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.

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.

HGST Partnered with CommVault For Improved Cloud Backup Abilities

High capacity storage solutions often run into one problem and that is the backup. When you deal with petabytes of data where even the archives need to be accessible at all times and in a proper way, it takes both software and hardware to make that happen.

HGST, a part of Western Digital, has now partnered up with CommVault to enable simple scale out enterprise-class cloud backup and data management solutions. Commvault’s Simpana software now features native configuration and management support for the HGST Active Archive System to deliver a backup solution that solves data management at scale and provides instant access to data archives all at a price point that rivals traditional tape. Yes tape, those drives are currently still vital to most large storage backups.

HGST’s Active Archive System, as pictured above, is an extremely simple solution to deploy. All you need is network and power connections and it is good to go with up to 4.7PB raw storage. It is limitlessly scalable and provides the highest capacity per square foot at the same time as it delivers the lowest power consumption per terabyte of storage.

“HGST and Commvault have created a joint technology alliance for HGST and Commvault’s data management platform. HGST has become a fully qualified technology partner that has been validated, tested and supported by both parties,” said Don Foster, senior director, office of the CTO at Commvault. “Customers now have access to the HGST Active Archive System in conjunction with the data management intelligence that Commvault software provides to meet access, retention and archive management goals.”

“Our relationship with Commvault provides a new level of scale and protection, so our customers can better handle the demands of massive data growth, flat budgets and limited IT resources,” said Barbara Murphy, vice president of Marketing, Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, HGST. “In certifying our HGST Active Archive System with Commvault’s Simpana software suite, customers have access to a highly affordable, simple-to-scale object storage system that beats the economics of traditional cloud infrastructures and provides enterprise-class backup.”

While this isn’t something that the average user will ever have, it is surely something most of us will benefit from without even knowing. It will work its magic in the data centres around the world while serving you online features and functions you use every day.

The Event Horizon Telescope Will Use Helium Filled HGST Drives

We, as the human race, have accomplished quite a few impressive scientific things so far. We have been to the moon, we have vehicles driving around mars, and a probe that has left the solar system. We shouldn’t forget about the large hadron collider either, which discovered, or rather confirmed, the Higgs boson particle.

Another impressive project is the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, a project with the goal to create the first image of a black hole boundary, also known as the event horizon, and it is the point at which the force of gravity is so great that even light cannot escape.

The Event Horizon Telescope isn’t one large one placed at a strategic location, or in space like Hubble, but rather a collaboration between 34 observatories and universities around the world. By using telescopes in 10 geographic locations around the world that record data at a rate of 64 Gbps. The petabytes of data will then be processed at a central location that effectively creates the largest radio dish possible from the Earth’s surface and it can resolve objects 2000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.

As mentioned, such a project will create enormous amounts of data and that data has to be stored somehow. We are talking about petabytes of data here and that requires a special kind of storage. HGST announced that they will be responsible for that part, as the EHT project will be using their Helium filled HGST Ultrastar HelioSeal hard disk drives.

The hermetically sealed Ultrastar HDDs bring higher storage capacity along with lower power consumptions, which is a win-win in this situation. The helium-filled drives also work at a much higher altitude where normal air-filled drives would fail.

By bringing black holes into focus, the EHT will enable astronomers to study space-time in the most extreme environment in the universe.

First Prototype Seagate HAMR HDDs limited to 4TB

Even as we transition more and more to speedy SSDs, developments are still occurring in HDD land. Having explored the limits of what is practical with Helium filled Shingled Magnetic Recording drives, Seagate is moving onto HAMR or Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording which will allow HDDs to  scale beyond 16TB. Initial prototypes drives set to ship in late 2016 will be coming in a much more pedestrian 4TB though.

As HAMR is still in the early stages, the laser which provides the heat is too large, requiring more room between platters. This limits what Seagate can do until their refine the technology to ship 100TB HDDs in 2025.  Both Western Digital and subsidiary HGST are working on HAMR as well and even third wheel Toshiba is planning 128TB HDDs.

