Hitachi Extends Tbyte Disk Drives

Hitachi fleshes out its high-end enterprise disk strategy and eyes consumers

July 10, 2008

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Paul Korzeniowski, July 9, 2008, 5:15 PM

A Gbyte of storage may soon be as outdated as a Mbyte of storage has become. At least, that is the thinking at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, which today announced its second-generation 1-Tbyte hard drive family, the Deskstar 7K1000 B.

Terabyte disk drives have been popular in the enterprise and are ready to make a move into the consumer market,” notes John Rydning, research director, hard disk drives at IDC.

Hitachi has been successful in the Tbyte part of the enterprise with its five-head Deskstar 7K1000 drives, which were announced in January 2007 and were one of the first to be delivered. Competitors, such as Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital, focused more on three- and four-platter drives, to differentiate their systems. In response, the second-generation Deskstar 7K1000 B line also comes with three platters.

The hard disk drive family features speeds of 7,200 RPM, and capacities from 160 Gbytes to 1 Tbyte. The drives rely on Hitachi’s perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) heads and disks, which deliver a maximum of 375 Gbytes of storage per disk. The devices also include some enterprise class functions. The Deskstar 7K1000 B drives, for example, feature a 3-Gbit/s SATA interface and support hot-swap capability, which is needed for high-availability applications.Increased protection against data loss and piracy is provided via Bulk Data Encryption, which is available as an option. Typically, data on hard drives has been protected either through software-based encryption or system-level passwords. Hard drive-level encryption is becoming more popular because it improves performance and security. “If a drive is lost or stolen, no one will be able to read the information,” noted IDC’s Rydning.

Energy usage is also becoming more important in enterprise data servers, SANs, and NAS. The Hitachi drives were designed to require a smaller amount of energy than competitive products: 5.2 watts compared to 8 or more watts from competitors, according to Larry Swezey, director of HDD marketing and strategy at Hitachi.

In addition, the Hitachi devices have a reduced power mode, which promises to cut energy usage to as little as 2.4 watts per drive. The actual energy cost savings depend on the types of applications supported, with larger companies seeing the most significant benefits, according to Hitachi’s Swezey.

While the move to Tbyte drives is now being supported by enterprises, the technology is ready to make its way into the consumer market. Hitachi’s five-platter drives were not an ideal fit for this sector because of their form factor and complexity. IDC’s Rydning thinks this announcement makes the vendor a viable option for PC manufacturers.

Higher capacity drives are expected to be popular among consumers. A recent study conducted by KRC Research and Hitachi, for example, found that U.S. users now store an average of 907 songs, 924 photos, 25 movies, and seven games on their digital audio players, digital cameras, camera phones, digital video recorders (DVRs), and desktop or notebook computers.Consumers' need for more storage will help to drive adoption of 1 Tbyte drives. In turn, their purchases will lower pricing for enterprise class device, so eventually no one will be using Gbyte drives any more.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IDC

  • Samsung Corp.

  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)

  • Western Digital Corp.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights