Dropbox begins shift to excessive effectivity Western Digital Shingled Magnetic Recording disks

By | October 26, 2020

Final yr, Dropbox talked about making a shift to Shingled Magnetic Recording or SMR disks for brief due to the effectivity they can provide a excessive quantity storage platform like theirs. At this time, Western Digital introduced that Dropbox was one of many first firms to qualify their Ultrastar® DC HC650 20TB, host-managed SMR exhausting disks.

Dropbox’s fashionable infrastructure story goes again to 2017 when it determined to shift most of its enterprise from being hosted on AWS to building their own infrastructure. As they moved by way of the method of constructing that transition within the following years, they had been on the lookout for new storage know-how concepts to assist drive down the price of operating their very own huge storage system.

As principal engineer James Cowling told TechCrunch last year, one of many concepts that emerged was utilizing SMR:

What emerged was SMR, which has excessive storage density and a cheaper price level. Transferring to SMR gave Dropbox the power to do extra with much less, growing effectivity and decreasing general prices — a necessary step for a corporation making an attempt to do that by itself. “It required experience clearly, however it was additionally thrilling to carry a whole lot of efficiencies when it comes to price and storage effectivity, whereas knocking down boundaries between software program and {hardware},” Cowling mentioned.

Because it seems, Dropbox VP of engineering Andrew Fong says that the corporate has been working with Western Digital for plenty of years and the brand new SMR know-how is the newest step in that partnership.

Western Digital says that these drives ship this price financial savings by way of elevated storage density and decrease energy necessities. “When contemplating exabyte-scale wants, and related capital and working price of the information middle, the long-term worth when it comes to decrease cost-per-TB, increased density, low energy and excessive reliability may also help profit the underside line,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Time will inform if these disks ship as promised, however they definitely present a whole lot of potential for a excessive quantity consumer like Dropbox.

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