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Western Digital launches first 15TB SMR hard drive

WESTERN DIGITAL has taken the lead in the hard drive capacity stakes, with the first 15TB drive – the Ultrastar DC HC620 host-managed SMR HDD.

The SMR aspect stands for Shingle Magnetic Recording, a technique allowing for recording to take place on slightly overlapping ‘grooves’, thus increasing capacity.

In order to fully apply this tech, helium filled drives allow for the head to sit closer to the disc and follow it more accurately.

SMR discs aren’t ideal for reuse, but are perfect for the swathes of cold storage data that are being generated by devices and all requires somewhere to rest until called upon again.

Or in the words of Western Digital: “…enables rack-level scale of higher-performance “sequentialized” workloads such as video surveillance, object storage and cloud services.

“These emerging workloads for SMR optimization require data to be written sequentially and that is rarely updated, followed by random and frequent reads.”

The company which launched helium drives under its HGST imprint was already rocking a 14TB drive, but this extra terabyte means that a standard 4U rack can now hold a mighty 900TB, which translates into smaller space, which means higher capacity data centres.

“With data continuing to grow at unprecedented rates, many hyperscale and cloud storage customers know that their workloads trend toward data that is written sequentially. In these instances, customers are optimizing their infrastructures with the lowest TCO and the maximum capacity,” said Eyal Bek  at Western Digital.

“By capitalizing on our highest-capacity SMR storage solutions, our customers’ investment can not only be fully leveraged today, but for subsequent generations of SMR areal density improvements for continued infrastructure optimization.”

The Ultrastar DC HC620 host-managed SMR HDD is being sampled by WDD customers at present, ahead of a full rollout later this quarter. Prices, as is so often the case with these expensive discs, is on request.

Seagate said last year that it plans a 16TB drive by the end of this year. Time is running out. μ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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