Seagate Unveils 1-TB, 2.5-Inch Enterprise Hard Drives

Seagate Monday unveiled its Constellation.2 hard drives, a new family in its line of 2.5-inch enterprise-class drives the company said is the first with capacities of up to 1 TB.

The Constellation.2 drives meet the 1-TB "sweet spot" for hard drives in servers and storage arrays, said Barbara Craig, senior product marketing manager at Seagate.

Squeezing that capacity into a 2.5-inch form-factor drive is important to the data center, as 2.5-inch drives represent a significant decrease in physical space and power requirements over 3.5-inch drives, Craig said. "Most servers use 2.5-inch hard drives," she said. "Our hope is that 2011 will be the turning point where people will be using more 2.5-inch hard drives in external storage."

The Constellation family is one of three Seagate families of 2.5-inch hard drives. The company's Pulsar family includes enterprise Solid State Drives (SSDs). The Savvio family includes enterprise drives with capacity of up to 600 GB and performance of 10,000 RPM and 15,000 RPM.

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In addition to its larger capacity of up to 1 TB, the Constellation.2 differs from the Savvio family in terms of performance, with a platter spin rate of 7,200 RPM.

The Constellation.2 drives are available in 1-TB and 500-GB models with both 6-Gbps SAS and SATA connectivity, and in a 256-GB, 6-Gbps SATA version.

While some enterprise storage arrays are being fitted with notebook PC hard drives to cut both physical space and power requirements, that comes with performance and reliability issues, Craig said.

"The Constellation.2 drives are over three times faster than notebook hard drives," she said. "Notebook drive vendors are trying to get into the enterprise space. But we offer twice the reliability of notebook drives. Notebook drives are designed for eight-hour-per-day operation, while ours are designed for 24x7 operation."

The drives are available to Seagate's OEM customers and via its distribution channel. The company's first OEM is Dell, which is featuring the drives in its 2U, 24-drive PowerVault MD1220 array.