Last year saw the release of Western Digital’s 6TB Helium filled HDD, called Ultrastar He6.  Now Seagate has released their first 6TB hard drive.  The interesting thing is that Seagate say it was able to reach that capacity without using helium unlike their rivals.

Seagate has released their first 6TB, enterprise-class hard disk drive, which is nearly a third faster (28% ) than its earlier 4TB drive and it doesn’t use helium.  Western Digital released the hermetically sealed Ultrastar He6 drive back in November, bragging about its capacity, power saving functions and reliability.  Seagate, however have said their drive doesn’t yet need to use helium gas, which reduces friction and heat. Barbara Craig, a marketing manager with Seagate said, “We didn’t have to use helium to get to this capacity and it’s 25% faster than their helium drive…you can rest assured, when we need it [helium] we’ll use it.”


The enterprise drive also has what Craig described as a “humidity sensor” that will permit it to continue functioning in a humid environment.  Seagate’s Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 is aimed at cloud-based data centres, where near-line storage is the order of the day.  This new drive also comes in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB capacities and with either 12Gbps SAS or 6Gbps SATA connectivity. Seagate’s new drive is self-encrypting, using the firm’s Instant Secure Erase, which overwrites data multiple times for easy drive clearance.  The drive is also FIPS SED certified.  There is also the “Super Parity” error correction firmware with RAID rebuild functionality, that is located on the drive’s SAS controller.  This function improves data rebuild times following a drive error. A drive’s data could be rebuilt “in hours instead of days.” According to Craig.

The new enterprise drive can sustain 550TB in data writes annually, that is 10 times the 55TB workloads that Seagate’s best desktop drives are able to handle.  “This is the fastest-growing segment in the enterprise space…People today are still trying to use desktop drives for near-line storage applications.” Craig said.

While Seagate did not release a pricing structure for this drive series, as it sells most of its enterprise-class drives to storage array makers, Craig did say the drive would be the same price per gigabyte as the previous 4TB model.

What do you think? Would you opt for Western Digital’s version or the Seagate offering?   As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.

[Image via wikimedia]