Seagate releases 2TB enterprise-class drive

The drives can power down to save energy when not in use

Seagate Technology LLC today launched its first 2TB enterprise-class disk drive as part of a new family of near-line SAS and SATA drives.

The new Constellation 2.5-in. and Constellation ES 3.5-in. drives come in Serial Attached SCSI 6Gbit/sec. or Serial ATA 3Gbit/sec. models and include a feature that allows them to shut down when not in use to save power.

The Constellation ES stores up to 500GB on four platters with an areal density of 368 gigabits per square inch
Seagate's Constellation ES 2TB drive

Western Digital Corp. released a 2TB drive last month, but it was a SATA drive aimed at desktop and external storage applications.

Western Digital's 2TB drive uses four 500GB platters, each of which has 400Gbit-per-square-inch areal density. It has a transfer rate of 3Gbit/sec. and a 32MB cache. Its suggested retail price is $299.

Seagate's Constellation and Constellation ES models -- also four-platter drives rotating at 7,200 rpm -- are aimed at data center operations. They come with 32MB cache on the SATA model and 16MB cache on the SAS model and will replace Seagate's Barracuda ES (download PDF) enterprise drives.

Seagate did not provide retail pricing for the new drives.

The Constellation drives will be available this quarter in 160GB and 500GB capacities. Constellation ES drives will be available in the third quarter and will offer capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.

Seagate said it is targeting the new Constellation drives at Tier 2 applications, or near-line storage, which is one level below 15,000-rpm Fibre Channel and SAS drives, which are used for primary storage. Seagate's drives will reside in disk arrays and servers that sit between primary storage and tape archive systems.

The fact that the new drives can be powered down using Seagate's PowerChoice firmware when not in use will cut power consumption by up to 54% in enterprise environments, Seagate said in a statement.

John Monroe, a vice president of research at Gartner Inc., said the need for devices with greater storage capacity "will continue to expand in multiple directions and dimensions, but there will be an increasing scrutiny of all storage system purchases, with an eye to decreasing power consumption, footprint and cost per gigabyte in unprecedented ways."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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