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HGST formally introduces its 10TB hard disk drive

HGST, a maker of hard disk drives that belongs to Western Digital, on Tuesday formally introduced the world’s first hard disk drive with 10TB capacity. The HDD was developed for active archive applications and is not designed to offer leading-edge performance. Moreover, to use it, owners of datacenters will need to optimize their software.

The HGST Ultrastar Archive Ha10 comes in 3.5” form-factor, is based on seven shingled magnetic recording (SMR) platters and is filled with helium. The new drive features Serial ATA-6Gb/s or SAS-6Gb/s interface as well as 7200rpm spindle speed. According to HGST, the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 has sustained read transfer rate of 157MB/s and sustained write transfer rate of 68MB/s. Average seek time of the drive is about 8.5ms. The Ultrastar Archive Ha10 is the third of HGST’s helium-based HDDs launched in less than two years.

“HGST’s helium-filled drives boasts industry-leading storage density, low power consumption and proven reliability with 2.5M hours MTBF,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing of HGST. “By layering SMR on top of helium, we are enabling massively-scalable, TCO-driven storage solutions with the performance and durability necessary for the long term retention of archived data. Making SMR design investments today minimizes incremental efforts for future SMR solutions, and gives our customers a time-to-market advantage for all current and future high capacity HDDs in the market.”

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HGST’s 10TB hard disk drives are designed for cloud datacenters that require maximum amount of storage. Since applications based on the new Ultrastar Archive Ha10 maximize storage density per cubic meter, the new hard drives will be popular among companies like Amazon Web Services and similar.

In fact, HGST warns that the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 is not a drop-in replacement for traditional capacity enterprise drives. To truly take advantage of the HDD, custom active archive applications with sequential write workloads are required. Since the drives use SMR platters, owners of datacenters will need to optimize their software for the HDD. Initial rollout of the 10TB hard drive is focused on cloud and OEM storage customers who have the in-house capability to develop the software required. As a result, at first such drives will be available at a request and will not be sold in retail.

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KitGuru Says: Without any doubts, 10TB hard disk drive is a breakthrough. However, to truly take advantage of increased capacities, datacentre owners will have to optimize their software since HDDs based on SMR technology are considerably slower than hard drives featuring PMR platters.

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