HAMR changes the bit density paradigm of HDDs which currently use a strong magnetic field to flip a bit permanently on a platter. Bit density is getting harder to achieve as it gets more and more difficult to shrink the  magnetic field. A magnetic field that is too large can risk flipping nearby bits and corrupting data. What HAMR does is to allow a change in platter material. Using a laser, a certain small area is heated up and a strong magnetic field applied to flip the bit. This field does not have to be small as before as the platter material won’t flip unless it hits a certain temperature. This means the bits can be as dense as the width of the laser, eliminating the issue of the magnetic field inadvertently flipping nearby bits.

For the first prototype, Seagate is starting off with an 810 nm wavelength and 20 mW power laser. This will heat up the target bit to 450c and then allow it to cool, all within 20ns. Seagate hopes to initially hit a target of 1.5 Tbits(Terabits) per square inch over the current 1 Tbits per square inch. No word yet has been released about the rpm of the prototype HAMR drive. Don’t get your hopes up about getting an HAMR drive in later 2016 as probably only certain partners will receive it.

Thank you heise for providing us with this information

HGST Demonstrate Phase Change Non-Volatile Memory

HGST blew people away last year when they presented their amazing PCM PCIe SSD that could deliver a record-breaking three million IOPS. At this years Flash Summit in Santa Clara they’re planning to have the same effect with their newly developed breakthrough persistent memory fabric. HGST’s Phase Change Memory is expected to deliver performance very close to DRAM, but at a much lower cost of ownership, as well as offering much greater scalability.

DRAM is fast, but it isn’t an optimal medium to store data for longer periods of times. The data needs to be refreshed fairly often due to leaky capacitors and the refresh power consumption can be as much as 20 to 30 percent of the servers total power consumption. That means that PCM storage could create huge cost savings for server farms while they still deliver the same performance.

The new technology doesn’t require any BIOS modifications nor rewriting of applications, so it can be deployed as soon as it is ready. It isn’t entirely clear what kind of products we’ll see from this and if we will see any at all – at least as consumers. It is still great news as our consumer technology started as enterprise technology at some point and even if these drives won’t make it to our systems, then the online services that we use will benefit from them and be able to deliver even better services, hopefully.

No matter what comes out of it, the demonstration by HGST and Mellanox show random access latency of less than two microseconds for 512B reads and a throughput exceeding 3.5GB/s for two KB block sizes using RDMA over InfiniBand; very impressive!

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.

HGST Deskstar NAS 6TB 7200RPM Hard Disk Drive Review


There aren’t that many hard disk drives on the market so far that are specifically designed for use in NAS environments, but there are a few. Today I’m taking a closer look at the HGST’s Deskstar NAS 6TB HDD that is just such a drive and will put it through a thorough testing process.

The Deskstar NAS hard drive is a 7200 RPM 3.5-inch hard drive that provides an exceptional blend of reliability and performance, making it an ideal solution for both consumer and commercial desktop NAS systems. HGST has quite a bit of experience in the enterprise sector where they are the market leader in more than one field.

They took that experience and created a high-performance NAS drive for those that aren’t satisfied with the slow and silent approach to this market and the Deskstar NAS series kicks everything up a notch. Where most NAS drives will run at 5400 RPM, this one has a rotation speed of 7200 RPM and also double the cache that you’ll find in competitors drives: 128MB.

The higher spindle speed doesn’t just mean that you get faster transfer rates, it also helps with the seek times bringing them down below 12ms. The end-result is a drive performing roughly 20 percent faster than the competitors. The HGST Deskstar NAS drive is designed to run in enclosures with up to 8 and even 10 drives for those who need a lot of raw storage.

HGST’s rotational vibration sensors (RVS) on the edge of the drive sense incoming vibration and adjust the head position to vibrate in tune with external waves. According to HGST, this can improve the drives reliability with up to 70%. The sensors don’t just sense incoming vibration, they also predict them and in return the drive can compensate.

Vibrations can be a big issue for multi-drive enclosures and it’s a thing one shouldn’t forget. Not every drive is built for this and that’s why the NAS lines of drives were created.

The HGST Deskstar NAS drive comes with a 1 million hour mean time before failure (MTBF) and it is backed by a 3-year limited warranty. The Deskstar NAS drive is available with 3TB, 4Tb, 5TB and 6TB capacity and you can also get them as two and four packs, making everything easier when you build your next system and need to fill it with fresh drives right away.

