HGST HAS released its first 10TB helium-filled drive for general purpose data centre use.
The Ultrastar He10 uses 56 percent fewer watts per terabyte than an air-filled drive and can operate anywhere, even underwater, as it is encased in a micro-climate.
The INQUIRER spoke to Brendan Collins, HGST's vice president of HDD product marketing, who told us: "One of the things that we're seeing is that modern data centres are rarely ambient. They can be hotter, drier, colder or more harsh in terms of contamination in their environment.
"What we've found in the last generations of the helium drives is that they tend to be more reliable in these environments because of the sealed nature of the product."
The Western Digital subsidiary has already released one 10TB helium drive, using its 'shingling' technique that allows more, overlapping tracks, but this is the first time a conventionally formatted drive has been made available using this technology.
"Over the past few years we've shipped around four million of these products. What's really striking is the rate of adoption, and a lot of that has to do with the reliability and the TCO of the product," said Collins.
"When the first generation of products came out there was quite a premium on price per terabyte, but after about six months of this third generation we're expecting that price to cross over with the cost of air drives for the first time, as adoption has increased allowing us to make quantity-of-scale reductions."
The drive is currently being sampled with selected HGST clients, and will be available early next year as a bare unit or part of HGST's Active Archive petabyte scale out system.
The He10 joins the existing 6GB and 8GB versions, as well as the 8GB and 10GB shingle versions for cold storage. HGST has confirmed that, although it will not make any new 'air' drives in higher than 8GB capacities, there will continue to be a need for smaller capacities of air drive and that the company is committed to both technologies. µ
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