Western Digital's HGST division introduced the Ultrastar He6, world's first helium-filled hard disk. This new disk features seven platters and offers a storage capacity of 6TB. It promises the best Watt-per-TB performance in the HDD market and should also run cooler than traditional HDDs. No pricing was revealed but considering that these disks aim at the enterprise market they will probably be quite expensive.
HGST, a Western Digital company (NASDAQ: WDC), today announced that it is shipping the 6TB Ultrastar He6 hard disk drive (HDD). Key OEM, cloud and research leaders working closely with HGST to qualify the drive include HP, Netflix, Huawei Unified Storage, CERN, Green Revolution Cooling and Code42, as well as some of the world’s largest social media and search companies. Revealed in September 2012, HGST’s cutting-edge HelioSeal™ platform provides a path for higher capacity storage for decades to come while significantly lowering customer total cost of ownership (TCO). Leveraging the inherent benefits of helium, which is one-seventh the density of air, the new Ultrastar He6 drive features HGST’s innovative 7Stac™ disk design with 6TB, making it the world’s highest capacity HDD with the best TCO for cloud storage, massive scale-out environments, disk-to-disk backup, and replicated or RAID environments.
“With ever-increasing pressures on corporate and cloud data centres to improve storage efficiencies and reduce costs, HGST is at the forefront delivering a revolutionary new solution that significantly improves data centre TCO on virtually every level – capacity, power, cooling and storage density – all in the same 3.5-inch form factor,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST. “Not only is our new Ultrastar helium hard drive helping customers solve data center challenges today, our mainstream helium platform will serve as the future building block for new products and technologies moving forward. This is a huge feat, and we are gratified by the support of our customers in the development of this platform.”
Through HGST’s innovative and patented HelioSeal process, the Ultrastar He6 drive is the industry’s first hermetically sealed helium-filled HDD that can be cost-effectively manufactured in high volume. The breakthrough development of the hermetically sealed process is arriving just in time as key market requirements are colliding with HDD areal density constraints. According to IDC, areal density growth rates have slowed, and are expected at a rate of less than 20 percent per year from 2011 to 2016. Moving forward, HGST’s helium platform will serve as the main platform for new technologies like shingled magnetic recording (SMR) and heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) where HGST will continue to push the HDD areal density envelope. The helium platform will also serve as the future building block for new, growing market segments such as cold storage, a space that HGST plans to address over the next couple of years.
"HDD industry areal density growth is not keeping pace with the rate of storage capacity growth in enterprise data centers," said John Rydning, research vice president, IDC. "HGST's proprietary, new, hermetically sealed, helium-filled HDD solution – the industry's first helium filled platform that simultaneously increases capacity while lowering power consumption and operating temperature – is intersecting the market at a time when IT managers are seeking out capacious and energy efficient new disk drives that will help to reduce the total cost of ownership of enterprise storage systems."
TCOptimized™ - Driving Down Data Center TCO with Helium
The amount of data that companies need to store is growing exponentially, but IT budgets remain flat. With 6TB, a low 5.3 idle watts, a reduced weight of 640g, and running at 4-5°C cooler, the new Ultrastar He6 lowers data centre TCO on virtually every level. Key TCO benefits when compared to a 3.5-inch, five-platter, air-filled 4TB drive include:
Highest Capacity HDD on the Market; 6TB, Seven-disk Design, Providing the Best TCO
Lowest Power Consumption with Best Watts-per-TB
23 percent lower idle power per drive
49 percent better watts-per-TB
Best Density Footprint in a Standard 3.5-inch Form Factor
50 percent higher capacity
Lighter Weight than a Standard Five-disk 3.5-inch Drive
50g lighter even with two more disks, offering 50 percent more capacity