Seagate doubles capacity of data center hard drive

New Savvio10.4K SAS drive cuts power needs by 60%, boosts MTFB to 2M hours

Seagate Technology today released its highest capacity, enterprise-class hard disk drive, doubling the previous storage limit if its high-end systems.

The Savvio10.4K 2.5-in serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drive, aimed at external storage arrays, also increases meantime before failures (MTBF) by 25% compared to earlier devices while reducing power consumption by 60%.

The new drive includes 450GB and 600GB models that are best suited for tier 2 applications - as opposed to Fibre Chanel and solid-state drives suited to tier 1 applications.

The company boosted the drive's interface to 4Gbit/sec compared to 2Gbit/sec for the previous high-end offering. The company said the new model increases the capacity per platter from 150GB to 200GB, improving the areal density on the three-platter drive.

"Obviously, with the greater capacity points you get a higher dollar to gigabyte metric," said Teresa Worth, Seagate senior product marketing manager.

Seagate said it boosted the MTBF from 1.6 million hours on its previous SAS and Fibre Channel drives to 2 million hours on the 10.4K. The company contended that while the drive's warranty remains at the five-year level of the previous movel, the drive will last longer than the older models.

The Savvio 10.4K is available with a self-encryption option, and optional PowerChoice modes, which allow administrators to customize how much power the drive uses by setting it in any one of four different idle modes. The regular idle mode uses 4.6 watts of power and affords sub-second activation; a second level unloads the drive's read/write head and uses 4 watts, a third setting reduces the drive motor's RPMs and uses 2.4 watts of power and in full standby mode, the drive uses just 1.8 watts of power.

"Even not using the PowerChoice feature, the new form factor alone on this drive uses 60% less power than a 3.5-in 15K drive," said Dean Ahuja, senior director of enterprise product line management at Seagate.

Howard Shoobe, senior manager of Dell storage product management, said in a statement that the new 2.5-inch drive will allow a doubling of capacity within the same rack space of current 3.5-in 15,000rpm 600GB drives "while increasing overall system-level performance and decreasing power usage."

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

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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