by Lyle Smith

HGST 6TB Ultrastar He6 HDD Now Shipping

Update 3/26/2014: HGST Ultrastar Helium 6TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review

HGST, a Western Digital company, has announced that it is shipping the 6TB Ultrastar He6 hard disk drive.  Revealed in September of last year, HGST’s HelioSeal platform makes way for higher capacity storage in the years to come while substantially lowering customer total cost of ownership (TCO). By using the inherent benefits of helium, the new Ultrastar He6 drive features HGST’s innovative 7Stac disk design with 6TB. This makes it the world’s highest capacity HDD with the best TCO for cloud storage, massive scale-out environments, disk-to-disk backup, and replicated or RAID environments.

Using HGST’s patented HelioSeal process, the Ultrastar He6 drive is the industry’s first hermetically sealed helium-filled HDD that can also be manufactured in high volume in a cost-effective manner. HGST’s helium-based platform will serve as the main platform for new technologies like shingled magnetic recording and heat-assisted magnetic recording. Additionally, the new platform will serve as the future building block for new, growing market segments such as cold storage, an area that HGST plans to address.

Liquid can remove heat more efficiently and maintain a more constant operating temperature than air. However, traditional drives cannot be submerged as they are open to the elements and would thus allow the cooling liquid inside, damaging or destroying the HDD. HGST’s HelioSeal platform provides the only cost-effective solution for liquid cooling; drives are hermetically sealed and are able to operate in almost any non-conductive liquid.

Featuring 6TB, a low 5.3 idle watts, a reduced weight of 640g, and running 4-5°C cooler, the new Ultrastar He6 lowers data center TCO on almost every level. Key TCO benefits (in comparison to a 3.5-inch, five-platter, air-filled 4TB drive) include:  

  • Highest Capacity HDD on the Market; 6TB, Seven-disk Design, Providing the Best TCO
  • Lowest Power Consumption with Best Watts-per-TB 
    • 23 percent lower idle power per drive
    • 49 percent better watts-per-TB
  • Best Density Footprint in a Standard 3.5-inch Form Factor
    • 50 percent higher capacity
  • Lighter Weight than a Standard Five-disk 3.5-inch Drive
    • 50g lighter even with two more disks, offering 50 percent more capacity
    • 38 percent lower weight-per-TB

HGST Ultrastar He6 Availability

The 6TB HGST Ultrastar He6 hard drives are now available.

UPDATE - The drives will be available in SAS and SATA interfaces and only in 6TB capacity. HGST is not disclosing platter configuration at this time.

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