Home Enterprise WD Gold and Ultrastar DC HC560 OptiNAND 20TB HDDs Launched

WD Gold and Ultrastar DC HC560 OptiNAND 20TB HDDs Launched

by Lyle Smith

Western Digital has updated two of their 20TB HDD lines, the Ultrastar DC HC560 and WD Gold, with OptiNAND. This high-capacity, 9-disk platform (2.2TB/platter) with CMR recording format drives offer drop-in simplicity to meet customers’ growing storage demands. WD also indicates that both drives feature a few industry-first technologies like energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR), triple-stage actuator (TSA), and HelioSeal (for 12TB and above) to enable the highest capacities with excellent power efficiency.

Western Digital has updated two of their 20TB HDD lines, the Ultrastar DC HC560 and WD Gold, with OptiNAND. This high-capacity, 9-disk platform (2.2TB/platter) with CMR recording format drives offer drop-in simplicity to meet customers’ growing storage demands. WD also indicates that both drives feature a few industry-first technologies like energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR), triple-stage actuator (TSA), and HelioSeal (for 12TB and above) to enable the highest capacities with excellent power efficiency.

wd 20tb hdd

WD OptiNAND technology combines iNAND, controller, and firmware together as an SoC available on the drive’s PCB. The iNAND is a 64-layer dynamic flash (BICS3) package that manages the hard drive’s metadata and enables SLC for write-heavy operations and TLC for read-heavy operations in the same device. For more information on this technology, read our OptiNAND platform piece on how it enhances hard drive capacity and performance and why hyperscalers have great interest in this new technology from WD for their cold data and archive tiers.

That said, the Ultrastar DC HC560 is the first HDD to leverage OptiNAND technology’s capacity-enabling features with the 20TB capacity. This drive is designed to meet the reliability needs of modern data centers such as Cloud and hyperscale storage, distributed file systems, bulk storage, and mass scale-out (MSO) high-density data centers. It also features 2.5M MTBF (projected) and a 5-year limited warranty, while offering security and encryption options (including SED models) to help protect data from unauthorized use.

Available in 1TB to 20TB capacities, the WD Gold HDDs are designed to handle demanding storage environments with up to 2.5M hours MTBF and vibration protection technology for greater levels of dependability and durability. They are purpose-built for use in enterprise-class data centers and storage systems. WD Gold hard drives are also optimized to perform well in heavy application workloads for yearly operation and can handle workloads up to 550TB per year.

Though their current offerings only reach the 18TB capacity point, Toshiba and Seagate are on the cusp of releasing 20TB HDDs like WD. Toshiba’s 20TB models will likely feature the same 9-disk Helium laser-sealed design for reliability and power efficiency in cloud-scale infrastructure applications. Seagate has recently announced Seagate EXOS (both SATA and SAS interfaces) and IronWolf Pro 20TB HDDs (both of which we are looking forward to reviewing). The company hasn’t confirmed any solid date on its rollout, but it is slated for a release this December or early 2022 despite recent market-wide shortages of drive components.

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