Seagate ships 8TB drive for video

The HDD supports up to 64 high-definition video streams at once

Seagate today announced its first 8TB hard disk drive (HDD) customized for recording video -- lots and lots of video.

The new 3.5-in. 8TB Surveillance HDD, which will retail for around $385 online, is designed to store more than 800 hours of high-definition (HD) content captured by up to 64 cameras simultaneously.

The new drive is engineered to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the company said.

Seagate, which unveiled the new drive today at the China Public Security Expo, said its previous HDDs couldn't handle some of the enormous data-write requirements of today's networked video recorders.

The previous drives also had to contend with overheating in server closets and vibration from nearby cooling fans, which could affect a drive's read/write heads.

The new 8TB Surveillance HDD uses lower operating power and rotational sensors that can dampen vibration when used in networked recording systems with multiple drives. These features are required in the rapidly growing, multibay network video recorder market.

Seagate began shipping the world's first 8TB, 3.5-in. HDD last year. That drive, aimed for use in data center storage arrays, used shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to increase its capacity beyond the previous 4TB limit. Seagate has said SMR holds the promise of creating 20TB drives by 2020.

With SMR technology, Seagate has been able to increase bit density on its platters by 25% or more. Unlike standard perpendicular magnetic recording, where data tracks rest side by side, SMR overlaps the tracks on a platter like shingles on a roof, thereby allowing Seagate to squeeze more tracks together on a platter.

The new 8TB Surveillance HDD uses conventional perpendicular magnetic recording technology to achieve its density through six 1.3TB platters; it also offers up to 240Mbps throughput. A high-definition camera stream is around 5Mbps.

The 8TB Surveillance HDD is rated to sustain up to 550TB of data written to it per year, meaning data can be overwritten time and time again without drive failure. The drive also comes in a 4TB version.

Another feature that differentiates the Surveillance HDD model is a lower operating power rating: The 4TB version uses 6 watts and the 8TB model uses 9 watts. In comparison, Seagate's 8TB Enterprise HDD uses 10 watts.

As with its previous-generation 8TB HDDs, the new models come with a 6Gbps SATA interface.

The Surveillance HDD line comes with a three-year warranty, which includes Seagate's "Rescue Service," a data recovery service to restore data in the event of a drive failure or destruction due to accidental damage or computer viruses or hardware failure.

"Seagate has worked closely with the top surveillance manufacturers to evolve the features of our Surveillance HDD products and deliver a customized solution that has precisely matched market needs in this evolving space for the last 10 years," Matt Rutledge, a Seagate senior vice president, said in a statement.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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