Western Digital Releases ‘Gold’ HDDs for Datacenters

Coloured drives have long been a mainstay of Western Digital branding. The old Blue, Black, and Greens were supplemented in recent years by the addition of the Red and Purple lineups. Today, Western Digital has released a new colour, Gold, for the datacenter. The new Gold WD HDDs will co-exist with the current WD Re lineup of enterprise drives for a while but the new family will eventually supplant the old.

The 3 drives launching today are the 8TB WD8002FRYZ, 6TB WD6002FRYZ and 4TB WD4002FYYZ. The drives are all SATA 6 Gbps 3.5″ form factor with 7200rpm spindle speed, an extra large 128MB cache and using good old PMR platters. The 8TB model uses the HelioSeal helium fill that HGST, a WD subsidiary, pioneered with their drives. With lower capacities, the 6TB and 4TB are regular drives but the 6TB model does feature a ‘media cache’ to speed up writes. This sounds a lot like a NAND cache, making the 6TB Gold the first enterprise hybrid drive. 

Due to the use of helium, it’s interesting to see the 8TB drive actually has lower power consumption than the other too. On the other hand, the NAND cache makes the 6TB the best performing model. The 4TB is also somehow 18% faster than its Re predecessor. The 4TB and 6TB also feature their own form of HGST involvement as well, being made by HGST Japan. Perhaps this is a sign that Western Digital is moving their enterprise business over to their HGST division.

German Stellarator Fusion Reactor Testing Deemed a Success

It’s no secret that this is the nuclear age, that is the age where nuclear technology will go its greatest to shaping the world. From its use as a weapon during world war 2 to our future hopes of using it as a power source, the atom is changing the way the world works. Using its Stellarator nuclear fusion machine, Germany has taken the first steps in this change with the creation of hydrogen plasma.

With Germany having one of very few nuclear fusion machines, it was only a matter of time before they changed how close we were to sustainable fusion. Nuclear fusion is the same process that powers the sun, potentially creating a clean source of energy, not to mention nearly limitless.

Back in December, the team at the Max Planck Institute in Germany managed to suspend helium plasma, the new step forward was in using the hydrogen atom, something the team has now managed to do using their experimental reactor, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) stellarator. The difficulty alone makes this act an accomplishment, but with hydrogen fusion releasing far more energy than helium fusion, we’re yet another step closer to the ultimate goal of a sustainable reaction, but still have a very long way to go.

John Jelonnek is a physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and also one of the people responsible for installing the technology that heats the reactor. In speaking to the Guardian Jelonnek stated, “We’re not doing this for us but for our children and grandchildren”.

Seagate Launches Their Own Helium HDD

Even as rival HGST started shipping helium based drives several years back, Seagate had managed to keep up in terms of capacity with less exotic technology. That’s all set to change as Seagate has finally launched their own helium based 10TB HDD. The new drive will do battle with the PMR based HGST Ultrastar He10 which just started shipping two months ago while the slower SMR based Ultrastar Archive Ha10 launched 7 months ago.

Just like the HGST drive, the Seagate® Enterprise 3.5 Capacity HDD features seven platters and 14 heads to read and write from them. With a helium fill, Seagate is probably running the drive at 7200rpm unlike normal drives which generally have to slow down when the platter count reaches 6. As an enterprise drive, it comes with a choice of either the standard SATA 3 port as well as the 12Gb/s SAS connector.

Reported reliability is the same as its chief competitor with 2.5 million hours MTBF, a nice bump over the usual 2 million. Due to the helium fill reducing turbulence nad allowing more platters, Seagate has stuck with PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) and not with the performance crippling SMR (shingled magnetic recording). HAMR also isn’t used since that will probably be done with air-filled drives first. While HGST/WD has beaten Seagate to the punch with Helium, Seagate may bring HAMR out first given they’ve been talking about it a lot more.