HGST Delivers Broad VMware Virtual SAN Support

If you ever wondered what one would use those multi-socket motherboards with an almost endless amount of CPU cores and support for TBs of RAM for, then the short answer is virtualization systems. Those systems also need fast storage and is fully supported and that will run without a hitch, and HGST just announced that a broad portfolio of their products has been certified for VMware Virtual SAN. The certified drives include the 12Gb/s SAS solid state drives (SSDs), PCIe Flash accelerators, and the unique helium-filled HDDs. Together, these certified devices provide interoperable storage tiers for VMware Virtual SAN.

“HGST supporting VMware Virtual SAN with a broad portfolio of certified devices will give enterprises and cloud data centers an extensive choice to optimally implement their software-defined storage initiatives,” said Gaetan Castelein, senior director, Storage and Availability, VMware. “Storing and managing data are two of the most important functions in the data center. We’re pleased to further extend our relationship with HGST, a company that understands the storage pain points of the enterprise. We’ll continue to work closely with HGST to offer customers powerful and flexible solutions to keep pace with enterprise IT demands.”

“As one of the first storage solutions providers to offer certified devices for use with VMware Virtual SAN environments, we remain committed to expanding our portfolio to the VMware ecosystem,” said Ulrich Hansen, vice president of SSD product marketing, HGST. “Today, we’re offering the industry a broad certified storage portfolio that allows customers of all sizes to leverage the advanced technology and performance tiers of VMware Virtual SAN to drive real-time insights from the increasing volume, velocity, variety and longevity of data across all infrastructure environments.”

HGST isn’t just the leader in enterprise SAS SSDs and Helium HDDs, they’re also one of the first storage providers to offer certified devices to use with VMware Virtual SAN environments. VMware VSAN customers can now incorporate these leading technologies to meet their demands for more efficient storage environments and create a better balance between capacity, performance, physical space and energy usage. With this amount of drives to choose from, customers can pick just the right setup for their infrastructure.

The VMware Compatibility Guide includes the Ultrastar He6 SAS 512n, the Ultrastar C10K1800 SAS 512n and Ultrastar C15K600 SAS 512n high performance HDDs, the entire HGST FlashMAX PCIe SSD family, the HGST s1122 PCIe Accelerator, HGST S842 and S846 SAS SSDs, and HGST’s family of 12Gb/s SAS Ultrastar SSD800MH.B and Ultrastar SSD1600MM SSDs.

HGST Ships NVMe Ultrastar SN100 Series SSDs

HGST, that is a part of Western Digital, announced that they’re now shipping their newest and the industry’s highest-performing NVMe compliant SSDs, the Ultrastar SN100 Series. The PCIe SSD drives come as both HH-HL standard PCIe cards, but also packed in the SFF 2.5-inch form factor for easy deployment from the front of a system rather than having to open it up for maintenance, just to replace or add a drive.

The new SN100 series comes with some serious figures and will be available with up to 3.2TB capacity and a performance of over 700K IOPS. Wow. The 700K IOPS are for random read (4KB), but the rest of the figures are equally impressive. The random mixed read/write IOPS (70/30, 4KB) come in at 310K and the random 4K write IOPS are specified to 160K. The SN100 series sequential throughput is rated at 3000MB/s read and 1600MB/s write.

There is also an 800GB and a 1.6TB version of the drive beside the 3.2TB version. Features include flash-aware RAID, end-to-end data-path protection, advanced ECC, secure erase and power fail protection. The drives are rated for three complete drive writes per day, have an 2 million hour MTBF and come backed by a 5-year warranty.

The Ultrastar SN150 HH-HL add-in card is shipping now, but the 2.5-inch SFF Ultrastar SN100 SSDs won’t be available until May. The drives can also be experienced live at the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo at booth #202.


Thecus Now Offically Supports HGST Ultrastar He8 Helium HDDs

Thecus is the latest of companies to support the amazing HGST Ultrastar He8 Helium filled hard disk drives. By incorporating these new drives with Thecus NAS, users will be able to increase storage capacity while maintaining a quieter, more energy-efficient environment.

