48 - The small difference

Unsichtbares Akkordeon

On this magnetic track, the system started to lurch.


In the spring of 2020, it emerged that hardware vendors such as Western Digital had sold unmarked HDD hard disks in SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) format instead of conventional hard disks in CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording) format in various backup systems. This subtype of HDD hard drives saves space by overlapping magnetic tracks (similar to roof shingles) instead of just laying side by side, but the read and write speed is slower. As a result, backup systems simply failed, because they could not perform their data backup routines according to schedule.


History shows that using the wrong or outdated hardware can lead to errors. Even if in this example it was not the researchers' fault, it should still be ensured that, as the amount of data increases (keyword: Big Data), the right conditions for working with the appropriate software are in place. The hardware should always be tested before it is put into routine use.