HGST’s Helium-Filled Ultrastar He10 10TB HDD Now Shipping

The world’s first 10TB perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) hard disk drive is now officially shipping and it is naturally HGST’s helium-filled Ultrastar He10. This is the third generation helium drives out of the Western Digital Corporation and it offers an impressive 25% increase in capacity over the previous generation.

Customers can enjoy an overall decreased total costs of ownership thanks to the increase in capacity. The new 10TB HGST Ultrastar He10 uses 56% fewer watts per TB capacity compared to traditional air-filled HDDs. WDC expects its 10TB drives to be a key enabler of video, photo, business and other cloud-based applications, and that it will be a cornerstone for public and private cloud deployments.

The Ultrastar He10 isn’t just the first 10TB PMR drive to hit the market, it also comes with the highest reliability rating and features an impressive 2.5 million hours before meantime failure rating. The drives are also backed by 5-year limited warranty.

There are both 6Gbps and 12Gbps SATA and SAS versions as well as Instant Secure Erase (ISE) and Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) options. The drive further features a 256MB data buffer and a 7200 RPM rotation speed. The average access latency is 4.16ms and the 10TB Ultrastar He10 is rated for a sustained transfer rate of 249MB/s with seek times of 8ms. With a power consumption of just 6.8W during operating and 5W when idle, you get an effective power consumption of just 0.50W per TB storage. Impressive.

Buffalo Introduces DriveStation Ultra 10-Bay Thunderbolt 2 DAS

Buffalo America has just introduced their latest storage offering and this time it isn’t an NAS but a DAS instead. DAS stands for direct attached storage and it’s as such directly connected to another system instead of sharing the stored data over the network like an NAS does. Other than that, it’s a lot of the same.

The new Buffalo DAS is the DriveStation Ultra, a 10-bay system that connects through Thunderbolt 2 and comes as equipped with either ten 4TB NAS drives or ten 8TB Helium filled Enterprise drives. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 2 connection, this DAS can achieve up to 1243 MB/s write speeds in RAID 0.

This DAS could very well be the perfect storage solution for people who work with a lot of large files such as 4K videos or CAD projects. You should have the best possible storage and speed with a unit like that.

If one shouldn’t be enough storage, then attach some more. The Mac Pro comes with six Thunderbolt 2 ports and you can daisy-chain up to six DriveStation Ultras per port. With enough money, you could attach an incredible 2.88 Petabytes of storage to a single Mac Pro. Impressive, but not cheap.

The DriveStation Ultra has an MSRP of $4799.99 for the 40 TB model or $9999.99 for the 80 TB model. It is available now at D&H and at other Buffalo Americas distribution and reseller partners.

Features

  • Desktop form factor with 10 hard drives provides up to 80 TB of storage within easy reach
  • 40 TB model features 10 NAS hard drives and 80 TB model features 10 helium-filled enterprise hard drives optimized for continuous operation
  • Multiple I/O interface support to deliver maximum flexibility and compatibility for Mac and PC users, including two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one eSATA port and one USB 3.0 port and corresponding cables
  • RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6 options allow users the flexibility to maximize capacity or protect data with RAID redundancy
  • Three-year warranty and 24/7 U.S.-based technical support

HGST Launched the 10TB Ultrastar Archive Ha10 HDD

HGST has set a new standard for mechanical hard drives with their helium filled drives and the latest one based on that technology have just been launched. The new HGST Ultrastar Archive HA10. brings 10TB of storage capacity specially designed for Active Archive applications.

This is the third drive based on HGST’s HelioSeal technology and it is the first 10TB enterprise-class drive in the industry. By integrating SMR into the drive, HGST achieved a higher density than other HDD vendors.

Shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is a relative new standard. Where traditional hard disk drives record data by writing non-overlapping magnetic tracks parallel to each other, shingled recording writes new tracks that overlap part of the old and thereby allowing for higher track density.

