EMC 146GB Drives Get Shanked!

It’s all over for the 146GB drives.  Last week EMC announced that the 146GB fibre channel disk drives will no longer be available for new Clariion and Celerra platforms.  I don’t see this as a huge deal to most customers but for some very specific applications the drives were very useful. 

Some databases that we run across have very high I/O requirements but really do not require much disk capacity.  For applications like these where you many need 20+ spindles to get the performance you need the 146GB drives were perfect because of their price point.  The other situation where the 146GB drives were handy was for the Vault on the Clariion and Celerra platforms.  As a general practice you don’t want to use the remaining space on the Vault drives for anything with high I/O requirement as to not affect the performance of the array.  For many clients they would not put anything on the remaining space on the Vault.  So why use 300GB of 450GB drives for the Vaults 4+1 RAID5 when you really only need 300GB – the 146s were perfect for this.

On the flip side of this argument, drives prices over the last year have come down significantly so having to use 300GB drives really doesn’t cause a huge financial impact on new arrays.  The fact is that for most of the clients we’ve worked with, 146GB drives were just too small for the majority of applications.  Let’s face it; the trend of data growth is going upwards steeply.  Most reports and studies I’ve seen show industry average data growth anywhere from 30 – 50% per year.  With that kind of growth smaller capacity drives will continue to become “legacy hardware”.


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