The HGST HelioSeal drives have less internal resistance due to the helium filling which results in the lower energy usage and noise level. The 8TB drives are already available and the 10TB drives are just around the corner, what a great time to NAS’.

“Providing it’s users with the latest cutting-edge technology is at the core of Thecus’ mission,” said Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology. “By integrating HGST’s 8TB hard drives with Thecus NAS, users will be able to expand their storage capacity to the highest levels. The helium-based drives provide increased performance, energy efficiency, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Thanks to Thecus for providing us with this information

The HGST 10TB Hard Drive Is Almost Here

It’s been about six month since we last reported on the HGST 10TB drives as they were introduced, and now it looks like they’re finally about to hit the market.

The UltraStar HelioSeal drive will feature a seven platters design with 1.43 TB of capacity on each of them. The new hard drive makes use of the modern shingled magnetic recording technology and is filled with helium inside for increased recording density, a longer life, and very low noise output.

We don’t know the full specifications yet, but the 3.5-inch form factor SATA 3 drive will offer 128 MB of cache, a five-year warranty, two million hour meantime between failure (MTBF) rating, and Instant Secure Erase features.

These new 10TB helium filled drives should be released by the end of Q1 2015, but they aren’t the only one in the works.

One 10TB drive is hardly enough and HGST is planning a second drive. The yet to be announced drive will use increased recording density and allow the drive to achieve the capacity with just six platters, 1.66 TB each. No word on features or pricing as of now.

Thanks to Hitechreview for providing us with this information

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

3TB Seagate Hard Drives Have 43% Failure Rate, According to Backblaze

Cloud storage provider Backblaze, in its 2014 ‘Hard Drive Annual Failure Rate’ graph, reports that the 3TB Seagate Barracuda drives it used for its storage service had a 43.1% failure rate over 2014. Other Seagate models also performed badly, with the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 failing 23.8% of the time.

It must be noted that Backblaze exposed the drives to heavy stress, using them 24/7 to support user data. Seagate’s drives, designed purely to serve as home external storage devices, are not expected to handle more than eight hours use a day, nor be used as part of a massive vibrating enclosure, so it is baffling why Backblaze would continue to use Barracuda HHDs for a task they are so ill-suited to.

Not every hard drive manufacturer fared as badly as Seagate, though. HGST drives in particular proved to be very reliable under heavy use, with its 2 to 4TB drives boasting only a 2.3% rate of failure for the year, and the 2TB 7K2000 model leading the pack with a 1.1% failure rate.

Source: Ars Technica

G-Technology Launches Rugged Mobile HDDs

G-Technology probably isn’t a company you’ve heard a lot from, but they have enough knowledge in their backs being a part of HGST (WD). They’ve announced the new G-DRIVE ev ATC and the G-DRIVE ev RaW solutions rugged HDDs with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. G-Technology also announced new Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 all-terrain cases for turning the original G-DRIVE ev, RaW, or ev SSD into a rugged all-terrain storage solution.

“My work as an adventure photographer takes me around the world to remote and sometimes dangerous locations, and keeping my once-in-a-lifetime shots safe is top priority,” said Lucas Gilman, adventure sports photographer and filmmaker. “Working closely with G-Technology, I was able to secure a G-DRIVE ev ATC and took it with me to Peru and Hawaii for recent surfing photo shoots. G-Technology’s newest G-DRIVE ev ATC helped ensure that my irreplaceable images were safe, all while withstanding sandy beaches, bumpy off-road terrain and ocean mist.”

The G-DRIVE ev RaW is a rugged and lightweight portable hard drive that is strong enough to withstand a 1.5-meter drop. It is USB 3.0 bus-powered and designed to go anywhere, providing on-the-go access to photos, videos, music and more. The G-DRIVE ev RaW can be used as a standalone device or used with the Evolutions Series’ G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt or the new ev all-terrain case. The drive comes formatted for Mac to increase out of the box compatibility as Windows users more easy can reformat the drive to their needs. Availability will be this month for an MSRP of $129.95 for 1TB and $99.95 for 500GB.

