You can't rely on disk drive manufactures to tell you much at all about new higher-capacity drives coming our way, but you can get hints from their OEMs. ProStor CEO Frank Herbist recently gave out a loud one.
ProStor makes removable RDX disk drives, 2.5-inch drives inside a rugged case, and the InfiniVault RDX autoloader and library appliance with up to 100 slots. The company's products are a substitute for tape and it offers a 750GB RDX currently with a 1TB one coming by the end of September.
Herbist told SearchStorage that he'd have a 1.5TB RDX by the end of the year. No hard disk drive vendor has a 1.5TB 2.5-inch product publicly-announced. With stories of 3TB 3.5-inch drives being evaluated by OEMs, and 3.5-inch drives having twice the capacity of 2.5-inch ones, then a 1.5TB 2.5-inch drive in this timescale makes sense.
A 1.5T RDX would equal the capacity of an LTO-5 tape and RDX products would be a viable replacement in capacity terms for all DAT and LTO installations that use single drives, autoloaders and smaller libraries.
It wouldn't be viable for 100 slot-plus tape library installations unless much bigger InfiniVaults are planned. They probably are.
A 1.5TB 2.5-inch drive would be good news for notebook users and external storage products. It would also surely find a role in enterprise storage arrays as well. At this stage all we know is that one hard disk drive OEM customer has said it's coming. It's hearsay. ®