Helium and Disk Drives

Posted on June 05, 2013 By Henry Newman

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Did anyone see this opinion piece on the Federal Helium Reserve and the helium shortfall?

This got me thinking about WD's plans for making helium-filled drives. I, of course, do not want hydrogen fill disk drives or a disaster like the Hindenburg in a computer room.

I have been hearing about the impending issues with helium. There needs to be only a small amount of helium in each disk drive, but with the thousands of drives being shipped, I am sure this adds up to a significant amount of the gas.This makes me ask the question, what were they thinking?

WD needs to provide a lot more information about how this is all going to work. This is not the first case nor the last case where a vendor has said something that on the surface makes sense, but after learning a few other things leads to lots of questions about how things will really work together. The issues with helium shortfall and the price increases have been well known for a long time. I have seen many reports on this, but why hasn't the IT media asked WD how this all will work? It is a fair question and there could easily be a reasonable explanation.

The IT new media needs to start asking hard questions of vendors, not just reporting on what they say. This is just one example. I am not a reporter, so maybe I do not know the rules of engagement when talking with vendors. But in-depth reporting would provide everyone more valuable information.


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