Seagate reaffirmed this week that the corporate is heading in the right direction to launch two key applied sciences within the late calendar yr. First, the corporate plans to ramp up its 16TB onerous drives utilizing HAMR (Warmth-Assisted Magnetic Recording, HAMR) expertise within the first half of 2019. Second, the producer intends to launch its first 14TB dual-actuator onerous drives at as much as 500MB / s with sequential learn speeds and as much as 160 IOPS later this yr. The corporate has additionally said that it’s already testing the subsequent HAMR iteration, which can allow onerous drives with capacities of as much as 24TB.
Seagate Knowledge Heart and Exascale HDD Plans
H2 2019 *
~ 20 + TB
16 ~ 20 TB
Over 250 MB / s
~ 80 IOPS
5 IOPS / TB
~ 480 MB / s
~ 160 IOPS
~ 11 IOPS / TB
~ 80 IOPS
four IOPS / TB
particular person drive
particular person drive
Double drive *
* Not formally confirmed
The onerous drive market is shrinking in gross sales, however continues to thrive on complete delivered capability and income. There could also be just a few exceptions (eg This autumn CY2018), however the common pattern will be seen right here. Shipments of apparatus are dropping as trendy laptops cannot accommodate giant 2.5-inch onerous disk drives, whereas desktops with a single Barracuda Professional-like storage medium might suffice. Right this moment, enterprise and Exascale cloud knowledge heart income is crucial to enabling companies like Azure, Fb, Gmail, iCloud, Netflix, Prime.
Evidently, onerous drives for Apple, Fb, Google, Netflix, Microsoft, and others are the primary fashions to help the most recent Seagate (and different) applied sciences, so it pays to concentrate to the corporate's plans for knowledge heart onerous drives, to grasp the place the expertise typically runs. Some applied sciences discovered on such drives ultimately migrate to client onerous drives.
HAMR (Warmth Assisted Magnetic Recording) is one thing Seagate has been engaged on for over a decade, and this yr it can lastly attain mass manufacturing. Amongst different issues, HAMR expertise represented two main challenges Seagate needed to resolve. The primary is a medium itself that may deal with an area warmth of 450 ° C (utilizing a laser with a wavelength of 810 nm and an influence of 20 mW) with out deteriorating over time. The second is a recorder with a near-field optical converter (NFT) that heats up the media and likewise has to work flawlessly for as much as a decade or extra. Seagate has developed appropriate media and its authors can deal with knowledge transfers of as much as four PB per capita. That is greater than sufficient for as we speak's enterprise and knowledge heart onerous drives (designed to deal with 550 TB of labor every year). Actually, the corporate says that not solely the internally developed media and heads for HAMR onerous drives meet the wants of the info heart, but additionally the parts that have been designed externally.
Seagate formally started with the cargo of its totally practical Exos 16 TB HAMR-capable helium-filled HDDs to pick out world hyperscale and OEM companions in early December for demonstration functions. These drives are appropriate with the present server infrastructure and energy consumption per unit doesn’t exceed 12 watts. Actually, it’s equal to the ability consumption of different helium HDDs, as NFTs don’t eat a lot energy.
Earlier this week, Seagate CEO Dave Mosley mentioned the corporate's HAMR drives shall be launched commercially within the first half of this yr and can enhance following validation by their companions.
Whereas Seagate prepares to formally launch its 16TB Exos onerous drives within the coming weeks or months, the corporate guarantees that its HAMR expertise will help onerous drives with capacities of ~ 18 TB ~ 20 TB or extra can launch later yr. As well as, Seagate has already examined applied sciences used for 24TB onerous drives.
Late final yr, the corporate claimed to have efficiently demonstrated plates with a floor density of two,381 Tb / in2 (terabits per sq. inch) within the spin-level take a look at, which in essence means driving with out a housing on a take a look at mattress. This space density permits Seagate to supply three.5-inch disks with a capability of three TB. Eight such onerous drives can be utilized to create a 24 TB onerous drive. Concerning the longer-term future, Seagate as soon as mentioned to have developed media with a floor density of as much as 10 TB / in² within the lab.
One other Seagate expertise that made headlines final yr was the corporate's Multi Actuator (MAT) expertise, which was developed to enhance the sequential and random learn and random write efficiency of onerous drives. At a excessive degree, MAT improves the MB / s and IOPS efficiency of onerous drives, however a better look rapidly reveals that this expertise is crucial to future generations of knowledge heart drives basically, and never simply efficiency.
