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Western Digital pushes boundaries with a 15TB Ultrastar hard drive

By Greg S ยท 15 replies
Oct 25, 2018
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  1. Storage density improves for mechanical hard drives yet again as Western Digital introduces its 15TB Ultrastar DC HC620. Using shingled magnetic recording, data can be packed even tighter on platters, but with the side effect of adjacent tracks having to be rewritten on each pass.

    Home users may not see any significant difference between current 14TB options and a 15TB drive, but the increased storage density is important to cloud storage applications. Western Digital is pushing the new 15TB Ultrastar drives for smart cities that generate a lot of surveillance footage as well as advertising to government and regulatory bodies that require mass amounts of storage.

    At 15TB per drive, a completely filled 4U60 enclosure equates to approximately 900TB of storage. This is the equivalent of more than four extra 14TB drives per rack. Where floor space and power consumption per unit of storage matter, this can provide cost savings on large scale deployments.

    Similar to other high capacity drives, the Ultrastar DC HC620 makes use of helium to reduce internal friction forces. Arriving with SATA 6Gb/s or SAS 12GB/s options, Western Digital's latest drive gains a little performance over the 14TB model as well. Continuous transfers sit at 255MB/s compared to 234MB/s with no difference in power consumption during read and write operations. Idle power consumption has been ever so slightly reduced.

    Pricing has not yet been confirmed, but expect sticker shock upwards of $600 per drive if you are only looking for a small number of drives.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,132   +3,553

    Thankfully or hopefully in a few years the price will fall to a more user friendly cost. Using RAID I'd hate to have to buy 3+, of course I could put everything I have on the drive and not even begin to use 1/2 of it ... LOL
  3. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 364   +366

    Hopefully the price/GB will drop too. It seems as though larger drives just cost orders of magnitude more than proportionally smaller ones.
    Evernessince likes this.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,783   +3,168

    They do indeed. You are paying for the density. If that isn't important to you then just buy smaller drives. Right now the sweet spot is 8TB. Buying anything bigger then that comes with a large price premium per TB.
  5. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 713   +337

    Does it come with 15 year warranty? 1year per terabyte seems fair. Companies that will buy them for data centers wont care about the price or even its reliability. We, computer users, will. I dont want this monster to fail after 3 years like 90% of my hard drives. They die in laptops, external enclosures, and inside my computer. My WDD black with 5 year warranty is near the end of it. And I know, I should back up some of the things I keep on it. But what to copy this files to when they are so unreliable lately ....
  6. MikeOD

    MikeOD TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +16

    And being a WD, it will cease working after recording 500 Mb.
  7. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 512   +128

    My experience is that WD in recent years works forever. Older 10+ years ago WD was crap but not now!!!

    Now Seagate is the crap HD. I have finally purge the last Seagate in my systems. Will never buy Seagate again!!!
  8. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 512   +128

    I want 10 of these!
  9. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 331   +182

    Remember the days when the first 1 Gigabyte drives came out...and we all thought, 'There's no way I'm going to fill this thing up.'

    And the same thing when we got our first 100 Giggers...then our first 1 terragiggers.
  10. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,139   +1,303

    The increased size is great, no doubt, but are todays drives more reliable?
    We change out enterprise HDD's constantly.
  11. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 132   +67

    Space .... the final frontier
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    15TB $600, I can buy a lot of other things for that sort of money. Prices will drop later in the years and I am sure the kicks will be out in this drive by then.
  13. dbk55

    dbk55 TS Rookie

    I haven't checked, but these may be enterprise drives, with 10,000 rpm speeds, etc. Prices always drop. But if they're not enterprise drives, price/TB will come down faster. Bleeding edge technology is always expensive, though.
  14. dbk55

    dbk55 TS Rookie

    My hard drives (even in laptops) last for ~ten years, because I avoid letting them spin down and power off. Not great for battery life on the road, but at home, battery life isn't an issue. Electronics don't like being powered on and off. Thermal expansion and contraction leads to cracks in components as they age and dry out. Hard drives are designed to run 24/7.

    My power plan has my systems, when plugged in, never sleep or hibernate. The only exception is that my screen saver is the blank screen, which will cause the display to turn off. It's not "green", but it's great for reliability and longevity. You still have to back up, though, just in case.
  15. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 713   +337

    Thanks for info, I'm gonna change it for my last PC hhd I use.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,783   +3,168

    There are no high capacity 10,000 RPM hard drives


    It really doesn't make sense to buy them either when an equal size SSD can be had for the same or lower price. And yes these are enterprise drives. In fact, the only 14TB HDDs on the market are all targeted at professionals and enterprise only. These drives don't make sense for a vast majority of consumers who can just buy two 8TB hard drives and still have at least $200..

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