Storage Capacity, Performance: HGST Intros 10-TB Hard Drives, NVMe SSDs

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HGST's He8 helium-filled 8-TB hard drive

HGST on Tuesday significantly expanded its storage offerings with the introduction of several new high-capacity hard drives, including the world's first 10-TB hard drive, and new flash storage hardware and software.

The adoption of a dual strategy of focusing on capacity-centric storage and performance-centric storage stems from staggering growth in the amount of data stored, which is expected to grow by 10 times between 2013 and 2020, said Mike Cordano, president of HGST.

"Unlike most things, data's value increases over time," Cordano said during a Tuesday press conference. "Data is the new currency of the data center."

[Related: ​Western Digital's HGST: Helium-Filled Hard Drives]

HGST was acquired in 2012 by Western Digital, but is still operated as an independent competitor to its parent company due to the requirements of China's Ministry of Commerce.

On the capacity-centric side, HGST unveiled its Ultrastar 7K6000, which features up to 6 TBs using 1.2 TBs per platter, Cordano said.

The Ultrastar 7K6000 will be HGST's last "in-air" hard drive, as all future drives will feature HelioSeal, a technology that seals the drives and replaces air inside them with helium, Cordano said. HGST has said in the past that replacing air with helium, which requires new materials to prevent the gaseous element from leaking out, results in higher performance and lower power consumption vs. in-air drives because of the lower friction as platters spin in helium.

HGST also unveiled the Ultrastar He8, a new drive that combines HelioSeal with new PMR, or perpendicular magnetic recording, technology to create an 8-TB drive.

The company also said that it plans to offer a 10-TB helium-filled drive in the near future. It is currently in beta testing, Cordano said.

HGST is the second drive-maker to unveil 8-TB hard drives in the last couple weeks. Seagate on Aug. 26 said it started initial shipments of the world's first 8-TB hard drives, with general availability slated for the fourth quarter.

Capacity growth and the need to look at how to cut the cost of long-term storage is driving companies like HGST and Seagate to develop such high-capacity hard drives, said Todd Swank, director of product marketing at Equus Computer Systems, a Minneapolis-based system builder.

"Capacity is just crazy," Swank told CRN. "Everyone is talking about cold storage. If I were in the tape business, I'd be worried. Our SMB resellers are not looking at that much capacity yet, but our direct customers are talking a lot about capacity."

NEXT: HGST Introduces New Flash Storage Solutions To Boost Performance

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