by Adam Armstrong

Methods of SMR Data Management

SMR uses a mapping system for LBAs that want to get written randomly to only writing them sequentially. Similar to SSD’s Flash Translation Layer (FTL), SMR HDDs use what is sometimes called a SMR (or Shingle) Translation Layer (STL), which is a similar concept. With SMR, however, much more is to be gained by making the host aware of the underlying SMR technology. The industry is in the final stages of the standardization process for SMR with ZBC (Zoned Block Commands) being the standard for SAS and ZAC (Zoned ATA Commands) being the standard for SATA. These standards define a Zoned Block Device in which the LBA space is divided into independent Zones. Within each Zone, writes should be sequential. In order to overwrite data, it is necessary to first reset the zone, similar to an erase block in an SSD. What happens when non-sequential writes are sent to a Zone varies depending on the type of SMR implementation.

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by Adam Armstrong

WD Introduces 3.5” Purple NV For Surveillance

Today WD, a Western Digital company, introduced a new high capacity 3.5” hard drive purpose built for the greater demands of scalable network video recorder (NVR) surveillance systems, the WD Purple NV. The WD Purple NV comes in both 4TB and 6TB capacities and has a 3-year warranty.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Enterprise Performance 15K HDD With TurboBoost Review

The Seagate Enterprise Performance 15k HDD is the fifth generation of Seagate’s Enterprise Performance line. The drive is a 2.5” form factor, 15K SAS 12Gb/s HDD coupled with the “TurboBoost” of 32GB of eMLC flash for faster read and write performance as well as 128MB multisegmented cache. The drive comes with a maximum capacity of 600GB, twice the capacity of the previous generation. For buyers with data security in mind, there is also a secure model available with instant secure erase.

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by Adam Armstrong

HGST Deploys Over A Million Helium-Filled HDD Units

HGST, a Western Digital company, has announced a new milestone as they have deployed over a million of their helium-filled hard drive disks (HDD). With this news, HGST believes that its helium filled drives will become the mainstream choice for data centers where storage density, reliability and power efficiency are paramount. HGST is now shipping its second generation of HelioSeal Platform drives and is shifting its volume mix, increasing helium drive production, as demands for these drives are increasing in cloud and data center applications.

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by Adam Armstrong

Toshiba Introduces New 12Gb SAS Enterprise HDD

Today Toshiba Storage introduced a new 12Gb SAS interface enterprise HDD line, the AL13SX series. The AL13SX series is a 2.5” form factor, 12Gb SAS interface 512b native, 15,000 RPM, advanced format HDD. The AL13SX series comes in 300GB, 450GB, and 600GB capacities.

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by Adam Armstrong

WD Introduces World’s Most Power-Efficient, High Capacity Datacenter HDD

Today WD, a Western Digital company, announced the worlds most power-efficient, 6TB HDD for datacenters, the WD Re+ hard drive family. The new drives only consume 6 watts per 6TB. WD has also announced that the WD Re And WD Se will now be expanding to include a 6TB model as well.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Seagate Archive HDD Review (8TB)

The Seagate Archive HDD represents several major advancements in hard drive technology for the company. First, the massive 8TB capacity is Seagate's highest to date. Second, the methodology to get to that 8TB is new to the market. Seagate uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) to change the way tracks are laid out on the platters, which drives higher platter density. This new series of Archive HDDs isn't a general purpose drive however, that duty is aligned with the Enterprise Capacity family. In this case, as the name implies, the drives are intended for use in large-scale data centers where density, power consumption, data integrity and data retrieval are paramount.

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by Brian Beeler

What is Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)?

In the simplest terms, Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) is a new hard drive technology that allows the tracks on a platter to be layered on top of each other, just like roof shingles on a house, to increase platter density or tracks per inch (TPI). Current technology, Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), uses a parallel track layout. By increasing TPI with SMR technology and decreasing the space between tracks, SMR offers tremendous potential for overall hard drive capacity gains. The end product physically looks and feels like a standard PMR drive, with higher capacity in the same physical footprint. However, the architecture change means the user experience from a performance perspective will be dramatically different.

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by Tucker Mindrum

HGST Deskstar NAS 6TB HDD Review

HGST has expanded their line of Deskstar NAS HDDs to include a 6TB model, which is optimized for small enterprise, SOHO, or consumer environments leveraging up to 8-bay NAS systems. HGST has promised both reliability and performance from these 7,200RPM 3.5" drives, maintaining 1 million hours of use between failures and delivering seek times of less than 12ms. The new 6TB offering is a boost in capacity of 50% compared to HGST's previous top of the line 4TB drives. 

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by Lyle Smith

Toshiba MG04SCA Enterprise HDD Review

The Toshiba MG04SCA Series of enterprise hard drives leverage a 3.5" form factor, 7,200 RPM spindle and SAS interface in capacities up to 5TB. The drive is capable of throughput up to 205MB/s in the 5TB capacity, which uses five 1TB platters (the prior generation used 800GB/platter). The MG04SCA is also the first enterprise hard drive to ship with 4K native sector lengths, though an AF model is available as well. Toshiba also offers what they call "persistent write cache technology" with the drives, which delivers gains in performance and data reliability.

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