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HGST Pioneers Industry’s First 10TB Drive

Formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, it’s safe to say that the team with HGST knows their way around data storage. As such, the fact that they’ve managed to release the very first 10 TB hard drive into the industry should come as no surprise. Nevertheless, their latest announcement already has their competitors scrambling to catch up.

However, it is important to note that the drive isn’t really meant for use by the average consumer - at least not yet. In fact, the new drive, which is known as the Ultrastar Archive Ha10, is meant specifically for enterprise-level applications that value capacity over speed. As noted by HGST, the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 is best suited for environments which use active archive storage tiers. Instead of a replacement, the 10 TB hard drive should be viewed as an addition to a previously established system.

In order to achieve such high capacities, the team with HGST used a technique called shingled magnetic recording, or SMR. The technology is called this due to the way individual data tracks overlap with one another, which can be likened to that of the shingles on the roof of your house.
Furthermore, HGST also used helium to fill in the airspace inside the drive. The process, which was pioneered by HGST, is known as HelioSeal technology. It results in less power consumption while also minimizing the risk of overheating as a result of friction within the drive. HGST’s HelioSeal technology is currently in its second generation of usage.
Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing with HGST, talked about the design by saying: “HGST’s helium-filled drives boasts industry-leading storage density, low power consumption and proven reliability with 2.5M hours MTBF. 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.
HGST’s HelioSeal technology has already proven quite popular amongst its users. Miroslaw Klaba, vice president of research and development with OVH, explained how HGST’s patented technology has helped his company in the past by saying: “As Europe’s leading cloud service provider, our growth has been unprecedented. Our ability to scale efficiently, quickly, and smartly is premised on innovative products and technologies that are right-sized for a compute and storage-rich environment. We have identified both HelioSeal and host-managed SMR as two cornerstone recording technologies that provide a transformational means to our datacenter deployment and service offerings.”
With the exception of its large capacity, the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 is comparable to other drives on the market. It features a speed of 7,200 RPM and a 6 Gbps Sata host interface, ultimately giving it a sustained data transfer speed of 68 MBps when writing or 157 MBps for reading. The drive includes a five-year warranty from HGST.

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