A couple interesting ideas in this. The ones that caught my attention were changing the form factor of disk drives (so, no longer assuming 3.5" and 1" in height) and assuming the data is replicated (so APIs to the disk that allow the disk to return quickly if it can't access the data quickly, but then you can go back and say, hey, try harder, because I can't get the data elsewhere, and the disk will put in the extra effort to get the data).
The rise of cloud-based storage means that most (spinning) hard disks will be deployed primarily as part of large storage services housed in data centers. Such services are already the fastest growing market for disks and will be the majority market in the near future.

Today at the 2016 USENIX conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 2016, https://goo.gl/Q7HdSV), Google Infrastructure VP Eric Brewer gave a keynote talking about our goal to work with industry and academia to develop new lines of disks that are a better fit for data centers supporting cloud-based storage services.

Learn more on the Google Cloud Platform blog, linked below.  You can also read the white paper, Disks for Data Centers, at https://goo.gl/KPZkkx
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