Advanced Format HDD Technology Overview

An IBM Redpaper publication

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Historically, a hard disk drive (HDD) media was physically formatted by using a sector size of 512 bytes. However, the need for higher-capacity storage and better data integrity has led to changes in how the data is structured and stored on the disk platter. These changes have resulted in the creation and adoption of the Advanced Format standard for HDDs, which introduced the sector size of 4 KB, by the industry.

However, many currently deployed systems and applications still assume 512-byte sector operations and might even optimize their storage I/O activity to align with the 512-byte sector boundaries.

This IBM® Redpaper™ introduces the Advanced Format, describes its characteristics, and discusses implementation considerations for different IT environments to address potential compatibility and performance issues.

This paper is intended for IT professionals who want to learn more about the Advanced Format and plan to use the Advanced Format HDDs in their IT environments.

Table of contents

HDD industry transition
Introduction to the Advanced Format
Advanced Format hard disk drive types
Disk controller considerations
Operating systems and applications considerations


Publish Date
20 August 2014

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