Dropbox has begun its migration to Western Digital’s host-managed, shingled magnetic recording (SMR) hard disk drives (HDD).
Dropbox used to rely on AWS for its infrastructure, before deciding to build out its own. Doing so gives it more flexibility and control. The company has been working with Western Digital to help meet its storage needs, and is among the first companies to use its SMR HDDs.
SMR is a method of recording data that allows for greater data density, thereby reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). In traditional drives, data is written to the HD platter in non-overlapping tracks. In contrast, SMR writes data in partially overlapping tracks, much like roof shingles partially overlap each other. This allows more data to be written in the same space.
“We’ve been working with Western Digital for many years, and throughout several phases of our storage platform development,” said Andrew Fong, vice president of engineering, Dropbox. “Online tools and services are more important than ever before, so we need to be able to quickly innovate, expand functionality and scale to help stay competitive. We look forward to deploying these higher capacity 20TB SMR hard drives to further our cost savings and to provide our customers with even more value. Western Digital is an important strategic partner and we look forward to continuously pushing cloud infrastructure boundaries together.”
Western Digital’s Ulstrastar DC HC650 is the industry’s first 20TB HDDs, prodding an unmatched TCO that no doubt played a major role in Dropbox’s decision.