- Seagate has released a new line of hard disk drives that can match the solid-state drive throughput.
- The drives are part of Seagate’s Mach.2 line, known as Exos 2X18. It is the second generation of Mach.2, coming in 16TB and 18TB capacity, and supports SATA3 6Gbps or SAS 12Gbps interfaces.
The hard disk drive consists of two drives in one, with two sets of platters served by two separate actuators, the arms with the drive heads, that work parallelly. So the 16TB/ 18TB capacity is gained through two 8TB/9TB drives packed into one 3.5-inch form factor. Helium is filled in The Mach.2 line to decrease friction.
More Details on HDDs
Most importantly, the two drives are 7,200 rpm, the standard in HDD drives, compared to the 10,000 rpm or 15,000 rpm drives used in pre-SSD days. Those drives were faster but achieved that speed by spinning the disk platters faster, thus generating highly incredible heat and having a higher failure rate than the 7,200 rpm drives.
The two actuators serve I/O requests concurrently through dedicated data channels. It allows the drive to gain maximum sustained transfer rates of 524 MBs, which is on par with a SATA3 SSD drive. The SAS drive provides 554 MBs sustained transfer rates.
It should be observed that those are transfer rates. Spinning media cannot match an SSD for random reads and writes. Read/ write IOPS for Exos 2X18 are recorded at 304/560, while a SATA SSD’s read/write IOPS can top 100k/90k.
Still, it destroys the single actuator-based HDDs. 20TB Exos X20 of Seagate also has a SATA3 interface and 7,2000 rpm spin speed, but its maximum transfer rate is just 270MBs, half the speed of the Exos 2X18.
HDDs have a place in enterprise storage for their capacity, and the Exos 2X18 is the best for cold storage and disaster-recovery systems where vast amounts of data may need to be retrieved. Doubling throughput will decrease recovery time considerably.
Seagate still needs to set a price or release date for the drives.