Seagate Announces a 2TB SAS 2.0 Enterprise HDD
The new hard drive family consists of 2.5-inch Constellation drives in 160GB and 500GB capacities, and 3.5-inch Constellation ES drives in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. All of the new drives, except for the 2.5-inch 160GB model, will be available in both SATA and SAS 2.0 interface versions. (The 2.5-inch 160GB drive will only be available with a SATA interface; Seagate considers this drive a good choice for "boot/entry server applications.") SAS 2.0 is fairly recent update to the Serial Attached SCSI protocol. SAS 2.0 offers a number of significant improvements over SAS and SATA, such as a 6Gb per second transfer rate, multiplexing, zoning, and even support for up to 10-meter cable lengths. (For a good overview of SAS 2.0, you can read PMC-Sierra's white paper (PDF) here.)
Seagate regards the Constellation family as "nearline" drives, which Seagate positions as ideal for "tier-2" enterprise storage applications. Storage Advisors' Tom Treadway provides an excellent detailed explanation of what Seagate's definition of nearline drives is here. A brief overview of this definition is that nearline drives are meant to be always-on, high-capacity, low-cost drives with a high reliability--but not necessarily as fast or expensive as tier-1 enterprise-level drives. Nearline drives typically have a high mean-time-before failure (MTBF), a higher rotational vibration (RV) tolerance, include built-in error correction, integrated error recovery, include workload management, built-in power management, microcode download support, and include support for the Write Same command.
The entire Constellation family also supports Seagate's optional, self-encrypting drive (SED) technology, which Seagate claims provides "government-grade data security through the drive's life cycle" as well as even after the drives are retired. The new drives also utilize power-saving technology, which Seagate claims "decreases power consumption by up to 54% for record power savings in enterprise environments."
"With Seagate's innovative PowerChoice technology, both Constellation hard drive models deliver the highest power-reduction savings ever offered in an enterprise-class HDD, and provide flexible, user-manageable options to deliver power savings without sacrificing performance, data integrity, or reliability. In addition, the Constellation family of drives are backed with field-proven, enterprise-grade reliability and rated at a full 1.2 million hours MTBF."
Seagate has not announced pricing yet for any of the new drives, but the 2.5-inch Constellation drives should ship sometime this quarter, and the 3.5-inch Constellation ES drives are scheduled to ship in the third quarter of 2009.