Hitachi ships first 3TB enterprise-class SATA hard drive

The new Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 bumps MTBF to 2 million hours, a key metric for enterprise users

Hitachi GST today announced the first 3TB enterprise-class hard disk drive, the Ultrastar 7K3000, a 7,200rpm drive that comes with either 6Gbit/sec. serial SCSI (SAS) and serial ATA (SATA) interfaces.

Like its predecessor -- the 3.5-in A7K2000 -- the new drive has five platters, but it increases the areal density on those disks by 50%, from 400GB per platter to 600GB. More important for enterprise-class users, the Ultrastar 7K3000 has a guaranteed meantime between failure of 2 million hours, and the SAS version is dual ported for resiliency.

"Serial ATA drives typically have 1.2 million hour MTBFs. And typically, high-performance drives have higher reliability, but they also have a higher price," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi GST. "In looking at quality reports from our customers ... we realized we were blowing away our own [specifications]. In the field we were meeting 2 million to 3 million MTBF."

The ability to guarantee 40% more usable life than drives that have 1.2 million MTBF ratings means data centers can reduce their overall total cost of ownership for servers and arrays using the hardware, Collins said.

"We're guaranteeing it," Collins said.

The drive also sports 32% lower watts used per gigabyte of capacity compared with its predecessor and it comes with native data encryption.

The new Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 family also comes in a 2TB offering, and it is now shipping with a 6Gb/s SATA interface worldwide. The Ultrastar 7K3000 SAS family will be available in mid-2011.

Hitachi said it will allow equipment manufacturers to decide on user pricing.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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