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Dec 09 2015

HGST Introduces World's First “Regular” 10TB HDD


Western Digital subsidiary HGST has started shipping its third-generation HelioSeal flagship drive HGST Ultrastar® He10. The surprise is: this HDD, promising optimized capacity and reliability at a much reduced ecological footprint, deploys standard perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology instead of the rivaling shingled-magnetic recording (SMR), as one might expect.

The Ultrastar® He10 is basically what you would call the "more normal" cousin of HGST's Ultrastar Ha10, which has been shipping to cloud service providers and OEMs since June and actually does use SMR. While this innovative approach received a generally positive feedback, the Ha10 came with limitations of its own. Probably the most annoying one was that it couldn't be used as a "drop-in replacement" for older, conventional HDDs – a shortfall that the He10 is expected to repair. According to HGST's press release, it offers a 25% capacity increase over previous-generation He drives and cuts power consumption by 56% per TB of data stored. Regarding reliability standards, the Ultrastar® He10 is expected to deliver a 2.5 million hours MTBF rate, which would equate an annual "failure quota" of 0.35%. And if you look at the data sheet, the He10 is also considerably faster than its cousin, sporting sustained sequential transfer rates of 249 MB/s in read and 225 MB/s in write mode, which translate into a plus of 58 and 231%, respectively, regardless of whether it's equipped with a SAS or SATA interface. Other than that, both drives are pretty much alike: they use helium so they can house more platters than standard air-filled models (in this case, seven); their drives spin at 7,200 RPM; and their cache sizes (256 MB), latencies (4.16 ms) and average seek times (between 8.0 and 8.6 ms) are practically identical.

As a high-density solution for storage racks in enterprise data centers and networks optimized for TCO, the Ultrastar® He10 HDD targets organizations that experience exponential data growth, especially providers of cloud-based applications and on-demand services; consequently, VOD market leader Netflix has already said it will upgrade its systems asap in order to build larger archives and "stream more movies" to its customers. Likewise, the Ultrastar® He10 HDD could bring some much-needed oomph to backend systems used in IoT environments while at the same time achieving new levels of environmental efficiency, says HGST. Enterprise customers can acquire the HGST Ultrastar® He10 as a bare drive; for those who require a petabyte-scale object storage system, they will be available in HGST's Active Archive System.


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