All about Disk Drives
ALTO is a disk based archiving technology, but what type of disks do we use? Do we supply them ready installed in our ALTO enclosures, or can you purchase them locally and install them yourself? Can you mix disks from different vendors, with different capacities? On this page we try to answer all your disk-based questions. In short, the answer is simple - ALTO enables you to purchase disks as you need them, with no single vendor lock-in, and the ability to install larger capacity disks as they become available.
ALTO-III, the fully scalable Enterprise Archive has three principal areas of application within a facility for Active Storage, General Purpose Storage and Deep Archive Storage. Customers can use dedicated ALTO systems configured and populated with suitable disks for each functional area or Partitions can be created within a larger ALTO System for each functional area and the Partitions configured as required. ALTO supports mixed drive types and capacities within a single system, so that the choice of disk can be tailored to the performance, capacity and budget for each user. ALTO-ARX is supplied factory populated with General Purpose Disks described below to achieve the target capacity.
ALTO is compatible with conventional PMR disks and more specialist SMR disk technology developed to further increase capacity and reduce cost per TB. Deep Archive disks are write optimised to increase writing speed compared to less important read access. Files can be deleted to recover space and data can be re-written but with lower writing speed, making these drives highly suitable for deeper archive applications where the stored files are not frequently overwritten. They are most suitable for preservation applications with up to 180TB per year throughput per disk, offering a very significant cost reduction. The security and surveillance industry drives demand for high volumes of write optimised storage. ALTO deep archives take advantage of these economies of scale.
Where an ALTO-III is likely to be used in areas of very high demand, it is possible to use higher performance disks to provide a shorter spin-up characteristic and faster data transfer rate. For high demand lower capacity Helium drives offer the best spin-up performance, and lowest power consumption per drive. In ALTO-III, the Disk type used can be further fine tuned, for example with Primary Replicas on fast Disks and Secondary Replicas on Slower and hence lower cost disks. This flexibility derives directly from the Replication principal used in ALTO, along with the ability to distribute replicas in geographically divers locations and shelf storage. ALTO disks can be opened externally using a standard Windows, MacOS or Linux Computer
Disk Drives for
General Purpose Storage
Disk Drives for
Deep Archive Storage
Disk Drives for
High Availability Archives
This class of disk is a sub-nearline NAS disk optimised for higher capacity, trading off speed against power consumption and cost. They are designed for high bi-directional workloads and are most frequently used in areas with a managed Archive and Restore demand, such as TX Archives demand. Typically these disks have a nominal capacity of 10TB, 12TB, 14TB and 16 TB per disk drive for high-storage density approaching 1Petabyte per 4RU enclosure. ALTO is compatible with air-filled and helium-filled disk drives from the four leading vendors. Helium filled disks provide a totally inert environment for the disk drives internal components, extending data life on the disk platters and improving storage density