Tech Insight: Beyond 2TB on the Desktop

Seagate 2.1TB Limitation

As storage demands continue to grow and storage vendors continue to make improvements in capacity, performance and cost efficiencies, larger hard drives will be a vital part of these improvements because they:

  • Can be deployed quickly
  • Offer significant leverage in driving operational efficiencies
  • Reduce storage costs

Back in the early 1980s, no one could conceive of a hard drive approaching even 1TB, so limiting the logical block address (LBA) range to 2.1TB was thought to be more than adequate. As a result, operating systems, BIOS controllers, host interface drivers and device drivers have used the same basic limitation of 2.1TB.

As we begin releasing new drives that exceed this 2.1TB capacity limitation, your attention should be focused on how to deploy these new high-capacity storage solutions successfully. There are near-term obstacles to overcome in the desktop environment, particularly for bootable drives. The adoption has fewer and simpler limitations in the enterprise market.


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