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Western Digital’s Helium-filled drives are helping data centres go green

Around four years ago, Western Digital introduced the HelioSeal platform and began shipping helium-filled hard drives, pushing the market forward by offering extreme capacities and reducing energy consumption for enterprise users. It turns out that helium filled drives have caught on, as Western Digital announced today that it has managed to ship ten million of them so far.

“Western Digital is firmly committed to enabling an era where data is abundant and immediately accessible,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, Western Digital. “The velocity at which Western Digital achieved this milestone underscores the avid need for data ubiquity across cloud and on-premise. Architects who design for hyperscale environments are sparking rapid innovation because they understand how data fluency across an organization informs smarter decisions. This is key to unlocking the power of data.”

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Western Digital’s helium filled hard drives ship with 10TB of data, so with ten million of them out there, that amounts to 76 exabytes of storage. This amount of data spread over millions of 10TB helium-filled drives would save roughly 1 million kilowatt hours of operating power each day, which is around half the power required by 8TB air-filled drives. That saved energy could power 35,000 US homes a day. Essentially, WD’s HelioSeal tech would really help data centres around the world save energy and become more eco friendly.

KitGuru Says: Helium-filled drives might not mean much to regular system builders but for data centres and enterprise, this sort of energy saving technology is a big deal. Not only does it cut power costs, but it is better for the environment, which is becoming a big focus in the tech world.

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