Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:44

Seagate unveils 14TB helium-based Exos X14 enterprise 3.5-inch HDD


Demonstrating its advanced technologies at the OCP Summit 2018 to support "accelerated hyperscale demand and data growth", Seagate's 14TB drive is its biggest yet.

Unveiling its 14TB helium-based Exos X14 enterprise drive at the OCP (Open Compute Summit) US Summit 2018 in San Jose, California, Seagate says its drive "delivers high performance and greater capacity for hyperscale data centres looking to efficiently and cost-effectively manage increasing amounts of data."

Seagate tells us that "enterprises across the globe face the daunting challenge of managing a massive increase in data volume as the world is expected to create 163 zettabytes of data in 2025, according to a study by analyst firm IDC and sponsored by Seagate".

As the need for hyperscale and cloud storage rises to unprecedented levels, Seagate naturally states its "Exos X14 hard drive is a direct response to customer demand for increased enterprise storage capacity and efficiency".

Of course, as brand new technology, one presumes the Exos will be "exxy", which is slang for expensive, but that's what you expect for the latest and greatest, and a sign of things to come.

Indeed, as the technology evolves, one wonders how long it will be before the 100TB barrier is broken, and then the 1000TB barrier to deliver 1 petabyte, but all of those advancements are yet to inevitably come.

However, back in the present that is 2018, Seagate states that "by offering greater storage density in the same 3.5-inch footprint", and naturally re-emphasises again in its media release at this point that its "Exos X14 drive is ideal for hyperscale environments".

So, why does Seagate say that ever more storage in the same size is important?

Well, we're told that "enhanced areal density means Seagate can deliver higher capacity storage in a smaller package — a milestone for meeting the demand of increasing data centre needs".

In addition, Seagate proudly boasts that "the Exos X14 offers the industry’s lowest power consumption, smallest footprint, and best performance in its class, making the hard drive an affordable solution for data centres looking to maximise their storage capabilities while reducing complexity and operational costs".

Sai Varanasi, Seagate's vice-president of Product Line Marketing in its Storage Devices division, said: “Our hyperscale customers want the best value in terms of total cost of ownership and that is mainly driven by capacity, power efficiency, enhanced caching, and predictable I/O.

“Exos X14 shines on all four fronts by delivering 14TB with leading sustained transfer rates and random I/O responsiveness optimised for hyperscale applications.”

Is there more? Of course, as you'd expect!

You see, to further meet the needs of global data centres, Seagate says its "Exos X14 comes with built-in security, 'Seagate Secure', to encrypt all data without performance degradation".

The new drive "also features the US Government’s Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2, Level 2 certification and the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation – an international computer security certification standard (ISO/EIC 15408).

"Other key features include 40% more petabytes per rack versus Exos 10TB drives, a 10% weight reduction versus air nearline drives, and a flexible design that delivers wider integration options and support for a greater number of workloads."

Article continues below, please read on.

So, what's an example of a massively hyperscale company testing Seagate's latest and greatest?

Well, Baidu is precisely one such example, being "the world’s largest Chinese search engine and leading AI tech company", and we're told that they have "evaluated Seagate’s new hard drive comprehensively".

Chao Liu, senior director, system department at Baidu, said: "Baidu attaches great importance to technological innovation and is committed to providing a better experience and service to our users and customers through technical innovation.

"Our data needs continue to expand as our customers become increasingly reliant on data-heavy applications, we need to work with industry partners to build sustainable storage solutions. Seagate’s Exos X14 has given us a cost-effective way to easily accommodate our growing storage needs.”

Naturally, that's not all, with the drive "currently sampling to select customers" and to be "followed by production availability this summer".

If you happen to be one of the lucky people at the OCP US Summit 2018 on right now at time of publication, the Exos X14 hard drive will be on display in Seagate’s booth #A14.

Several other Seagate products "that meet Open Compute Project specifications" will be displayed, alongside "additional product demonstrations [that] will showcase the Seagate Guardian Series portfolio, Nytro Q-Boost, HAMR-based drives as well as the Nytro 5000 NVMe SSD".

Furthermore, we're told that "Seagate and American Megatrends will demonstrate how the new AMI MegaRAC Baseboard Management Controller firmware enhances manageability of Seagate’s enterprise Nytro 5910 NVMe SSDs. Seagate will also exhibit MACH.2 Multi Actuator and HAMR technology with demonstrations conducted by Seagate and Seagate technology partners".

Here's one of Seagate's corporate videos about its enterprise-class hard drives:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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