Western Digital Ships Monstrous 14TB Helium-Filled Enterprise Class Hard Drives

Hard Drive
Western Digital is breaking out the big guns when it comes to enterprise-class hard drives, and this week the storage giant announced the HGST Ultrastar Hs14. Like its predecessor, the Hs14 takes advantage of shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology, however, it offers 40 percent more capacity and twice the sequential write performance.

In addition, the Hs14 is claimed to have 60 percent lower idle watts per terabyte than 8TB hard drives that are filled with air (instead of helium). While performance is no doubt important, the spec that most people will be focusing in on, of course, is its capacity. The Ultrastar Hs14 delivers here, bringing 14TB of storage space to the table. According to Western Digital, this is the highest-capacity hard drive for the enterprise market.

“Over 70 percent of the exabytes Western Digital ships into the capacity enterprise segment are on helium-based high-capacity drives and continue to support customers with outstanding reliability, performance and value Quality of Service (QoS),” said Mark Grace, senior vice president of devices at Western Digital. “The TCO and reliability benefits of our HelioSeal platform are the foundation of our leadership in high-capacity enterprise storage.”

ultrastar hs14

Western Digital is really stressing reliability with the Ultrastar Hs14, and boats of a 2.5 million-hour MTBF rating for the hard drive. In addition, it comes backed with a 5-year limited warranty. The Ultrastar Hs14 is currently sampling to Western Digital's premier OEM partners, and according to the product page for the hard drive, it will be available in both SATA (6Gb/s) and SAS (12Gb/s) SKUs.

We should note that rival Toshiba made it clear in early September that its own 14TB helium-filled hard drives would be available "very soon". More specifically, the company noted that the drives would be available by the end of 2017, which means sometime during the current quarter.

Seagate, on the other hand, is pushing to release 14TB and 16TB hard drives during 2018. It will reportedly cross the 20TB threshold in 2020.