Seagate had two major announcements at CES 2020 - one featuring updates to their lineup of external storage devices, and the other related to a modular storage system with the Lyve branding on it. The novelty of the modularity and data storage capacity aside, we found the hard drives being used in the sytem to be more interesting. Seagate's demonstrations included HAMR and dual-actuator drives.

The Lyve Drive Mobile Storage System is a set of products aimed and enterprises and businesses that need to collect a large amount of data in the field and move them to centralized storage in-house at a later point in time. This is common in the media and entertainment industry (where the video recording may take place outside the studio), or, enterprises that collect sensor and image data from cars driven to train machine learning models.

The system includes high-performance CFExpress cards, a Thunderbolt 3 connector for the same, card readers, cartridges with a U.2 interface, 6-bay mobile arrays and 4-bay modular arrays (capable of handling 3.5" hard drives), a shuttle device that can act as a DAS or a network-attached drive, cartridge and array mounts and shippers, and a 4U rackmount receiver.

The Lyve Drive Mobile demonstration at CES 2020 had a 108TB Mobile Array comprising of six 18TB Exos HAMR hard drives and a 56TB Modular Array with four 14TB Exos 2x14 hard drives. The Exos 2x14 drives use the MACH.2 multi-actuator technology. The latter provides twice the IOPS and up to 480 MBps sequential write throughput compared to single-actuator drives. To our knowledge, this is the first time that Seagate has had a public demonstration of their dual-actuator drives, even though they had indicated multiple months of live production traffic on the Mach2 drives early last year.

The demonstrations indicate that HAMR and dual-actuator Seagate drives may get a public release with widespread market availability very soon. On the Lyve Drive front, Seagate didn't provide any pricing information or retail readiness status for any of the components.

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  • Korguz - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    what kind of damage do you think a hdd could sustain when it is moved ?? how did notebook mechanical hdds last all these years ?? my notebook has 1 ssd and 1 mechanical hdd in it.. and guess what.. both have survived two trips ( soon to be 3 trips )back and forth to the phillipines just fine... 5 hdds for sale ?? ha.. my local computer store shows 28 seagate external hdds.
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    the vast majority of laptop hard drives are single platter drives or even 2 platter drives. failure rate on those drives are historically very low :). because you have 1 platter moving only one can get hurt... seagate is talking about putting 9 PLATTER DRIVES in this thing. Do you have any idea how fragile those things are? i'm guessing extremely so :). also i have a 2 tb seagate in my laptop as well for 2 years and all is well. big differences here though.
  • rabidkevin - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    Dude, you can't just assume its more fragile because it has 9 platters. Where did you get your information? Do you even know what you are talking about?
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    more platters means litterally 9 platters moving around when running and 9 sitting there doing nothing when they are off? lets say you have one hard drive a standard 4tb hard drive with like 4platters right and its a 3.5. there are 4 platters a certain distance from another platter with many many heads on the platters. double that and you have 8 in the same space. put 9 in there and bingo... 9 platters where there was once only 4 platters there. not just the platter but the equipment reading the platters is super close together. i have a degree in physics. if these platters are very close more damage can be done to the drive as a whole during movement and basically everything that can damage a drive can now damage 9 platters instead of just 4. You now have litterally twice the amount of hardware in the same space. its not rocket science. and yes laptop hard drives use only 1 or 2 platters for this reason. and you cant even fit that many platters into a 2.5 drive. its simple.
  • Korguz - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    still doesnt change much.. hdds also have a park mode.. when there is no power to the drive.. its pretty secure to move it around.. i even dropped an external 5 tb seagate drive the other day, as i was moving it from one comp to the other, was unplugged, power and usb, man my heart stopped, pluggit it in to the comp i was moving it to.. and it has been working fine since... unless you can provide a source.. i think you are making hdds... more fragile then you make them out to be..
  • austinsguitar - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    As a professional, we use something called fallback raid. why? because hard drives fail, and die, or stop working. It would be interesting to see raid on this thing actually. May already have it!. These mobile lyve systems are going to be used for programs that will be thousands of dollars to mutli-million dollar investments in science and movies. The maximum may make a ton of since for extremely large data gathering on mobile, but it will always be risky. I am not saying "hdd's are fragile as glass. don't use them or move them ever!" i'm saying that this is extremely risky as a product. Imagine a hard drive failing in one of these in a one million dollar project and they can't get the data back. That is going to be a humongous ouch. But this would be the only thing in the world that is capable of doing so, and I do applaud seagate. But as a business owner I would be really scared knowing what may happen to my data.
  • mr_tawan - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    @austinguitar as a professional, we also use something called "back up". In fact, if the data is really important, we'd have multiple copies of data located in different places of the world, and also in tape backups kept in multiple locations.

    Regarding the drive being fragile, it might be more fragile than what it used to be in the past (as you can tell by shorten waranty... 3 instead of 5 years like 10 years ago). I don't find them `too fragile to use` although I'm more careful of them now than before. Personlly I check S.M.A.R.T. every now and then to see the fail rates and stuffs, and will bring in a new drive if one start to act up strange. And if it's approaching it's expected lifetime (aka, guarantee period), I'll also bring in a new drive. The old one is still in use, but I'll use them only for not-so-important data like game installs and work which has a copy somewhere else.

    Right now I have 6 NAS drive, as 2 RAID-5 array (12 TB in total). 3 desktop drives, with one of them already in the failing stage. and 2 portable drives. A couple of them is approaching EoL, which I've already planned to replace them.
  • khanikun - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    I wouldn't say that's an assumption, but more like standard practice for calculating something's possible failure. More parts, more chance of failure.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    9 platters... that aren't spinning at all during transit. This is supposed to be used stationary, then moved when powered down.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    I've used Seagate hard drives in laptops (predating SSDs) and their reliability was acceptable.

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