The G-DRIVE ev ATC kicks it up another notch with a waterproof and floating enclosure (for a limited time) and a resistance for drops from up to two meter height. The case is removable and also compatible with earlier G-DRIVEs as well as purchasable on its Inside it has a 7,200 RPM-based hard drive to maximize transfer speed using Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

The G-DRIVE ev ATC will also be available later this month with a capacity of 1TB and an MSRP of $229.95 for the Thunderbolt version and $179.95 for the USB 3 version.

Thanks to G-Technology for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of G-Technology

Eurocom Adds Fastest 5400RPM 7mm HDD Option to Their Amazing Systems

Eurocom builds some serious mobile computing machines that really don’t lack anything in comparison with their stationary companions, you might remember the recently launched Neptune 4K Workstation that offers up to 6.5TB storage, 32GB memory, i7 Extreme CPU as well as Nvidia Quadro GPUs. Now they’ve added the fastest and most robust 5400RPM 2.5-inch 7mm hard disk drive as another option to all their fully upgradeable laptops and Mobile Workstations.

The new HDD available  is the HGST Travelstar Z5K1000 drive that is 26 percent slimmer compared to traditional 9.5mm drives and weights only 95 grams. It offers the industry’s highest operating shock at 400G/2ms and non-operating shock at 1000G/1ms to protect against bumps and rough handling in mobile environments.

The HDD is the seventh generation of self-encrypting drives (SED) to feature HGST’s Bulk Data Encryption for that extra protection of your sensitive data. It’s built with a two-disk design that is said to deliver nearly silent operation at 2.1 idle/2.2 seek bels.

Drive Specifications

  • 1TB of capacity
  • Advanced Format, 512-byte emulation
  • 6Gb/s SATA interface
  • Dual-stage Actuator (DSA)
  • Self-encrypting for data security
  • 5400 rpm Rotational Speed
  • 95 Gram Weight
  • 1000G/1 ms Non-Operating Shock and 400G/2ms Operating Shock
  • 600 000 Load/Unload Cycles
  • 32 MB Data Buffer

Thanks to Eurocom for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Eurocom

HGST Acquires Enterprise SSD Maker Skyera

On March 17, 2013 we reported that WD was investing a huge sum of money into the SSD sector, in fact they invested $51 Million to an Enterprise SSD manufacturer Skyera whose primary focus is to provide cost effect storage solution. Having gotten a taste of what Skyera has to offer, HGST (a Western Digital division) has announced the all-cash acquisition of Skyera.

“Western Digital has established a leadership position in the fastest growing areas of the storage industry,” said Steve Milligan, president and chief executive officer, Western Digital. “The Skyera acquisition supports our strategic growth objectives and plans to deliver long-term value to customers, shareholders and employees.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Skyera will be fully integrated into HGST and bring along the acquired engineering talent and intellectual property that will further strengthen HGST’s technical expertise and resources. HGST now has the broadest storage solutions portfolio in the industry, able to serve pretty virtually any level of users.

Thanks to HGST for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of HGST

HGST’s 8TB Helium-Filled HDD on Newegg for $899

I still remember buying 250MB HDDs, 800MB HDDs and then getting into the GBs was like a dream come true… but now 8TB? Wow. HGST, a division of Western Digital, is now selling its enterprise-class helium-filled Ultrastar He8 8TB 3.5-inch HDD for $899 on Newegg, or $933 on Amazon.

In Japan, it’s slightly cheaper, ringing up at $695 – or in our home currency, £438. Not bad, considering its a single 8TB drive. HGST has crammed in 8TB on top of a 7200RPM drive, with 128MB of DRAM buffer, and provides SAS-6Gb/s, SAS-12Gb/s or SATA-6Gb/s interfaces.

Source: KitGuru.

HGST Reveal 8TB and 10TB HelioSeal Hard Drives

Western Digital’s HGST subsidiary has just announced their new 8TB and 10TB hard drives and no, that second one isn’t a typo. The new drives are part of their HelioSeal product line; a range of hard drives which are hermetically sealed in helium in order to reduce internal drive friction and power use.

