Storage is a big deal right now. Consumers routinely pick up thousands of gigabytes for cheap, and we’re all flirting with cloud storage which requires companies to run tons of redundant back ups. We’re creeping up on the maximum density per platter that physics will allow for packing info on a spinning disc, but other concerns can limit hard disc storage as well.
Namely air turbulence.
Yep. High performance drives spin up quickly. That 7200RPM badge on the side of your drive is commonplace these days, but that’s still pretty incredible when you think about it. Every second the platters are rotating 120 times. Those platters are designed around a certain fault tolerance and thermal envelope. Run them too hot too long and they’ll fail.
We’ve already posted about the new “shingled” array that Seagate and WD will look to use to pack more info on a drive, but that comes with certain sensitivities. Also, with each improvement in storage density comes the risk of losing even more data in the event of failure. HGST looks to improve run time and durability by hermetically sealing the drive in an envelope of Helium.
Helium is lighter than air, so there should be less resistance and turbulence. Less turbulence means less power is needed to spin the drive up, which results in less heat generated and a cooler operation temperature. Cooler temps should deliver long life cycles. It’s a very interesting solution for providing a more robust storage architecture. This kind of big storage affects every kind of service we use online today from social networking to streaming video.
HGST says the drives are “generally available now”, but bxpect the first applications to be for corporate storage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these drives trickling out into consumer grade workstations next year.
Full PR after the jump.
First Hermetically Sealed, Helium HDD Platform Provides Path for Higher Capacity Storage, While Significantly Lowering Power and Cooling, and Improving Storage Density
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Cloud Expo Silicon Valley (Booth #209), November 4, 2013 – 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 centers to improve storage efficiencies and reduce costs, HGST is at the forefront delivering a revolutionary new solution that significantly improves data center 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 center 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
- Best Density Footprint in a Standard 3.5-inch Form Factor -50 percent higher capacity
- -49 percent better watts-per-TB
- Lighter Weight than a Standard Five-disk 3.5-inch Drive
– 50g lighter even with two more disks, offering 50 percent more capacity
– 38 percent lower weight-per-TB
Pushing New Limits: Ultrastar He6 Enables Liquid Cooling in the Data Center – See the Demo at Cloud Expo, Booth 209
Data center designers and server vendors are continuing to pack more capability into smaller spaces, and with that, effective cooling is becoming a new challenge due to hotter components and less space for efficient airflow. One solution, which has been explored by many, is liquid cooling. Liquid, which is denser than air, can remove heat more efficiently and maintain a more constant operating temperature. However, traditional drives cannot be submerged as they are open to the atmosphere and would allow the cooling liquid inside, damaging or destroying the HDD. HGST’s HelioSeal platform provides the only cost-effective solution for liquid cooling as the drives are hermetically sealed and enable operation in most any non-conductive liquid. Today, HGST is working with leading innovators in this space such as Huawei and Green Revolution Cooling.
HGST Ultrastar He6 Availability
The 6TB HGST Ultrastar He6 hard drives are now generally available. For more information, please visit: http://www.hgst.com
“As a leader in Big Data solutions, HP is constantly working to improve storage densities. Partnering with HGST on their Ultrastar He6 drive allows HP to continue that leadership; delivering cost effective solutions to keep up with today’s growing storage demands,” said Jimmy Daley, director of Smart Storage, HP.
“The Netflix Open Connect delivery platform is a highly optimized video content delivery network. We serve billions of hours of streaming video per quarter to over 40 million subscribers,” said David Fullagar, director of Content Delivery Architecture, Netflix. “As part of our efforts to optimize the delivery ecosystem for Netflix and our Internet Service Provider partners, we strive to build better and better streaming appliances. The high storage density and lower power usage of the Ultrastar He6 hard drives allow us to continue with that goal, and create a great customer experience.”
“Huawei is very excited to be working with HGST. HGST has invited Huawei, one of the world’s leading information and communications solutions providers, to become one of the first helium drive customers in Asia Pacific to collaborate on storage applications utilizing the new helium hard drives,” said Mr. Fan Ruiqi, president of Huawei storage product line. “With the new HGST Ultrastar He6 drives, Huawei will be able to expand its product line with a strong competitive offering that has industry-leading lower power consumption and operating temperature, and an 87.5% improvement the system storage density compared to the current industry standard.”
“Over the past 20 years, we’ve recorded more than 100 petabytes of physics data and our projected data growth rate is accelerating,” said Olof Bärring, IT Department section leader responsible for facility planning and procurement, CERN. “To scale efficiently, we must deploy vast amounts of cost-effective storage with the best TCO. We have tested the helium drive and it looks very promising: it surpassed our expectations on power, cooling and storage density requirements. We’re excited about the opportunity to qualify the HGST Ultrastar He6 hard drive in our environment.”
“Our CarnotJet™ data center cooling system provides simple, high-performance data center expansion that can be dropped virtually anywhere in the world,” said Christiaan Best, founder and CEO of Green Revolution Cooling. “Today a data center using the CarnotJet technology uses half the power of a traditional data center, with servers using 10% – 20% less power, and the facility cooling using an average of 95% less power when compared to air. With HGST’s new breakthrough 6TB Ultrastar He6 drives, we will not only be able to offer the highest storage density per container, but with the drive’s low power and low temperature, we can significantly lower power and cooling costs even further. These developments equal huge savings for our data center customers.”
“Our CrashPlan enterprise endpoint backup is trusted by thousands of leading brand-name organizations worldwide,” said Dan Mack, director of cloud engineering, Code42. “HGST’s current 4TB enterprise-class drives help CrashPlan quickly scale to meet our customers’ growing data storage needs. We’re now evaluating the new, low-power Ultrastar He6 drives as they provide 50 percent more capacity in the same 3.5-inch HDD footprint, while helping reduce power and cooling costs.”
HGST, a Western Digital company (NASDAQ: WDC), develops innovative, advanced hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, external storage solutions and services used to store, preserve and manage the world’s most valued data. HGST addresses customers’ rapidly changing storage needs by delivering intelligent storage devices that tightly integrate hardware and software to maximize solution performance. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, HGST provides high-value storage for a broad range of market segments, including Enterprise, Cloud, Data Center, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Personal Storage. HGST was established in 2003 and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hgst.com.
– See more at: http://www.hgst.com/press-room/press-releases/hgst-ships-6TB-Ultrastar-HE6-helium-filled#sthash.z9ZubTI6.dpuf