Helium and Disk Drives

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.

Labels: disk drives,WD,helium

posted by: Henry Newman

Henry Newman, InfoStor Blogger
by Henry Newman
InfoStor Blogger

Henry Newman is CEO and CTO of Instrumental Inc. and has worked in HPC and large storage environments for 29 years. The outspoken Mr. Newman initially went to school to become a diplomat, but was firmly told during his first year that he might be better suited for a career that didn't require diplomatic skills. Diplomacy's loss was HPC's gain.

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