Due to the way SMR works, this method will have some impact on write performance as it might need to rewrite more data than it actually has to store. This is combated by a great use of firmware and drivers, but the drives are optimally suited for sequential backups rather than random writes. Sequential writes is the most common way backups are done, making this drive absolutely perfect for archive backups.

The HGST Ultrastar Archive HA10 drive is rated at two million hours mean time between failure (MTBF) and is backed by a five-year limited warranty. It has a 10-15 unrecoverable reduced bit error rate, rotational vibration safeguards, and 600K load/unload cycles.

QNAP Now Officially Supports HGST’s 8TB Ultrastar HE8 HDDs

Just because a hard disk exists doesn’t mean it is ideal to be used in every system, or there might just be a few tweaks that need to be made in order to ensure that the drives capabilities are fully utilised among other things.

QNAP just announced that their powerful enterprise-class Turbo vNAS TVS-x80+ series and REXP expansion enclosures got certified for use with HGST Ultrastar HE8 HDDs. Other models compatible are the  TS-x79-SAS series and REXP expansion enclosures as well as the TS-x80, TS-x79, TVS-x71, TS-x70, TVS-x63, TS-x53 Pro, TS-x51, TS-x31+, TS-x31 series, and also the REXP and UX expansion enclosures.

HGST’s Ultrastar HE8 helium filled hard drives come with up to 8TB capacity and as both SATA 6Gb/s and SAS 12Gb/s models. The 7200RPM HDD can achieve up to 205MB/s sustained transfer rates and has a typical seek time of 8.5ms.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

Archos’ First LTE Smartphones To Debut At CES 2014

Archos has revealed some 4G LTE smartphones that the company is thinking of showing at the upcoming CES 2014. Namely, the Archos 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G are Archos’ first LTE smartphones which will be released on the market. Both devices will have Android 4.3 pre-installed, with a future upgrade to Android 4.4 undergoing development. The smartphones also boast a 1.4GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, 1080p HD video capture, and 1GB RAM.

The Archos 50 Helium is going to be a higher-end handset, having a larger 5-inch 720p HD LCD display, 8-megapixel camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It also has a 2,000 mAh battery and a higher price tag of $250 off-contract to go with it. The Archos 45 Helium 4G is said to be an entry-level handset, having a smaller 4.5-inch display with a 854×480 FWVGA resolution, a 5-megapixel main camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a smaller 1,700 mAh battery. The more budget Helium is reported to have a price tag of $200.

If you haven’t associated Archos with smartphones, you’re not alone. The company is better known for audio and video equipment, with its newer tablet and smartphone efforts more active in European markets than in the US. While these two rise to the top of Archos’ portfolio, they’re positioned to bob around the midrange in terms of their features and specs.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Cnet

First 6TB Helium-Filled Hard Drives Released By HGST

Hitachi started shipping the first drive to feature a helium filling, a concept it first unveiled back in 2012 as a means to boost capacity by around 40 per cent compared to traditional mechanical drives. The helium filling was possible by shrinking the gap between platters and fit seven platters into an admittedly chunky 3.5″ form-factor. With traditional air-filled high-capacity drives having only five which translates to a 40% boost in storage space.

The Ultrastar He6 has 6TB of storage into a single 3.5″ drive with a choice of SATA-III or SAS connectivity. As with the company’s prototypes, this impressive capacity comes from seven individual platters, although the drive itself is 50g lighter than the air-filled five-platter 4TB Ultrastar 7K4000 at 640g. The platters spin at 7,200rpm, are backed by 64MB of cache memory, and are designed for application loads of under 550TB a year.

According to HGST, the helium filling leads to a 23 per cent drop in idle power and 49 per cent improvement in watts-per-terabyte compared to traditional five-platter drives. The company also plans to use the HelioSeal technology in its future heat-assisted magnetic recording, or HAMR for short, drives to further boost capacities.

Finally, no news was released in terms of pricing, but given the new technology, it is expected to be a significant price range, well over existing 4TB models.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information