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Thursday, 06 November 2008 09:31

Seagate's savvy 'œSavvio' - world's fastest, greenest enterprise hard drive

Seeking to send strong signals to the enterprise world around speed and environmental safety, Seagate has shown some savvy in creating what it calls the world’s fastest and greenest hard drive, suavely calling it the “Savvio”.

Seagate wants to be the saviour of speed and power for enterprises requiring new hard drives for their computers and data centres – and wants them to spend money on Seagate’s brand new storage solution.

Using 70% less power than “competing 3.5-inch hard drives” and called a “key component” in Seagate’s new Unified Storage architecture, the Savvio 15K.2 HDD spins at 15,000 RPM – and it’s a 2.5-inch drive instead of those competing 3.5-inch models.

In addition to speed and “record low” power consumption, Seagate have also added a self-encrypting drive option as well, adding to the drive’s features and benefits to enterprise consutomers.

Seagate also remind us of its previously announced (but yet to be released) Savvio 10K.3 drive, which along with the 15K.2 and the Unified Storage architecture offers enterprise customers improved “manageability, integration, security and performance benefits for IT departments while ensuring business continuity with no compromise.”

Enterprise hard drives don’t come in the same sizes that we’re used to in the regular world of consumer and business – the 15K.2 is offered in the “server capacity sweet-spots of 146GB and 73GB with a SAS 2.0 interface running at 6Gb/s speeds.” 

Seagate says that this “enables larger topologies, 100% faster data throughput and higher signal strength over greater distances – dramatically increasing storage scalability.” 

Although enterprise IT people would already know it, the sizes and speeds make the 15K.2 “ideal for RAID configurations, and ultimately provide up to 115% greater system-level performance when compared to systems based on 3.5-inch server-class drives.”

Given that I’m personally not an enterprise hard drive expert, I had no idea this was the case, but you knew or not… you do now.

Seagate says its “onboard PowerTrim technology” is what enables the 2.5-inch sized 15K.2 to achieve the “up to 70%” power reduction to competing 3.5-inch 15,000 RPM drives.

And lest you thought this was a first generation device, it turns out the 15K.2 is a second-gen 2.5-inch 15,000 RPM drive backed by the “field-proven, enterprise-grade reliability” of the first generation models.

However it is the “first small form factor 15K enterprise self-encrypting drive that uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) government-grade encryption, enabling protection of information throughout a drive’s lifecycle and especially upon retirement when the drive leaves the data centre.”

Continued on page 2.

Sherman Black, the senior vice president of Marketing and Strategy in the Core Products Group at Seagate said: “Server and storage array requirements in the enterprise today are especially focused on lowering power and cooling costs; satisfying growing application performance needs; and meeting government and industry compliance regulations.

“The Savvio 15K.2 drive and our Unified Storage architecture, address these needs head-on, by providing IT departments with a best-in-class foundation that reduces storage complexity, costs, and provides peace of mind,” concluded Black.

Ron Noblett, the vice president of the Shared Engineering Services division of Industry Standard Servers at HP said: “Customers can lower risk and costs through the reduced power consumption, high performance and data availability 2.5-inch small form factor hard drives offer.

“By pairing the industry’s leading x86 platform - HP ProLiant – with Seagate’s Savvio 15K.2 drives, customers have access to a high-performance solution to meet their demanding business application needs.”

And given the big competition between Dell and HP, it’s no surprise to discover a quote from a Dell executive, too, with Darren Thomas the vice president and general manager for Dell’s Storage Business saying: “The launch of these drives will help Dell PowerEdge server and PowerVault storage customers realize higher density, increased performance and a reduced power envelope compared to similar 3.5-inch solutions.

“This helps our customers get improved time to data without being penalized with lower capacity or higher electric bills.”
So, what is Seagate’s “Unified Storage architecture”?

Seagate explains that “historically, the variety of drive interfaces, form factors and now, security solutions, can add complexity and increase costs for both IT professionals and OEMs.

“Making the wrong choice today creates storage islands in the data centre with no easy path for upgrades – further complicating an already complex environment. The Seagate Unified Storage architecture converges best-of-breed technologies (Serial Attached SCSI, Small Form Factor and Self-Encrypting Drives) into a foundation for powerful yet simple storage that boosts business and operational efficiency while reducing cost and complexity.

“The Seagate Unified Storage architecture delivers a storage foundation for companies that are proactively ensuring the long-term sustainability of their business through best-in-class IT practices. Companies will avoid the risk of impacting their own product quality, competitiveness, or profitability when their storage system infrastructure and data centre footprint is optimized across power, cooling and performance density. 

“Because the role of small form factor drives are important to the long term efficiency and sustainability of any data centre enterprise, Seagate will be extending this component into all tiers of its Unified Storage architecture in the future.”

Continued on page 3.

John Rydning, IDC’s Research Director for hard disk drives said: “Standardizing on enterprise-class small form factor disk drives with a SAS 2.0 interface, like Seagate’s Savvio 15K.2 drive, will allow for economies of scale for the storage industry.

“IDC expects that shipments of small form factor enterprise class drives into enterprise storage solutions will overtake traditional 3.5-inch enterprise class drives in the marketplace by 2009.”

Phil Bullinger, the executive vice president of the Engenio Storage Group, LSI said: “LSI continues to take an active role with Seagate in helping to deliver on next-generation enterprise storage requirements.

“Transitioning to a small form factor platform with built-in security and 6Gb/s SAS is a powerful combination for the new Seagate Unified Storage architecture. LSI supports this transition and sees it aligning well with our customers’ needs.”

Seagate are also keenly continuing to target the lucrative and important government dollar, promising its Savvio drives offer “government-grade security to reduce drive retirement costs & complexity” though its “optional Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) technology”.

Seagate says that SED technology “makes drive retirement and disposal easy by eliminating the need for the numerous manual processes involved which are often incomplete, complex, expensive, or prone to error.

“For critical information that must remain secure, and because all systems are eventually retired, whether being relocated, re-purposed, or disposed of, the information on a Savvio SED drive remains AES-safe.”

When are both Savvio drives available?

The Seagate Savvio 15K.2 and Savvio 10K.3 drives are “expected to begin shipping in December”, while models featuring the “optional SED” technology are expected during Q1 2009.

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