Musings on RAID capacity… For quite some time RAID systems have been promoted as the answer to large-scale capacity problems. However, their very flexibility and size can also cause problems, and those problems could be set to hugely expand in the future. As storage systems move beyond terrabytes into the barely-credible territory of multi-petabytes, then possible problems, particularly with RAID arrays, grow comensurately. The infamous Moore’s Law suggests the first problem. Units grow immensely in capacity and reduce simulataneously in price, meaning that users have increasingly large amounts of capacity. Another popular truism, called Parkinson’s Law, holds that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Anybody who has worked in an office environment will ruefully know the parallel law that material or documents expand to fill all the space available to hold them. Though flippant this point has serious implications for data storage and ultimately for data recovery. Those in the field with long memories can recall that some twenty years ago a skilled technician might take around a minute to reconstruct a 40MB hard drive. Move forward to the 2TB drives in common usage today and a similar rebuild job might take several hours, and for that reason, is often left running overnight. However, before the end of the decade 30TB drives will be in use. Such mammoth storage devices would, on current rates of progress, take more than a week to rebuild! And, as our work involves an ever greater involvement in the various complexities of Advanced Data Recovery, the basic management of the data retrieval process grows ever more demanding. Whilst such a process might seem extremely challenging it is an inevitable consequence of the remorseless advance in systems, and this doesn’t allow for the introduction of revolutionary innovations like helium-filled hard disks. These will reduce power consumption and substantially increase capacity, but will obviously require much more sophisticated conditions to undertake a repair or data recovery or retrieval of data from such a failed Hard Disk. Opening a damaged hard disk filled with helium rather than air will inevitably demand clinical laboratory conditions such as those we operate at Dataclinic. Whatever happens it is clear that as the capacities of hard disks massively increase, and the technical issues increase in complexity, then the need for professional, technical competence will grow significantly and we are ideally placed to meet the needs of those new Data Recovery requirements.