Seagate announced the availability of consumer grade hard drives in the 3TB range. While the increase in density was expected (normal of the storage industry), I can’t help but feel a disturbance in the force. Users and clueless IT technicians are bound to consolidate data that used to be stored in multiple hard drives into a single high capacity 3TB mechanical device that has a history of failure. The problem goes beyond just the manufacturer, temperature, vibration and many other variables decide how reliable a hard drive will be.
The truth is that not everybody keeps backups of their data, when a failure occurs the first thing people do is swear to never buy that brand of drives again. RAID is not backup, with this in mind it used to be that in order to reach such amounts of storage one would make use of RAID. Now a single 3.5” mechanical device will hold Terabytes of data while spinning at thousands of revolutions per second.
Asides from the human aspects, XP users are out of the equation. On the Windows side users will need to be running either Windows Vista or 7 64bit, updates to the BIOS may be required, and hardware capable of long logical block addressing(LBA). Otherwise, you can use PAPERBACK v1.00.
Don’t be an early tester unless you live on the edge or are used to making backups.