Three years ago Western Digital released its first helium-filled HDDs and about a half year ago the company started marketing the first helium-filled HDDs for the consumer market. We've heard pretty little about these disks but it seems datacenters bought a lot of units as WD just announced its HelioSeal line has surpassed the 10 million unit milestone.
There are about 76 exabytes worth of helium-filled WD HDDs in the wild and the company claims the 10 million disks save about 1 million kWh of operating power each day versus air-filled disks.
Helping the world harness the power of data, Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it has shipped more than 10 million helium-filled hard disk drives (HDDs) since the company first introduced the HelioSeal platform four years ago. First shipped in 2013, Western Digital’s HelioSeal platform has consistently pushed the envelope in terms of capacity and total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits, becoming the highest density HDDs, best suited for massive scale-out workloads.
“Extreme capacity hard drives are increasingly a key value enabler for enterprise applications and Western Digital continues to be a technology and time-to-market leader in terms of delivering capacity-optimized enterprise HDDs,” said John Chen, vice president, TRENDFOCUS. “As cloud and traditional enterprise customers continue to develop applications that make use of all of their accessible data, high density drives will be a crucial component that enable cost-effective storage of that data at scale. Western Digital’s HelioSeal platform has proven to be a key differentiator that addresses high capacity needs.”
With roots tracing back to the first hard drive manufactured 60 years ago, Western Digital continues to lead the industry by delivering innovative and reliable storage solutions that help solve challenges faced by customers in the datacenter. The HelioSeal technology complements future magnetic recording technologies, and will enable even higher density HDDs expressly designed for enterprise applications and hyperscale workloads that require capacity to capture vast amounts of operational and historical data. Helium-based drives are also well suited for applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), search and social media. Spanning three generations, the HelioSeal platform enables the highest density HDDs available today and delivers the highest HDD reliability ratings to reinforce its capabilities for use in cloud and enterprise workloads where availability and reliability are paramount concerns.
Underscoring the overall TCO benefits is the power efficiency of the HelioSeal platform. The 10 million helium hard drives, or approximately 76 exabytes (EB) of storage capacity, are a testament to energy efficiency at scale. As architects continue to design for hyperscale cloud applications, 76EB of data stored on 10TB helium-filled drives would save over 1 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of operating power each day, about half the power required for 8TB air-filled drives. The energy saved in one day of operation from these drives would be enough to power about 35,000 U.S. homes for the same day, illustrating how the efficiency of the HelioSeal line can help data center architects meet eco-environmental goals and requirements.
“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.”