At this point, it's hard to tell what the top limit for densities will be with current mechanical hard drive technologies, but HGST proves that it's not 12TB. With the company's brand-new Ultrastar He12, enterprise users can take advantage of a staggering 12,000GB capacity in a single hard disk drive, and relish in the fact that it's backed by a 5-year warranty.
One of the standout features of the He12 is one that's not easy to see just by looking at it. Under the hood is are an industry-leading eight platters, with simple math telling us that each one is 1.5TB in size. The areal density on these disk is massive, and could mean that this could become one of the fastest 7,200 RPM drives ever produced. HGST notes that peak performance is around 243MB/s read, and 255MB/s write sustained. That's impressive stuff enabled WD's HelioSeal technology that seals helium in the drive to enhance performance and endurance with thinner platters.
The He12 comes in both SATA 6Gbps and SAS 12Gbps flavors, and sport an enormous 256MB cache. HGST says that the latency hovers around 4.16ms on average, which in itself is quite impressive, with seek times hovering around 8ms.
Other perks of the He12 include the ability to instantly secure erase the drive to redeploy it elsewhere (a big deal given that could normally take hours, or even an entire day), the option for self-encryption, and an MTBF rating of 2.5 million hours.
There's no word yet on the price of these drives, but the He10 typically costs around ~$470 USD, so we'd imagine the He12 will come closer to $600. That's not too bad considering the amount of storage packed into a single drive, and a 7,200 RPM one, at that.