Seagate, popular for manufacturing hard drives, is now ready to ship its latest product called Shingled Magnetic Recording Drives. The drives use a new recording technology which lets you cram more tracks onto the same number of physical platters, but at the cost of performance.
The 3.5 inch drive can now store 8 terabytes of data for about 3 cents a gigabyte. This 8TB drive will sell for $260 and is meant for long-term storage and backups. It’s significantly more affordable than HGST’s helium-filled 8TB disk drive, which carries a price tag of $1,000 on newegg and just a bit more on Amazon. And, it’s a lot cheaper than OCZ’s 1TB SSD released back in 2009 for $2,200. Seagate refers to this new range of hard drives as Archive HDD, where performance is compromised in favor of reliability and power efficiency.
The Archive HDD family spins at 5,900 RPM and an average read/write speed of 150MB/sec, which is slower than many recent SSDs (1,800 MB/sec) and even the average 7,200 RPM hard drive. These certainly aren’t drives you will want to use as your best storage option. The MTBF rating is 800,000 hours and you get a three-year warranty.
Since it is hard and expensive to store petabytes of data that is not frequently used or updated, many datacenters these days build cost-effective cold data storage infrastructure. Cold data storage solutions do not involve sophisticated technologies used for ‘hot’ data storage devices. The idea here is to store huge amounts of information per square meter of a data centre with low energy consumption. Segate’s drives are exclusively designed for this purpose. These drives work best when paired with a new SSD like the Samsung 850 Pro. For example, you could store rarely-accessed data files on the drive and work with fast-moving files on an SSD.
The drives are scheduled to ship in January. Seagate Archive HDDs are also available in 5TB and 6TB capacities.