Western Digital's upcoming 26TB HDD can store a whopping 2.6TB per platter

Humza

Posts: 1,007   +170
Staff member
Bottom line: WD recently announced a slew of storage products, and the Ultrastar-branded 26TB DC HC670 and 22TB DC HC570 take the lead when it comes to HDD data storage and areal density. Closing in on the slower medium's capacity advantage, meanwhile, is the upcoming Ultrastar 15.36TB DC SN650 NVMe SSD. These drives are currently being tested with select WD customers and will begin shipping in the coming months.

WD has included a host of storage technologies in what it says are the world's first 22TB CMR-based and 26TB SMR-based HDDs. The latter, denser model is able to store 2.6 terabytes of data per platter, while the former CMR version can store 2.2 terabytes on each of its 10 stacked platters.

In addition to outright capacity, these helium drives also utilize WD's ArmorCache technology that aims to combine the performance benefits of write cache enable with the data protection of write cache disable state. They achieve this feat with OptiNAND technology, seen previously in WD's 20TB ePMR drive.

Faster and high-capacity UFS storage onboard the drive enables all data in the DRAM cache to be written on the non-volatile memory in case of a power outage, allowing for up to 40 percent faster IOPS performance over non-OptiNAND drives with 256KB and larger files, and a peak 80 percent improvement with 1MB transfer sizes during random writes.

Moreover, ArmorCache is said to improve overall performance as the drive doesn't require time consuming data integrity checks upon reboot and can quickly resume normal write operations. WD says the tech can also help companies cut down on UPS / battery costs as it is meant to ensure that cache data is successfully written in the event of a power loss.

The third Ultrastar-branded drive is the TLC-based DC SN650, a capacious 15.36TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for enterprise customers looking for more premium, low-latency storage with much faster throughput than HDDs.

WD didn't share performance numbers for the drives but noted that the SSD, currently being sampled, will be available in Q2 2022 in the slimmer E1.L size for servers as well as the regular 2.5-inch form factor. The aforementioned HDDs are also being sampled with select customers and expected to arrive in the summers.

Meanwhile, smaller businesses and home NAS users will also be able to purchase 22TB drives soon with the launch of WD Purple Pro (video/surveillance), Red Pro (NAS) and Gold (enterprise-grade) HDDs.

Pricing for these CMR drives is yet to be revealed, however, prospective buyers can expect overall cost per gigabyte to continue its downward trend. Like WD's recently announced gaming-focused Black SN850X and P40 SSDs, these drives will begin shipping in the summer.

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Geralt

Posts: 1,126   +1,742
They will be very expensive. Not practical. Better grab a 4TB SSD, except you have a super massive pile of videos.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,771   +674
I remember when shoving more than three platters into a single drive was almost akin to witchcraft. You're telling me the same form facter now can have TEN platters now (and I assume an IO head for each side)? WITCHCRAFT ha ha ha...
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
Looks like the perfect media server drives, and I'm sure, expensive as others have mentioned. You don't really need super fast read and write speeds to stream media across an internal network. Platter media has it's place still in the storage world. Imagine slapping 4 of those bad boys into a NAS! Anyone else remember the old 10 MB drives back in the DOS era? We've come a long way in a very short amount of time.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 4,413   +5,144
Looks like the perfect media server drives, and I'm sure expensive as others have mentioned. You don't really need super fast read and write speeds to stream media across an internal network. Platter media has it's place still in the storage world. Imagine slapping 4 of those bad boys into a NAS! Anyone else remember the old 10 MB drives back in the DOS era? We've come a long way in a very short amount of time.
I remember my first gigabyte hard-drive, mind blowing
 

dualkelly

Posts: 200   +242
They will be very expensive. Not practical. Better grab a 4TB SSD, except you have a super massive pile of videos.
I currently have a 8drive raid with 12tb hard drives that gives me roughly 80tbs of storage capacity. Being in raid they roughly get a write speed of about 500mb/s which is give or take a slow ssd speed at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost me to have 80tbs with ssd only storage.
With these 26tb drives I can now have the same data backed up onto 4 hard drives with 10TB to expand,
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 166   +395
I remember when shoving more than three platters into a single drive was almost akin to witchcraft. You're telling me the same form facter now can have TEN platters now (and I assume an IO head for each side)? WITCHCRAFT ha ha ha...
The switch to sealed Helium drives allowed them to push past 5 platters by reducing drag and turbulence between the platter and head, allowing them to reduce the space needed between platters.

I still remember the 20MB drive in my XT, having to type in the park command in DOS before shutdown to park the heads, otherwise they crashed onto the platter when you shutdown the PC...Not to mention reads speeds measured in KB/s!

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,756   +7,669
I'm just disappointed that the SSD makers can't come a little closer to catching up with some of these drives. Even having a reasonably priced 3 to 5 TB SSD would be a great start ......
 

trparky

Posts: 1,087   +1,232
I'm just disappointed that the SSD makers can't come a little closer to catching up with some of these drives. Even having a reasonably priced 3 to 5 TB SSD would be a great start ......
SSDs are meant for fast storage; HDDs are meant for archival storage. Different products with different use cases.

Now if we can also increase the reliability of HDDs, that would be cool too.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,771   +674
Why so much? Anyone can explain?
Comes down to math. Most HDD manufacturers advertise capacities with base 10 (1000 bytes to a kilobyte) Si units and not the base 2 (1024 bytes to a kilobyte) that computers actually use, so 24TB is actually 21.83TB if I'm mathing correctly (no promises). A true 24TB drive would have a raw capacity of 26,388,279,066,624 bytes, not 24,000,000,000,000 bytes.
 

dualkelly

Posts: 200   +242
Why so much? Anyone can explain?
Comes down to math. Most HDD manufacturers advertise capacities with base 10 (1000 bytes to a kilobyte) Si units and not the base 2 (1024 bytes to a kilobyte) that computers actually use, so 24TB is actually 21.83TB if I'm mathing correctly (no promises). A true 24TB drive would have a raw capacity of 26,388,279,066,624 bytes, not 24,000,000,000,000 bytes.
to madboyv1 point Its a form of false advertising that they are allowed to get away with. seems to have been a battle lost in time really because no one cares. There are some good hard drive space calculators you can use to show size after formatting.
The best one ive found is
http://www.endmemo.com/data/diskcapacity.php
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,771   +674
to madboyv1 point Its a form of false advertising that they are allowed to get away with. seems to have been a battle lost in time really because no one cares. There are some good hard drive space calculators you can use to show size after formatting.
The best one ive found is
http://www.endmemo.com/data/diskcapacity.php
I did not need the link (multiplying/dividing by 1000 or 1024 to do what I need to is easy enough) but thank you for the resource on behalf of anyone else who would find it useful. Good to know my formatted number lines up with that calculator ha ha ha.

As for false advertising... It's been a long while since I paid attention to the retail packaging for any storage drive, but I'm pretty sure there is at least one disclaimer that the formatted storage space will be smaller, and/or they make the distinction that 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes or something like that. Some even specifically mention the "max usable storage" where they provide the formatted space. They are advertising in base 10, and technically that is what the computer has available, but it converts and then reports the number in base 2. Ambiguous to a fault (and annoying when you're not familiar with it), but not false when provided with such disclaimers.

Of course that did not stop Seagate from being sued and then settling out of court in regards to the practice back in 2007, and then everyone went on with their lives ha ha ha...