10 Terabyte Helium-filled hard disk available
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), an owned subsidiary of Western Digital, announced that its Ultrastar HelioSeal hard disk drives are now fully field tested and rated for two and a half million hours mean time between failure (MTBF). It has begun shipping a sample of 10TB hard drives to select customers. Moreover, it claims that 50 per cent of its enterprise-class HDDs will be filled with helium by 2017.
Helium-filled hard disk drives are more challenging to manufacture than traditional HDDs. However, helium’s density is seven times lower than that of air, it is possible to reduce the flying height of the read-write heads and install more platters inside the drive. Moreover, there is less resistance, and as a consequence a reduction in power consumption of the motors. This allows retaining the 7200rpm spindle speed on high-capacity hard drives. HGST also claim that the helium inside the drives reduces disk vibration and flutter, which further improves reliability.
A statement from HGST reads, “Based on the patented HelioSeal technology, HGST’s Ultrastar Helium-filled drives are the only drives that improve data center TCO on virtually every level—from storage density, power and cooling costs, to reliability, capacity and more. We also believe it is the only way to get to higher densities therefore higher capacities while maintaining reliability.”