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Enterprise HDDs launch from Seagate, Toshiba

Flash may dominate the storage headlines, but there are still signs of life with HDDs.

Seagate showed off 12 TB helium-based enterprise HDDs at last week’s Open Compute Project Summit in Santa Clara, Calif. The company’s new 3.5-inch, helium-filled enterprise HDDs are currently shipping to cloud providers for evaluation, and volume shipments are due to start in June.

Seagate said its engineers worked with large cloud providers and OEMs to learn more about the challenges they face in storing unstructured data. Seagate then made firmware and hardware improvements to its helium-based enterprise HDDs: 50% higher capacity to enable customers to store more than 10 PB in a single 42U rack, a 21% increase in IOPS per watt for energy efficiency and a 20% boost in caching performance for faster access to data. The company said its new helium-based HDDs are designed to operate around the clock for five years in “rigorous data enterprise data center environments.”

Seagate’s HDD revenue had been declining until its fiscal fourth quarter of 2016, ending on July 1. The company’s revenue upswing continued for the next two quarters, as HDD capacity shipments hit a record 68.2 exabytes in the quarter ending Dec. 30, 2016.

Seagate executives attributed the HDD growth to an increase in cloud-based storage and strong demand for higher capacity products in the consumer, surveillance and NAS markets.

Revenue for enterprise HDDs grew 5% on a year-over-year basis in the December-ending quarter, according to Seagate.

A month ago, Toshiba launched a new line of 3.5-inch MN Series HDDs designed to bridge the gap between its high-end enterprise capacity HDDs and entry-level desktop HDDs. The 7,200 rpm, 6 Gbps SATA MN Series HDDs are available at capacities of 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB. Toshiba said the MN Series HDDs target mid-level, entry-level and small-office NAS enclosures, remote and home office backup and archival storage, and fixed-content object storage.

Enterprise HDDs from Toshiba include higher performing 2.5-inch, 12 Gbps and 6 Gbps SAS HDDs, capacity-focused 12 Gbps and 6 Gbps SAS 3.5-inch HDDs, and cloud-targeted 6 Gbps SATA 3.5-inch HDDs.

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