HGST have already made the headlines over the last year with the launch of their He6 6TB hard drives, and with Seagate only revealing their 8TB drives two weeks ago, this new 10TB model puts HGST back in the lead. HGST expect to end production of air-filled drives used in corporate data centers by 2017, all of which will be replaced with helium filled product lines due to their improved performance.

Both the new 8TB and 10TB drives come equipped with a 128MB cache buffer, a five-year warranty, two million hour meantime between failure (MTBF) rating, Instant Secure Erase features and both drives are shipping and sampling from today. No words on prices, but you can bet that they will be incredibly expensive. We’re expecting them to come in around the £250-£300 mark for the 8TB drive and £350-£400 for the 10TB model.

Thank you Chiphell for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Chiphell.

HGST Sets New World Record with 3 Million IOPS SSD

HGST has announced a new PCI Express SSD with 3 million IOPS in queued environments and a random read access latency of 1.5 ms in non-queued settings. HGST demonstrated this new technology at the Flash Memory Summit 2014.

“The PCM SSD demonstration is a great example for how HGST sets the pace of the rapidly evolving storage industry,” said Steve Campbell, chief technology officer, HGST. “This technology is the result of several years of research and advanced development aimed at delivering new levels of acceleration for enterprise applications. The combination of HGST’s low-latency interface protocol and next-generation non-volatile memories delivers unprecedented performance, and creates exciting opportunities for new software and system architectures that HGST is exploring with our customers and industry partners.”

The memory used in this SSD consists of Phase Change Memory (PCM) components with a capacity of 1Gb. PCM is one of several new classes of high-density, non-volatile memories that exhibit dramatically faster read access times when compared to NAND Flash memory.

In order to fully expose the capabilities of these new memory technologies to the server system and its software applications, HGST has also developed a low-latency interface architecture that is fully optimized for performance and is agnostic to the specific underlying memory technology. HGST used its controller expertise to integrate the 45 nm 1Gb PCM chips to build a prototype full height, full length PCIe Gen 2×4 SSD card.

To achieve latencies close to 1us, HGST devised, in conjunction with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, a new communication protocol. This new interface protocol was introduced earlier this year at the 2014 Usenix conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST).

“Three million IOPs is exceptional, but that is not the most exciting part of the demonstration,” said Dr. Zvonimir Bandic, manager of Storage Architecture at HGST Research. “What is really exciting is to be able to deliver latencies close to 1us for small block random reads. This is something that just cannot be done with NAND Flash and current controller and interface technologies.”

The HGST PCM SSD will be demonstrated in the HGST booth #316 at the 2014 Flash Memory Summit in the Santa Clara Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thank you HGST for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of HGST


HGST Announces New Ultrastar 12Gb/S SAS SSD Sized up to 1.6TB

HGST, a Western Digital company, announced its next generation of Ultrastar 12GB/s SAS solid-state drives today. Building upon the award-winning first generation, the new Ultrastar SSDs come in up to 1.6 TB size.

The new Ultrastar SSD800MH.B, Ultrastar SSD1600MM and Ultrastar SSD1600MR are using Intel 20nm high endurance enterprise-grade MLC NAND and the well proven HGST 12GB/s SAS technology, making them the ideal building blocks for server and storage systems running today’s performance-sensitive enterprise applications.

The new drives come in a variety of sizes depending on the model. The SSD800MH.B that is designed for write intensive operations will be available between 100GB and 800GB, the SSD1600MM for the balanced system will range from 200GB to 1.6TB and the SSD1600MR will feature from 250GB to 1.6TB for read intensive application use.

All 3 drives are said to offer a throughput of up to 1,100MB/s along with random read and write performance of up to 130k/110k IOPS respectively. They are backed by a 5 year Warranty at a MTBF of 2 Million hours.

As enterprise-class they come with the choice of security options including Instant Secure Erase (ISE), Self-Encrypting Drives (SED), and TCG enterprise SED with FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 certification.

“HGST leads the industry in SAS SSDs, which continue to be the preferred storage building blocks for a large variety of server and storage systems that support a growing set of data-intensive enterprise applications,” said Ulrich Hansen, vice president of SSD product marketing, HGST. “As our OEM, cloud and enterprise customers implement solutions to meet a variety of storage needs, SSDs and HDDs will increasingly be deployed in tiered pools of storage based on respective TCO strengths. HGST is in a unique position of offering a complete enterprise storage portfolio with leading solutions in both product categories.”

