!

Courteous comments welcome, of course.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Lawrence January 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Do I count 10 platters on that thing? Any idea which model this is? I think the highest platter count today is 6 or 7 with the helium drives.

Robin Harris January 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Andy, good observation and an excellent question. My guess is that the pictured drive is a 5.25″ enterprise drive from the mid-90s. It might be a Full Height 3.25″ drive, but the proportions don’t look right to me. Perhaps someone from Scality can resolve this.

As a historical note, EMC’s Symmetrix product line was the last major user of 5.25″ drives, consuming, IIRC, some 90% of all production in ≈1997. By that time virtually every other array had migrated to Full Height 3.5″ drives, and the move to Low Profile 3.5″ drives was underway. Now, of course, there are no FH 3.5″ drives in production, they’re all LP drives, and the drive height is assumed.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see 5.25″ production resume, because the cloud providers need lots of cheap capacity, and have the means to assure seamless migration to big, slow drives.


Andy Lawrence January 13, 2017 at 11:09 am

Interesting idea about bigger form-factor drives coming back. I wonder if it would be cost effective for big data centers to buy a 20 TB drive with twice as many platters than a 10 TB drive instead of 2 of the smaller ones. There are lots of applications where speed takes a backseat to capacity (e.g. shingled drives).

It wouldn’t be better if the bigger drive had a much higher failure rate, but it should be cheaper to build one of the bigger ones than two of the smaller ones. Power and heat per platter might go down as well.

Lecat January 13, 2017 at 11:44 pm

The drive us Big. I’d Say 5-25″ At least. It was donated Tonya by one of our customers. I think it is from the 80s. I will research and come back to you. Jerome (Scality)

foo January 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

It looks very much an IBM 3390, platters are over 10 inches. See the inside of one of these huge expensive beasts:

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