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WD leapfrogs Seagate with world's highest capacity 10TB helium drive, new flash drives

Lucas Mearian | Sept. 10, 2014
WD said it will end production of air-filled hard drives for the data centre.

With SMR technology, Seagate has been able to increase bit density on its platters by 25% or more. Unlike standard perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), where data tracks rest side by side, SMR overlaps the tracks on a platter like shingles on a roof, thereby allowing Seagate to squeeze more tracks together on a hard drive platter.

HGST's new 3.5-in 8TB drive uses traditional PMR technology, but the new 10TB hard drive marks WD's foray into SMR in conjunction with the helium gas. Both drives use a 12Gbps SAS interface. By using helium instead of air, HGST said it was able to stack 7 platters and reduce power usage at idle by 23% and watts per terabyte of capacity by 44% over its 6TB drive.

The 8TB drive is being marketed as nearline storage for faster access. The 10TB helium-filled hard drive is being targeted at cloud and archive "cold storage" applications because there are performance hindering implications related to the SMR technology, including file systems and software drivers, according to Dave Tang, general manager of HGST's Elastic Storage Platforms Group.

Both new drives come with a 128MB cache buffer, a five year warranty and a two million hour meantime between failures (MTBF) rating.

The new hard drives also come with WD's "Instant Secure Erase" feature, which overwrites data multiple times to ensure deletion.

Both 8TB and 10TB drives are shipping or sampling today.

HGST's new series of NVMe-compliant Ultrastar SN100 PCIe SSDs, integrate Toshiba's current MLC NAND flash chips. The SSDs come in 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB capacities.

HGST's new Ultrastar SN150 PCIe flash module comes in a half-height/half-length form factor add-in card with 1.6TB and 3.2TB capacities.

"We expect to see significant growth in PCIe-based SSD demand, especially as businesses implement server-side flash in conjunction with Flash-optimized software and applications," Gustafson said.

The Ultrastar SN100 Series PCIe SSDs will offer 2X the performance and endurance over HGST's current family of FlashMAX PCIe SSDs.


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