It’s well-known that exascale knowledge heart operators management the ability consumption of servers and particular person parts as a result of they supply a comparatively restricted quantity of energy and might take away a restricted quantity of thermal power. Additionally it is identified that almost all of cloud knowledge facilities use SSDs for continuously accessed knowledge and nearline onerous drives (close to on-line onerous drives) to retailer knowledge that’s accessed much less continuously. SSDs permit operators of those knowledge facilities to provision sure companies instantly, however even when they should entry knowledge from onerous drives, there’s a strict normal when they should entry their knowledge inside their knowledge heart.
Usually, as we speak's three.5-inch HDDs supply a random efficiency of 6 – 10 IOPS per terabyte, which is ample for contemporary knowledge facilities and ample to satisfy the standard of service necessities. As onerous drives with growing capability acquire in capability, their random efficiency drops per terabyte, and as soon as it drops under 5 IOPS per TB (which is the bottom goal for a lot of trendy knowledge facilities), such onerous drives will not be the service degree settlement and so forth the QoS (service degree settlement) meet necessities. Operators who fail to satisfy their IOPS necessities per TB (no matter whether or not they’re four, 5, or 7 IOPS per TB) should scale back the capability they use per drive (ie, purchase smaller drives, or for the Pay Capability) cannot use drives that present greater I / O efficiency. This was said by Jason Feist, Seagate director of expertise technique and product planning, who’s accountable for the corporate's knowledge heart product roadmap.
At the moment, Seagate drives can tune onerous drives to satisfy the I / O wants of their clients by implementing Command Queues and Latency I / O (LBIO) within the firmware (ie, at a decrease efficiency degree), however in some unspecified time in the future Strategies carried out will cease working effectively. Particularly, Seagate says that beginning at ~ 16TB and past, an increasing number of clients (however not all) want onerous drives that may bodily ship greater I / O efficiency.
To enhance next-generation disk I / O efficiency, Seagate and Western Digital plan to put in two (or extra) actuator units in a single onerous drive. The actuators have to be outfitted with their very own arms / heads and magnets to place them, however use a pivot level. Due to this fact, the actuators function autonomously, producing considerably parallelism inside a single HDD. Since onerous drives with a couple of head can learn and write concurrently, their random learn / write efficiency is scaled by the variety of actuators. The sequential learn / write efficiency of HDDs may also enhance to 480 MB / s (within the case of first-generation MAT-capable HDDs). Nonetheless, since this depends upon quite a few components, it’s tough to make predictions concerning the throughput of subsequent technology onerous disks.
The extra parts required for 2 impartial actuator assemblies (and a way more subtle HDD controller) make such HDDs barely dearer than as we speak's fashions. That is one motive why Seagate will present at the least two HDD HDD HDDs for Hyperscale workloads: one that gives optimum IOPS per TB with a number of actuators, and one other that gives minimal IOPS per TB and is focused to clients that attain the required ranges of efficiency.
Seagate's first Mach-enabled HDDs, known as Mach2, use two actuators working at a single pivot level (together with eight plates and 16 heads). These drives have a capability of 14 TB, a sequential learn / write efficiency of 480 to 500 MB / s and as much as 160 IOPS. It's not clear how a lot energy these onerous drives eat as a result of Seagate merely says that they eat considerably lower than two onerous drives. The important thing to that is that the drives proceed to be drop-in appropriate with three.5-inch bays, which is paramount for Exascale knowledge heart operators.
Seagate says it has delivered prototypes of its Mach2 onerous drives to its companions, and such drives have been used for months for "dwell manufacturing visitors". Their quantity enhance will begin later this calendar yr, however Seagate doesn’t do anything.
With the launch of two key applied sciences in 2019, this yr shall be a key yr for Seagate. The corporate is forward of its opponents with its HAMR and multi-actuator applied sciences. Now it must create and deploy acceptable disks for events. Subsequent yr may also be vital to Seagate because it has to convey collectively its HAMR and multi-actuator applied sciences and supply its clients distinctive drives.
As talked about beforehand, many applied sciences initially developed for enterprise and Exascale datacenter onerous drives are sometimes migrated to onerous drives focused at high-end desktops, workstations, and NAS. In fact, each HAMR and MAT are helpful for all the above purposes, however it stays to be seen which of the applied sciences shall be used first for "civilian" PCs and storage units.