The new HGST Ultrastar SSD800MH.B, Ultrastar SSD1600MM and Ultrastar SSD1600MR SAS SSDs are currently completing qualifications at several server and storage system OEMs, and are generally available now.

Thank you HGST for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of HGST.

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

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 16TB RAID5 4-Bay NAS Review

Up to now we’ve been looking at network storage servers that come with no drives and are produced by a company other than a drive manufacturer. Western Digital are one of the best hard drive manufacturers our there in the market and their recent changes to their product line-up has not only made choosing the right drive for the job easier, but also a lot clearer. When it comes to network storage, WD has three types of drive that are geared for the job, Red, SE and RE. Red drives are still aimed for the home/SOHO user, whilst their enterprise SE and RE drives are optimised for the constant punishment that they will encounter 24×7.

Setting drives aside, WD has now come out with their own NAS solution, optimised for their own drives, in an all-in-one easy to use solution and so we get the Sentinel DX4000. The Sentinel is a first in a line of self designed NAS solutions that can be purchased with drives pre-installed in a variety of capacities, varying from a modest 2TB, right up to a whopping 16TB. Unlike other NAS solutions on the market, one of the main features that sets this system apart from the rest is the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 and a auto configuration process during the initial set-up that automatically builds the drives into a RAID5 array – the preferred choice for NAS solutions as this gives the best data security and will ensure no data is lost, should one drive fail during operation.

With this unit designed specifically for the SMB environment the use of WSS 2008 should allow for seamless integration through active directory and domain configuration and also for those that are at home with Windows, should make maintaining the system a bit more intuitive. With RAID automatically configured based on the number of drives installed, set-up should be easier as mentioned and knowing how well trusted and reliable Western Digital’s drives are in the NAS markets with multiple lines of drives targeted at this environment, there is good hope that the system has a lot to give.

All NAS’ come with a selection of cables to get you connected and running, this one being no exception. Alongside the user manual, the first thing we note are the two external power inverters, which as we will see on the next page, aid towards a more compact build of the main unit itself. Do note that on all other SKUs apart from the 16TB option, the DX4000 will only come with a single power adaptor, but as a top of the line model, the 16TB option includes both adaptors to allow for redundant power supply feeds. Also included are two sets of power cables for the UK and European markets and a single CAT5e cable. There is also a visible lack of screws that we traditionally see, but this is due to the tool free installation that the DX4000 adopts.

HGST Uses Self-Assembling Molecules and Nano-Imprinting to Double HDD Capacity

Hitachi Global Storage Technology, owned by Western Digital, have made a claim that they have developed self-assembling molecules and nano-imprinting to create more dense magnetic storage drives. If this works the way the company claims, this could advance the mechanical storage advancements as it could more-than-double the capacity in comparison to the traditional mechanical storage drives.

The company states that is uses self-assembling molecules, line-doubling and nanoimprinting. The process for such drives will not require photolithrography.

HGST/WD does this by using “magnetic islands” no bigger than 50 atoms wide/10 nanometers which uses molecular self-assembly. The company combines this process with line- doubling and nano-lithography techniques to make more reliable and higher dense storage.

According to HGST’s research, self-organizing molecules are stopped from bumping into each other because of additional co-polymers which can repel, therefore putting space between the these molecules. When this mixture is applied on a very thin film to a treat surface, it makes the self- assembling molecules to put space between each other using finer precision, therefore using an incredibly dense pattern.

When this happens, those atom-sized magnetic islands are doubled up using a chip-industry process called line-doubling.

Although self-assembling co-polymers isn’t a new implementation, HGST states that forming them into cocentric rings to be used by mechanical drives is the first time such a discovery is being made in the storage industry. HGST does clarify that the process can be further refined so that they can produce more dense storage platters and even more than double its capacity in the near future.

HGST haven’t stated when they plan to release drives with the new technology, or if it’s something that is feasible enough for consumer class drives, but HGST did say that these advancements would become a cost-effective way to increase data densities in magnetic disk drives before the end of the decade.