Hitachi GST Announces 4TB Ultrastar Enterprise-Class Hard Drives

It seems like only yesterday (actually, it was less than a month ago) that Western Digital acquired Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and made it a full subsidiary. The new management should be pleased with HGST’s announcement today of the 4TB enterprise-class Ultrastar 7K4000 hard drives.

Optimized for space, the Ultrastar 7K4000 family is designed to offer low-power but high-performance drives for the cloud and big data markets where reducing space, power, and costs are paramount. The 7200RPM drives purportedly offer 33% more density with 24% lower watts per GB than HGST’s own previous-generation 3TB Ultrastar 7K3000 drives.

Other features include Advanced Format (with the newer 4096-byte sectors), backward compatibility with 512-byte emulation, 6Gb/s SATA interface, 64MB cache buffer, and 2.0 million hours MTBF specification. The drives are also backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

HGST is shipping Ultrastar 7K4000 drives now in limited quantities.

New 7,200 RPM Ultrastar™ 7K4000 Enterprise-Class Hard Drive Delivers Extreme Capacity, Reliability, Performance and Low Power; Massive 4TB Drive Provides Space-efficient Storage to Help Lower TCO for Big Data and Cloud Giants in Internet Search, Social Networking/Media, Online Retail and Banking

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 3, 2012 – HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company, NYSE: WDC) today introduced the world’s first 4TB enterprise-class hard drive family, the Ultrastar 7K4000. Ushering in a new generation of 512e Advanced Format drives, the Ultrastar 7K4000 family provides space-efficient, high-performance, low-power storage for traditional enterprises as well as for the explosive big data and cloud/Internet markets where storage density, watt-per-gigabyte and cost-per-GB are critical parameters. Hungry for massive storage, cloud and Internet businesses are redefining the datacenter by designing new types of servers and storage architectures to help manage explosive petabyte (PB) growth. Critical to their datacenter infrastructure is the ability to scale and efficiently manage performance, power and storage space to help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

The Right Formula - Capacity, Reliability, Performance and Low Power
The new Ultrastar 7K4000 family addresses enterprise datacenter needs by offering high reliability and a TCO value proposition like no other. As the only 4TB 7,200 RPM enterprise-class drive in the industry, and one with a 2.0 million hours mean time between failure¹ (MTBF) specification, the Ultrastar family is the ultimate solution for 24x7 enterprise applications such as big data, cloud computing, data warehousing, video-on-demand, disk-to-disk backup, and massive scale-out storage implementations.

The 4TB Ultrastar 7K4000 drive delivers 33 percent more capacity in the same 3.5-inch footprint at 24 percent lower watts/GB than its predecessor, the 3TB Ultrastar 7K3000 drive. Now IT managers can get 2.4 PBs in the footprint of a standard 19-inch storage rack by stacking ten 4U, 60-bay enclosures. The Ultrastar 7K4000 family can also help datacenters achieve lower AC power and HVAC requirements. With five Advanced Power Management modes, the Ultrastar 7K4000 achieves a 59 percent reduction in watts from peak usage during low RPM idle mode, and uses less than 1W during standby/sleep modes, freeing up precious headroom for growing datacenter needs.

Designed for 24x7, capacity-optimized enterprise applications, HGST’s new Ultrastar 7K4000 drive family, which comes in 4TB, 3TB and 2TB capacities, is built upon technology proven for reliability, leveraging the system architecture and electronics of its predecessors. The Ultrastar 7K4000 family is the next generation of the Ultrastar 7K3000 series, which has been qualified at major enterprise storage OEMs worldwide, and is used in cloud and Internet datacenters around the world. The 7,200 RPM Ultrastar family is one of the most popular high-capacity hard drives for enterprise applications, with demonstrated field reliability. The Ultrastar 7K4000 family is set to continue this standard with a five-year limited warranty and a 2.0 million hours MTBF specification, resulting in a 40 percent lower annualized failure rate (AFR) than enterprise drives rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF.

“Our cost-effective, high-density, and scalable enterprise-class storage solutions are designed for a broad range of market applications including cloud, digital video storage, and backup, and HGST’s high-capacity 7,200 RPM enterprise-class hard drives play a crucial role in our value proposition,” said Gary Watson, CTO, Nexsan. “We all know that the need for more storage is expanding in multiple directions and dimensions, and Hitachi’s highly reliable, high-capacity HDDs allow us to deliver solutions where large capacities, density, and power efficiency are highly valued. We have been using Hitachi Ultrastar drives for years and look forward to qualifying their new 4TB enterprise-class drives.”

“We are humbled by the fact that our enterprise customers continue to appreciate and value our broad portfolio of enterprise HDDs and SDDs, which gives them multiple choices to satisfy a wide range of tiered storage requirements in the enterprise,“ said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST. “With our new Advanced Format Ultrastar 7K4000 drives, we are providing enormous capacity earlier than otherwise possible for environments optimized for this technology, while delivering yet another offering that takes advantage of the Ultrastar family’s long-standing tradition of delivering high-reliability and low power for high-density cloud and big data applications.”

The Ultrastar 7K4000 family features a 6Gb/s SATA interface and a 64MB cache buffer. It is an Advanced Format drive, using 4096-byte sector size, and is backward compatible with legacy 512-byte sector size by offering built-in 512-byte emulation through the SATA interface.

The new Ultrastar 7K4000 family is now shipping in limited quantities. Customer samples are now available.