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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  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    ah yes, when transferring hard drives in big server rooms its nice to have a safe way of doing that... look i understand what these products are supposed to do but its really uber dumb and not practical. transfering drives around should be kept to like maybe 1 or 2 times in a drives lifetime, because fail rates go out the roof when you move drives. this is just dumb man. i bet nobody will bite this and it will be dead fast.
  • Mr.Vegas - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    Unless you work in a field or TV, Movie production or lots of otehr jobs that need storage for field data, even Geologists need lots of storage now, Oil industry too and so on
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    I understand that whole heartedly... but spinning drive storage? they need to be able to convince people this will actually hold up. And with seagate's track record that will be a no (there is zero denying that seagate drives have continually held the number 1 least reliable hard drive manufacturing mantle for the last ~10 years). cannot refute that statement. even in the server world.
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    ^ I apologies and retract this statement here. I have been very very salty about 4 of my seagate drives dying on me in the last 3 years so I was venting a bit about reliability. but they still must be able to convince people this will actually hold up and not cause hard drive failure at a high rate.
  • khanikun - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    I find Seagate to be reliable, but have to keep them cool. WD and HGST seem to hold up to heat better. For my file server, I use WD, HGST, and Toshiba, since I cram a lot of drives in there and they have to deal with the heat. My regular desktops have HGST and Seagate, since they have room to breathe.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    Considering the number of hard drive manufacturers in the world these days, being number one may not be a big deal. Though I do agree that my personal experience with Seagate has not always been the most positive.
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    yea i'm just being too harsh on seagate. I apologies. Maybe this could work but only time will tell, and billion dollar companies buying these things for science and entertainment. We probably won't ever know how these things perform.
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    This! Seagate is clearly targeting those field applications with their "Lyve" system. For example, the CFExpress reader can live in the same rack as a couple of disks. So, you shoot your footage, immediately back that up to spinning rust (redundantly so), while you continue your shoot. In a scenario like that, the HDDs aren't the initial or primary data storage, they back up costly footage or data from SSD-type storage right in the field. Not sure I'd trust those data to HAMR drives without some more reliability data, though.
  • evernessince - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    What exactly are you basing this on? Hard Drives are not nearly as fragile as you make them seem.
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    they are quite fragile actually. There have been numerous studies on the effects of forces on hard drives, from shaking hard drive cage damage to temperature and also just movement damages. each hard drive manufacturer has a on and off drive gforce shock number listed for their drives for a reason. And also seagate doesn't have a ton of experience in making external hard drives. they have some sure, but they only have like maybe 5 for sale right now. wd and toshiba have like hundreds of external drives made for that purpose. and they are talking about using just regular hamr drives in these chasses. idk, just spells disaster to me. i'm not meming btw.

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